Friday, November 03, 2006

bailing on the prez

Neo Culpa

I found this article interesting for its direct interviews of neo-cons and their reflections on the defining neo-con event: Iraq.

Now, there's a lot to say on all sides of this and plenty of blame to share. They tend to lay it all at the feet of the prez and their own participation attains more of a stupified, "how did it go wrong?" air.

If you follow my political grumblings, you know my leanings. I think many of this crowd were the ones pushing pushing pushing, then trusting someone else would make it work. That same quality describes, I think, ideological thinking in general. It pushes, but it doesn't dwell on the mechanics.

These folks had big ideas lofty ones, in some ways moral ones if you just squinted hard enough, then averted your gaze while they ramrodded them through without the least whiff of moral compunction.

Some of the ideas themselves are interesting if one could 'just make them work' to paraphrase Kenneth Adelman.

What I want to know is - is redemption possible? On a human level, can people see the light? Can the cast down, once arrogant neo-cons apply themselves in different ways going forward? (or for that matter are they really once-arrogant, or is this some form of acting?)

These are arguably still people of some intelligence, with insights and perspectives. A great deal of collective experience. And with some scars. They could be cast away and relegated. That is certainly deserved. Or maybe there's some tempered wisdom. Some alchemical quality that is only attained by pride and fall that leaves one better able to see than even those who held a different, somewhat vindicated perspective.

Hard to say and hard for me to say. I've been selfishly wishing for them to get their comeuppance. But now that it is nigh, the other part of me still says the best way is to meet in the middle of the idea arena and bring along the God-like apprehension of Hamlet.

Are they really chastened? And can the chastened learn and accept being welcomed back into the area by onetime adversaries? Javert couldn't do it.

What interesting and thoughtful works we do do if redemption were possible and ego would accept it.

But I fear the modern political machine and the pride of the powerful will continue to keep people apart. Pride and humility do not go often together.

Well, I hope "my side" uses their time in the sun to take their ideas out for a spin. Maybe they will work a little better.

But I still think all ideas should go into the arena and be considered in good faith. (that's the little faith in or goodwill toward others today)

And in the end, that is what a big part of being a liberal means to me.


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