[traditional liberal internationalist foreign policy] ideas . . . could and should have been the key ideas of center-left think tanks in the post-9/11 world. But that's not what actually happened. Instead, a set of ideas that originally existed as a fringe right-wing position wound up being espoused not only by nearly the entire Republican Party but by a huge swathe of the broader establishment. The kind of institutions that you would expect to try to put the country back on an even keel -- The New York Times's foreign affairs columnist, The Washington Post's editorial page, the top foreign policy officials from the second Clinton administration, the Brookings Institution, etc. -- instead hopped aboard George W. Bush's madcap adventure.
[liberal internationalist foreign policy ideas have] traditionally been espoused by the establishment. And America traditionally hasn't engaged in Iraq-scale blunders. But in the wake of 9/11 we saw a massive, system-wide failure of our elites that the country is only beginning to recover from, and that seems -- despite its incredibly disastrous consequences -- to have permanently pushed certain key institutions into loony land where the height of "seriousness" is to think politicians should muse aloud about launching an unprovoked attack on Iran.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Matthew Yglesias (June 15, 2008) - Am I The Establishment? (Foreign Policy):