Sunday, April 22, 2007

why "pre-emptive" doesn't mean "proactive"

For an administration that prides itself on foreign policy that is anticipatory, or pre-emptive, it sure is reactive, not proactive, where domestic matters are concerned. And, by the way, there's a difference, a big one, between being reactive and being responsive.

Now that it finds itself in yet another quagmire, this White House may have to part ways with another Rummy-style loyalist. Excuse me, but am I the only one wondering if "loyalists" are mostly something one expects from monarchies, and not elected governments?

George W. Bush may well be second only to Josef Stalin with respect to great purges, but remember, too, that, as far as we know, Stalin was in the driver's side. This steady stream of resignations from Bush appointees is alarming, and reminds one of a phrase more to be expected during foreplay, "let me know when I'm getting close."

What is needed now is not foreplay, but floor play. We need to see more diatribes on the Senate, and House floors like those of Senators Leahy and Specter. We also need to know why it is that no one asked the tough questions of the attorney general before his appointment? Why is nepotism acceptable in the White House, but not in the World Bank? And, most importantly, can a civilization in which nuclear obliteration is a clear and present danger accept anything less than leadership that is proactive, as well as responsive.

The politics of pre-emption have led only to an era of protracted conflict. It's time for Congress, and the American people to demand not merely clarification of terms, but a changing of the guard.