Neo-con doctrine and tough liberalism collided in George Bush’s positively Bartlet-esque Banqueting House speech last week. Bush said:
“we cannot turn a blind eye to oppression just because the oppression is not in our own backyard. No longer should we think tyranny is benign because it is temporarily convenient. Tyranny is never benign to its victims, and our great democracies should oppose tyranny wherever it is found.”
A few weeks ago, earlier in the current series of The West Wing, President Bartlet (must keep reminding myself he’s fictional) reversed decades of US foreign policy to intervene in Kuhndu (fictional) because of this exchange with a new speech writer (also fictional):
“Why is a Kuhndunese life worth less to me than an American life?” “I don’t know, Sir, but it is.”
‘Tough liberalism’ is the left’s response to the neo-con bid for the moral high ground in foreign policy. Bartlet is its best ambassador. Expect the further West Wing-isation of Anglo Saxon politics.