I have said for some time that the most important political reality in America today is the alliance between the President and the Clintons.
It holds to this belief. The tie forged between these two parts of the Democratic Party, together with the loyalties on both sides, explains the strong, powerful unity of today’s Democratic Party.
This is a fact and a good thing for those who believe generally in the work of a moderate to progressive approach to government in this country.
But it is real, too. An alliance creates policy that would not come from one or the other partners alone. It creates a joint policy that may reflect the strongly-held policies of either partner combined with the acquiescence of the other.
This could be what we’re seeing in Libya today. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wanted the United States to step in and stop what loomed as the slaughter of the rebels by Moammar Khaddafy. The president agreed.
But now the question: Has this led to a complete policy? Do we have a policy toward Libya or merely a policy for stopping a particular thing from happening in Libya? If we’ve stopped Khaddafy from mowing down the rebels in Benghazi and other cities, have we got a plan in place to get him out of position to keep on doing other bad things to his people?
If so, we can’t see it. Certainly there is good historic reason to doubt the ability of economic sanctions to remove this despot from power in the short-run - and this man can put a lot of people to death in the short-run. If it will take the long-run, are we willing to pay the moral price of letting him keep on killing until he’s run out of what? People to do his killing for him? People left to kill?
Look, if we’ve made the value judgment that it was good to go in and stop the killing; we should go in and stop the killing. A “no fly zone” is not a moral code; it’s a method. If our moral code is to stop the killing, we need a better method.