This “manifesto for liberals in the waning Bush era” by Bruce Ackerman and Todd Gitlin deserves reading and discussion. I regret I am still under the weather and not up to thoughtful commentary, but Stirling Newberry wrote some lovely thoughtful commentary, so if you want thoughtful commentary go read Stirling. And there’s more thoughtful commentary by Chicago Dyke at Corrente.
I gave the Ackerman-Gitlin piece a careful reading to see how it defined liberalism. I endorse it in its entirety, but I realize some might object to paragraph 5, which begins “Make no mistake: We believe that the use of force can, at times, be justified. We supported the use of American force, together with our allies, in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.” I supported those also, although not without reservation. Reasonable people, including reasonable liberals, opposed those actions.
Then I read the discussion of the manifesto at Crooked Timber. Most of the commenters got hung up on paragraph #4, which begins “We believe that the state of Israel has the fundamental right to exist.” The “discussion” devolved into the kind of impossibly precious wankfest Monty Python skewered so beautifully in “Life of Brian.”
But, OTHER THAN paragraphs 4 and 5, what do you think? (If you want to argue about paragraph 4, go to Crooked Timber.)
Update: For another POV, see Digby.