Sunday, July 29, 2007

Consensus Seekers Gone Normal

Instapundit links to an editorial by Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton. In her Washington Post piece, titled 'Partisans Gone Wild' Slaughter laments a lack of “bipartisanship” in the US. When I read her name, I immediately remembered my first experience with Dr. Slaughter’s intellect: she was participating in a roundtable discussion with Victor Davis Hanson and Stephen Steadman on the topic of ‘Preemptive War’ (video and audio links here). It is well worth watching the whole program.

Steadman’s main contribution to the discussion was to make Slaughter seem less obviously outrageous than her arguments would seem on their own. Taking away the outlier Steadman, and dealing only with arguments of Victor Davis Hanson and Anne-Marie Slaughter, it became apparent that Slaughter was incapable of differentiating between the functioning of the real and some other hypothetical organization called the United Nations.

Slaughter essentially asserts that we as a Nation we MUST gain legitimacy for our actions by always making even more attempts to gain UN imprimatur for our actions than we did in our current situation, even though she obliquely acknowledges the uselessness of doing so. Hanson, succinctly disabuses her of that silly notion.

After watching and hearing her on this subject, I concluded that Ms. Slaughter was incapable of deciding when and where to make a stand on anything, much less doing so with any reasonable chance of success: She would seek bipartisan consensus and cooperation from a free range steamroller before she would see the need to simply step out of its way and take control of it.

With the Slaughters of this world, it seems the only principle to stand on is to not stand for anything: to always keep moving the line in the sand.

As to Consensus and Bipartisianship: she is the "girl who cried wolf" too many times.

Update 2008 Hrs: Fixed obvious cut and paste errors

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