April 27, 2007

Bill Moyers - Invariably a thoughtful perspective

Here are some snippets from an interview with Bill Moyers on The Christian Century website. I've always found him to be clear, concise and particularly thoughtful when it comes to broad commentary on the American political system. Yes, he's liberal (as am I) but it's liberalism that derives from experience and insight, not knee-jerk reaction.

Two questions and answers stood out to me:
If the Bush administration were to ask you for your advice, what would you say to them?

Well, I did give President Bush advice once: on a broadcast I urged him to make Al Gore head of homeland security—in other words, turn our response to the terrorist attacks into a bipartisan effort, make the fight against terroism an American cause, not a partisan battle cry.

What would I say now? Fire the ideologues and assign them to scrub the floors at Guantánamo for penitence. Stop confusing neocon pundits with Old Testament prophets. Read the Bible for humility's sake, but for policy's sake commit to memory the report of the Iraq Study Group. Don't sacrifice any more soldiers to prove you're in charge; get the soldiers out of the line of fire between Sunnis and Shi'ites. And remind your hirelings of Winston Churchill's definition of democracy as the occasional necessity of deferring to the opinions of other people.
I'm not so sure Gore would have worked in that capacity, but I can definitely get behind Moyers' evaluation of the Bush administration's ideology-driven policies.
Some people on the left think the Democratic Party needs to be more explicitly religious. What do you think about that counterstrategy?

If you have to talk about God to win elections, that doesn't speak well of God or elections. We are desperate today for cool thinking and clear analysis. What kind of country is it that wants its politicians to play tricks with faith?

(Hat tip to Blog from the Capitol)


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