War, What Is It Good For? Not the Economy

As already linked by fladem in quick hits, this is it. This is the message that is both the winner for 2008, and for a long-term progressive mandate for sweeping change in governance:
More than 7 out of 10 Americans think government spending on the war in Iraq is partly responsible for the economic troubles in the United States, according to results of a recent poll.
In the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll conducted last weekend, 71 percent said they think U.S. spending in Iraq is a reason for the nation's poor economy. Twenty-eight percent said they didn't think so.
The argument over whether Democrats should run on Iraq or run on the war is not a useful argument. Ultimately, both are temporary messages that do not carry a mandate for comprehensive progressive change. If Democrats winning an election on Iraq, the rationale to vote for Democrats disappears when the Iraq war ends, since few Democrats are running a message that all wars in the Iraq mold should be avoided. Also, if Democrats win on the economy, the rational to vote for a Democrat ends either when the economy turns bad while Democrats are in power, or when the economy is doing well while Republicans are in power. Eventually, one of those to contingencies will come to pass.

However, winning an election on the platform that war spending is bad for the economy is exactly the sort of mandate for change that we need to order to end the national security state, reduce military spending, and implement the comprehensive reforms of The Responsible Plan When 71% of Americans view spending on war to be a drag on the economy, the justification to reduce military spending is accepted by a super-majority of the public, and skepticism about engaging in future military operations of this scale is cemented in the public consciousness for decades. If war spending is understand to be bad for the economy, then over the long-term people will want to spend less on the military, engage in fewer wars, and attack the root cause of wars like Iraq in order to prevent them from happening. Winning an election on the platform that Iraq is bad for the economy thus becomes a long-term progressive mandate.

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