01/27/2006 08:50 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Is Nothing Left But Tactics?

Ok, John Kerry, ever himself, makes the clumsiest case in point as he comes out for a filibuster against Alito long after it could possibly succeed in hopes that he can snap up MoveOn support to oppose the Hillary/Biden wing in 2008 on the basis of a distant memory. Should we laugh or cry at this pathetic spectacle?

But that's a minor example. Here's what I really want to ask you all. What do we think about the Hamas election victory? I mean, do we have a position that precedes whatever is going to happen as a result--and then, after whatever happens happens, we decide how we want to spin it to maximize disgrace to Bush?

And even just focusing on that. Disgrace to Bush, I mean, always a desirable and deserved outcome. One emerging liberalish spin/theme is how naïve he's been to push for "democracy in the broader Middle east." He was responsible for forcing this Palestinian election to happen, after all, and--oh, goody--now it comes back to haunt the shallow cowboy.

But how do we stand on democracy in the broader Middle East, when it comes right down to it? Shia Iraq, Hamas Palestine, Ahmadinejad's Iran--are these good things in the long run for the future of humanity and the planet? And if we aren't for democracy in the broader Middle East, what are we for?

I sincerely want to hear any response to this question that doesn't frame itself this way: we progressives can't be asked to be responsible for situations that would never have emerged if we had been in charge all along. That frame doesn't cut it because if we are ever going to be in charge again, it will be in the world we have now...