WHAT CENTER? Jon Chait has some issues with David Brookscolumn advocating a McCain-Lieberman party of the center (Unity '08, anyone?) -- I have some problems of my own. Namely, on national security issues what's centrist about this party?

Are there any Republicans whose national security views are clearly more hawkish than McCain's? I can't think of any. For that matter, are there any Republicans whose national security views are clearly more hawkish than Lieberman's? I can't think of any either. Of the politicians who seem to have clear convictions on the topic, these are, I think, the two leading militarists in the United States Senate. The only way you can get McCain-Lieberman as representing a "center" position on foreign policy is if you define the extreme conceptual right-wing pole as "whatever George W. Bush happens to think,� making any criticism of his policies a move to the left. In practice, however, both men's difference with Bush almost exclusively amount to the (frankly, absurd) view that he's been unduly hesitant to unleash military force.

--Matthew Yglesias

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