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February 14, 2013

Klein Cites Democracy Essay on Defense Spending

In his Bloomberg View column on February 13, Ezra Klein discussed the politics of military spending and highlighted a number of quotes from former Representative Barney Frank’s feature contribution to Democracy’s Winter 2013 issue.

Klein characterizes Frank as a “rare politician able to write a genuinely interesting article,” and goes on to quote the Democracy article at length, writing:

“There were so many encouraging signs for liberals in the election results this year that one of the most significant has been overlooked,” he wrote. “For the first time in my memory, a Democratic candidate for President argued for less military spending against a Republican candidate who called for great increases — and the Democrat won.”

Liberals are not alone in voicing skepticism of increased defense spending, Frank notes: “Ron Paul, who goes far beyond most liberals in his eagerness to impose severe military cuts, was a popular figure with a significant base of GOP support not despite taking this position but in part because of it.”

And while Paul might be a marginal (though influential) figure on the right, his opinion drew surprising support, including that of Clint Eastwood, the star attraction of the 2012 Republican National Convention.

“One of the few coherent things he said in that memorable debate that he lost to a chair was that the President should have announced his willingness to pull out of Afghanistan altogether,” Frank wrote of Eastwood. “This criticism of the President from an antiwar position elicited cheers from the Republican delegates.”

To read Klein’s column, “Clint Eastwood and Barney Frank Attack the Pentagon,” click here.

To read Frank’s feature, “The New Mandate on Defense,” click here.


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