Number one on my list of “panels I’m bitter I wasn’t invited to speak on” is the one I’m attending right now: “The Next Progressive Foreign Policy” featuring Steve Clemons, Ken Baer, and Peter Beinart, which doesn’t seem like a particularly netrootsy crew. I’ll be interested in what Peter has to say though, because I haven’t actually read that much by him on foreign policy since his book, and the book, despite the criticism it took, entailed a substantial turn to the left.
UPDATE: See, for example, I agreed with something like 97 percent of what Beinart said in his opening presentation. The essential fact of the modern world is that the United States wants to worry about problems inside other countries (terrorists in failed states, epidemic disease in countries with bad public health systems, nuclear programs in Iran, etc.) but that to do anything about those problems in an effective way, we need to do it in a legitimate way, which means through rules and institutions that we are willing to obey.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Clemons then correctly adds a dimension that had been missing from what Beinart said about the need to move away from the super-militarized approach to the world where the US spends about half the world’s total defense dollars and seems to get less-and-less in terms of beneficial outcomes in exchange.
AND ANOTHER: To be clear, Ken isn’t just “on” the panel he’s moderating it because he was asked to organize it.