April 5, 2007

The Situational Pragmatism of Congressman Langevin

Marc Comtois

In addition to talking about Iraq with Dan Yorke, Congressman Langevin also talked about Speaker Pelosi's recent botched Syrian excursion and said she was following the precepts of the Iraq Study Group report (PDF). While Langevin condemned the regimes of both Iran and Syria, he also offered that--as per the Iraq Study Group--pragmatic diplomacy was the way to go. He also talked about how the U.S. should encourage democracy movements, particularly in Iran. So, while the regimes are bad and we'd really like to see them taken down, we've still got to talk to them, despite their past intransigence. It's realpolitick all over again and very pragmatic. (Don't get me wrong, we need to talk, but keep in mind who we're dealing with here.)

On the other hand, when Yorke asked him about gas prices, the Congressman lapsed into the standard alternative energy chant and explained that the U.S. needed to decrease our dependence on oil My first thought was: where's the pragmatism here, Congressman? I agree that we should develop new energy sources. But in the meantime, why don't we take steps to become energy independent by actually taking advantage of some of our own domestic oil resources or expanding our nuclear power capability? Wouldn't the pragmatic approach be to take advantage of the technology we we have now and still provide incentives for new energy sources? Why can't we do both?