Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden Face Off in Democratic Battle for Iran Dove Cred 1

On the surface, the Democrats sounded more or less like one another when they denounced the danger that might result from Donald Trump’s hit on Qassem Soleimani. But there were some subtle differences that they didn’t get into on cable news. They’re revealing, and they reflect the differences in the party on questions of war and peace and fighting terrorism, with Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders representing the two tent poles—at a moment when Sanders has started to attack Biden for the first time more generally.

The poles aren’t “hawk” and “dove.” That’s too simplistic. Hardly anyone in this party is a hawk anymore. They saw the disaster—and perhaps more to the point the political liability—that Iraq became. It seems pretty clear no Democrat wants to repeat that experience with the far larger and stronger nation of Iran. 

So to some extent they’re all doves. But there are different categories of doves. There are establishment doves and anti-establishment doves; consensus doves and anti-consensus doves.