I’m happy to sign on with Mark Kleiman here, more or less, or maybe not, but close. Anyway, I join those who think that the war is a dreadful mess but that we can’t just pull out. I’m not talking about “victory” here—Matt Yglesias has pointed out that we achieved that, and years ago. And I don’t for a moment mean to associate myself the accusation of “cut and run”—a thought-killing mind virus if there ever was one.
Say rather that the tragedy of this stupid war is that it has made it impossible for us to cut and run—immured us in the
There is absolutely nothing in the record of the incumbent ruffians to suggest that they are fit to offer this kind of leadership. The Democrats are doing a bit, but not much, to make things better. The maligned John Murtha had a whiff of reality in his voice when he talked about withdrawing from the center of the action but maintaining a presence. But the measured part of that measured response is fast getting swamped in the rush for a timetable.
It’s enough to get up any decent person’s nose to listen to the Republicans’ smug and dismissive provocation—“well, what would you do?” Tearful and groveling apology might strike a more harmonious note. But it’s annoying not least because it is, at core, a fair point. Like it or not, the Dems can’t avoid the responsibility for Getting it Right just by asserting (correctly) that the Republicans Got It So Wrong.