14 January 2008

Always Looking Back

Sunday, I watched part of a rerun of Meet the Press where the host questioned Senator Clinton at some length on her vote authorizing the invasion of Iraq. The Senator, in return, spent much time contrasting her position on the war with that of her competitors on the Democrat side. After about five minutes of this 2002-03 history lesson, I turned the channel. No plan here, no vision, no detail; all hindsight gotchas and verbal Twister.

This morning, I read an editorial in the New York Times titled “Unfinished Debate on Iraq”. Much of the same here soup, along with the added ingredient “Republican candidates are slavishly wedded to Mr. Bush’s policy of war without end”. It also moves past 2003 to talk about what may happen if the “surge” doesn’t continue to produce. But when it comes to the war, we should have never been there. When it comes to Democrats, the only question pursued is “how did you vote?” Silly.

And what’s more, the editorial seems to think that Iraq will be “a central challenge — perhaps the central challenge” of the next president. It is looked at, in my opinion, in isolation, just as the votes of Democrats on the war (or professed would-be votes of those not in Congress) are looked at in isolation. Just as withdrawing from Iraq is examined in geographical and tactical isolation.

How about, instead of projecting ourselves back to 2002-03, we consider paths forward in 2009? I’m hoping to hear something in detail, under withering questioning, about that soon – hopefully when (and if) Senator Obama is interviewed by Chris Matthews or Bill O’Reilly.

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