What were Pelosi and Reid supposed to do?

May 23, 2007

While I’m as sick over the Democrats caving to Bush on the Iraq war funding bill as the next sentient being, I think Keith Olbermann went a little too far in his Special Comment by suggesting that war opponents should, “if need be, unseat Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi.” The full Special Comment, video and text, is here.

Olbermann knows full well that there aren’t the votes in either the House or Senate to cut off funding completely for the war at this point. Any bill with timetables will be vetoed by the president. The leadership could take the step of refusing to pass any bill whatsoever, but that’s extremely risky politically because it would give the impression of congressional dithering harming the war effort. Olbermann may be right that the framing of the war funding issue by Bush and many in the press is ludicrous, but he’s wrong to criticize the leadership so harshly for taking the least bad of the bad options available to them.


A Continued Embarrassment Thanks to His Amateurish Performance

April 25, 2007

That would be David Broder, who fatuously compares Alberto Gonzales and Harry Reid in his Thursday column. Gonzales, you might recall, is embroiled in a scandal over politicizing the Justice Department, gave an awful performance testifying before Congress last week, and has faced widespread calls for his resignation. Reid, on the other hand, has said some things about Iraq that Broder disagrees with. As you can see, they are so similar — not.

Broder has stiff competition for the title of worst op-ed in the Thursday Washington Post from Joe Lieberman, who submits his quarterly “do what I say about Iraq” column (here is the previous one). I especially enjoyed Lieberman’s statement that Al Qaeda’s “aim in Iraq isn’t to get a seat at the political table; it wants to blow up the table.” Blow up the table!

Lieberman’s response to recent violence in Iraq is like a Rorschach test result:

The current wave of suicide bombings in Iraq is also aimed at us here in the United States — to obscure the recent gains we have made and to convince the American public that our efforts in Iraq are futile and that we should retreat.

Rather than seeing the bombings as obscuring recent gains, I see them as evidence that we have made no gains in Iraq. I define gains as an absence of the horrific violence that Iraq continues to experience every day. Lieberman’s willful exercise of reverse psychology is astounding.

The illogical senator continues:

When politicians here declare that Iraq is “lost” in reaction to al-Qaeda’s terrorist attacks and demand timetables for withdrawal, they are doing exactly what al-Qaeda hopes they will do, although I know that is not their intent.

How, pray tell, does Lieberman know this? Isn’t it plausible that Al Qaeda hopes that the US military remains stretched thin with the commitment in Iraq and unable to pursue terrorists elsewhere? Where does Lieberman get this omniscent knowledge of the enemy mindset?