We have a big problem. The dominant view among the in crowd in Washington is that the next 6 months is a critical time in Iraq. As it has always been. They're all Tom Friedman now. Maybe they're right this time. From a pure policy perspective I really don't know what to do about Iraq. I don't know how to unshit the bed. Staying in might make more sense if our country wasn't run by emotional 5-year-olds and the stupidest fucking people on the face of the planet. From a purely political perspective I'd have more confidence if the six monthers understood that six months from now is election day. Pre- or post- election day what will they say when yet another six months has passed? Do they even give it any thought? I fear not. They just keep punting the issue downfield. Bush has already said he's leaving it to his successor, which sadly means that anyone who wants to be his successor is by definition even more nuts than presidential candidates usually have to be to want the job.
As I've long said Iraq will be as much an issue in 2008 as it was in 2004. Increasingly I'm realizing it will even be more of an issue. I'm not sure how it plays out in the midterms precisely, but it can't be avoided in the presidential election.
All candidates need to lay the foundation for what they're going to say a year from now ("two Friedmans" in the newly established Friedman time scale) when Iraq is as bad or worse of a clusterfuck as it is now (Yes, yes, I hope to be wrong but it sadly hasn't happened yet). I fear again that the Democratic establishment is just wishing the problem away.
It's not going away.