Thursday, November 16, 2006


Spencer Ackerman takes a shot at something I tried to get at when I was on the radio with my good friend Peter Beinart but probably expressed badly at the time.

George Bush is in charge of foreign policy. George Bush is obsessed with staying in Iraq. George Bush equates leaving with losing. We can, as TNR seems to want to do, spend our days constructing magical pony plans for Iraq, and arguing with each other about whether timetables or deadlines or blahblahblahblah are the "best plan." Or we can understand that in this political reality, the best we can hope for is to shift, in a very blunt way, focus from "staying" to "leaving."

The Last Honest Man took swipes at Ned Lamont when Lamont said something like, "I'm for deadlines, I'm for timetables, whatever." But Lamont obviously understands what's going on. The point is not to construct some perfect unwavering plan, the point is to find a way to force George Bush to get us the fuck out of there. TNR people can spend their days patting themselves on the back constructing ever more nuanced fantasy plans, and marveling at how much more serious they are than the dirty fucking hippies, but meanwhile we're still in Iraq. All any of us on the outside can do is try to provide the pressure to switch from "we're staying" to "we're leaving." The rest of it is just wankery.