Sunday, August 06, 2006

And a Pony

I appreciate that people like to see themselves as somehow above the political fray, but it drives me nuts when they forget that the fray is real, it exists, and it can't be ignored. It's wonderful to write about What Should Be Done even if those things Will Never Happen, but it's boneheaded stupid to imagine that politicians who are actually trying to achieve something can achieve it by doing the same. The New York Times starts off well:

As America’s military experience in Iraq grows ever more nightmarish, it is becoming clear that President Bush’s strategy comes down to this: Keep holding to a failing course for the next 29 months and leave it to the next administration to clean up the mess.

But then goes quickly downhill:

That abdication of responsibility cannot be allowed to continue at the expense of American lives, military readiness and international influence. With the Republican majority in Congress moving in perpetual lock step behind the White House, the job of pressing the issue has been dumped in the laps of the Democrats. Unfortunately, they have their own version of reality avoidance. It involves pretending that the nightmare can be ended by adopting a timetable for a phased withdrawal of American troops.

Mr. Bush’s cheerleading encourages the illusion that it is just a matter of time and American support before Iraq evolves into a stable democracy. The Democratic timetable spins a different fantasy: that if the Iraqis are told that American troops will be leaving in stages, at specific dates, their government will rise to the occasion and create its own security forces to maintain order.


The only responsible way out of Iraq involves all the things President Bush refused to consider on the way in. That means enlisting help from some of the same Arab neighbors and European allies whose opinions and suggestions were scornfully ignored before the invasion. Getting their assistance would be a humbling experience. Americans may feel the war is going badly, but they have not been prepared to acknowledge failure.

But the choice will never be between Bush's pretend everything is okay plan and the New York Times' Pony Plan. It won't. The writers of that first paragraph surely know that. The choice is between Bush's pretend everything ok plan and the Democrats' Bush is going to keep fucking this up so it's time to start heading home plan.

The Pony Plan might be a lovely one, and I'm sure with a bit of time I could dream up the Unicorn Plan which would be TEH AWESUM.

But George Bush is in charge, so chastizing the Democrats for not advocating the Pony Plan is just helping to ensure that we will "Keep holding to a failing course for the next 29 months and leave it to the next administration to clean up the mess. "