Friday, July 13, 2007

Great Moments in Modern Punditry

Little Tommy Friedman, age 7, in Feb. 2005.

MR. FRIEDMAN: I don't think they could possibly be blamed for losing Iraq. We're at a stage now in Iraq, though, Tim, where all the issues that we were debating before--Do we have enough troops on the ground? What is the pace of training?--all the issues related to the Pentagon's performance here are still very much alive. Look what happened just in the last week--I mean, the number of American soldiers killed, the number of Iraqis killed. As much as I want this to succeed, as important as I believe this is, this is not over. It's not over for the Bush administration.

But I do believe that it is so important, and precisely because it's so important, it's too important to be left to the Bush administration alone. Democrats need to be in there. Joe Biden, who was here, gave a lot of good advice during the last two years to Rumsfeld that was ignored--OK?--about troop levels. And I believe that Democrats should be not only participating in this with their enthusiasm but with their ideas, and embracing it and trying to shape it. This is the biggest democratization project in the world going, and one that is fundamental to our national interests. The idea that the Democrats would just sulk on the side and basically put them in a situation where they only succeed if the country fails--that, to me, is as dumb as the day is long.

MR. RUSSERT: Do you think Iraq may be an issue in 2008?

MR. FRIEDMAN: I don't--I'm hoping it won't be. I'm hoping that we'll be beyond it.

While it was apparent at the time, I'm still amazed that our elite political discourse over the past few years has been carried on by shockingly stupid people who bought into transparently absurd premises.