Freedom from Blog

Don't call it a comeback . . . .

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Paradise Regained

Ever notice that where we used to talk about how and when Bush would withdraw troops from Iraq, we never talk about that any more? Back in the day, Bush had to answer these questions now and again, on the assumption that we might someday, you know, leave. We talked about "Friedman units" (if it doesn't turn around in 6 months, then well. . . !), speculated about the effect of Rummy's departure, etc. No more. We've all just internalized the fact that Bush fully intends to punt this to the next guy. And I'm not sure he's paid any real consequences for this.

Some of this can be chalked up to the "surge" and recent reductions of violence, and some can be attributed to GWB's short clock. But a lot of the explanation must be that the media attention to the campaign has just sucked all the air out of challenging Bush on the war. Meanwhile, McCain gets more deferential treatment on such questions simply because he's McCain. Otherwise his "not too important" quote yesterday would have been huge, especially paired with the negotiations over permanent bases in Iraq and Bush's saber-rattling on Iran. Maybe it will matter down the road. Getting these guys on the record does matter. But right now the press would rather talk about the resignation one of the guys Obama had vetting veeps. Perspective, people?


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