Monday, December 05, 2005

Flip-Flopping vs. Bull-Headed Stupidity

The manner in which the U.S. media describes the Democratic and Republican ideas about how to get out of Iraq could be summarized as done in my heading for this post, but only because I feel very generous today. In reality, the media contrasts Democratic disarray and flip-floppery and internal fights with the clear plan of Republicans (which happens to be a really stupid one, too). The neutrality of the media requires bashing of the Democrats:

It didn't take long for the Republicans to pounce. "Nancy Pelosi's flip-flop on troop withdrawal further demonstrates the deep division and chronic indecision that exist within the Democrat Party on the war on terror," New York Rep. Tom Reynolds, head of the House Republican Campaign Committee, told Reuters earlier this week. The Washington Times says Republican leaders are "delighted" by the "chaos" among Democrats. When the Democrat running against Tom DeLay in 2006 finds himself forced to say whether he supports the "Pelosi-Murtha" plan for Iraq, it's easy to see why the GOP might be pleased.

The Democratic Leadership Council's Marshall Wittmann tells the Post that the Democrats' response on Iraq -- and, in particular, Pelosi's public flip-flop -- plays right into the hands of Republicans who need to convince the public that the opposition still can't be trusted on matters of national security. "If Karl Rove was writing the timing of this, he wouldn't have written it any differently, with the president of the United States expressing resolve and the Democratic leader offering surrender," Wittmann said. "For Republicans, this is manna from heaven."

It is true that some Democrats are in deep shit because they voted for the war initially and now want to be publicly opposed to it. But we all know what lay behind the yes-vote. At the time of that vote a nay-vote was seen as political suicide. We were all firmly behind George Bush then, weren't we? The whole country wore little wingnut-masks and waved little American flags, and every single politician knew that voting against the war would probably be identical to retiring from politics. Yes, this was contemptible but such are human beings.

I prefer confusion and flip-floppery to a plan which just maps the shortest road to hell for more and more people. And no, the two parties are not in the wrong by an equal amount.