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May 30, 2007




I agree with you that, overall, this is a very smart and incisive piece from Harold Myerson. However, while I would love to be able to attribute the incrementalist approach he cites to today's Congrssional Democrats, there is an important piece missing.

While in the Vietnam Era, there were indeed successive, incremental moves that ultimately served to extract the U.S. from that conflict, what was missing from the most recent supplemental spending bill for Iraq was any sort of progress on restraining the Iraq War, incremental or otherwise. Certainly, there was some loose talk about "benchmarks," but even those are advisory only - there is no penalty if they aren't met.

I have been generally impressed by Nancy Pelosi (less so by Harry Reid), but with the utter capitulation of the Democrats to President Bush with the last supplemental, I think Myserson gives them far too much credit for doing anything to advance the end of the war.


Myerson is beyond naive if he doesn't understand the difference between the American public now and during Vietnam. There was a draft during Vietnam, which was what powered the anti-war movement -- the reality that everyone was potential meat for the war grinder. It's not like that today and, as a result, Americans are separated from this war as none before. The Democrats are acting as if a few hundred or thousand more deaths don't mean anything as long as they play nice. Defunding required no majority, only spine from the leaeders, and they had none. My congressperson, California Dem. Susan Davis wrote back to me yesterday in response to my letter expressing my disgust for supporting this bill and capitulating to Bush. Her letter was B.S., marked by comments that sounded right from the Republican fear machine, and then she included this line that says it all:

"I would not have voted for this measure if I thought it meant the war would end soon."

If Myerson thinks this is the mindset leading to a quick end to this war, or an end in the next decade, he is out of his mind.

We are going to occupy that country indefinitely to secure oil. Myerson seems completely ignorant of this. Does he not understand the REAL reason Iraq was invaded.

CL Tamaz

What about Froomkin? He daily pillories all things Bush, in exhaustive and extensive detail. If he's something other than a progressive I want to know party it is, because I'll be in line signing up.

But, your post was dead-on!


With friends like these, who needs enemies?!

Meyerson dances for the DLC as proclaims Pelosi and Reid to be the best anti-war leaders possible.

The Dems continue to fall for the line that they'll be portrayed as weak on defense. If you can't win when 70% of the public is behind you, when can you win? How much of the public has to oppose the war before the Dems will stick their necks on the line?? 80%?? 90%??

As long as Meyerson supports antiwar Democrats who don't actually stop the war, I don't think he'll have any problem keeping his job at the Post.


Speaking of Froomkin and Meyerson, I read Meyerson's good column courtesy of Froomkin's link yesterday.

Meyerson's right on about the situation in Iraq, which the Bushies refuse to discuss honestly.

He's on shakier ground talking about the Dems in Congress. I think he's right that all is not lost, but still, their bill was a disappointment. Of course the Dems aren't as bad as the Republicans, and I understand the feeling, but I get really sick of hearing those sort of false equivalencies. The Dems do need more pressure to get it in gear, though. We can't afford to wait four years for this occupation to end.



I think we agree. I think Harold's point, however, is more about keeping in mind the limitations inherent in the something as hulking as the legislature and less an apologia for the actual steps Pelosi and Reid have taken. Maybe a little more could be done at the margins, but in the end they're at the helm of a battleship when the waters require a motorboat.


I don't think we know enough to know what Iraqis want. Those who are not willing to slaughter one another are not being heard right now. While I advocate that we pull out asap, this is because our staying is not helping. But Meyerson's "analysis" allows us to assuage our guilt -- leave them to their just if violent ends. The even worse tragedy is that the many (perhaps majority) of Iraqis who do want a non-sectarian, secular, pluralistic society will be even more hopelessly put at the mercy of Iraq's version of the wingnuts. This will be our lasting legacy, our eternal shame. Perhaps the Democratic so-called leadership knows this too and just can't face it. I have a lot of trouble doing so myself.

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