Reid on the Surge
by Chris Bowers, Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 05:42:44 PM EST
- 1. I believe we should start redeploying troops in 4 to 6 months (The Levin-Reed Plan) and complete the withdrawal of combat forces by the first quarter of 2008. (As laid out by the Iraq Study Group)
- 2. The President must understand that there can only be a political solution in Iraq, and he must end our nation's open-ended military commitment to that country.
- 3. These priorities need to be coupled with a renewed diplomatic effort and regional strategy.
Or, maybe, there are elements in the blogosphere who are exactly like the establishment media that we so decry, and are not willing to cut any Democratic leaders any slack on any statements they ever make. Maybe there are some people, even in the progressive blogosphere, who drool at even the slimmest opportunity to attack Democratic leaders. Maybe the people attacking Reid online were acting exactly like the media pundits who couldn't trip over themselves fast enough to pounce on Kerry's one-word misstatement of a pre-written speech everyone in the media had a copy of beforehand--thereby knowing it was simply a mistake--in order to find any way possible to make Democratic leaders look bad, no matter how utterly unjustified and unfair. Maybe there are some people desperate for any proof that Democratic leaders are not progressive enough to deserve their support, thereby validating their personal identities as purely moral, progressive martyrs who are permanently un-represented by anyone with any actual power in American politics.
I would imply that there were people like this online, but then I would be engaging in the strawmen tactics I often decry. Even if I wasn't doing that, and I named names among bloggers who were unfair to Reid because he made one unfortunate comment, then I would be abusing my podium to make less powerful members of the netroots and blogosphere look bad. And I suppose, if it were not for the outcry, Reid would not have made such a clear statement on his opposition to escalation in Iraq. Or, maybe there was a way to encourage him to do that without acting an an utterly hysterical manner that only fueled the MSM buzz on the subject.
Since I am not going to talk about any of that, my original statement on this entire episode stands: now that we are in the majority, we need to move past endless parsing of the words our leaders say, and focus instead on the policies they intend to pursue. It was ridiculous in the first place to think that Reid supported troop escalation in Iraq, considering that he voted for a timeline thirteen months ago. Even if it wasn't ridiculous, we shouldn't have been parsing his words. Rather,we should have been focusing on his proposed oversight measures and legislative policy proposals, and critiquing those. We are not in the minority anymore, and we are not Republicans. In both cases, this means that our politics is more than our message. It is time we started acting that way. We have to make the transition to power online, too.
Update: What Atrios said.