Earth To Village - Iraq Isn't A Process Story
by Josh Orton, Tue Jun 17, 2008 at 12:02:11 PM EDT
Stoller snags a clip from "Morning Joe" this morning that looks at MoveOn.org's new TV ad about Iraq:
Chuck Todd, NBC's political director, calls the ad "borderline shameless." Joe Scarborough laments that no matter what the candidates say about the tone of the campaign, independent groups are going to get in the mud.
I like Chuck Todd. And I think the idea of Todd replacing Russert on Meet the Press might be a good one.
But this clip is a good reminder that there are very few pundits on national TV (or in print for that matter) who don't, at some point, treat Iraq like a process story.
This happens frequently - too often the political press doesn't consider it their job to actually examine the substance of a political argument. Just last week, I gave Marc Ambinder a hard time for complaining that progressives were taking McCain's comments about the importance of when our troops come home "out of context." The criticism only takes McCain's comments "out of context" if you assume McCain's notion of a peaceful, long-term occupation is possible.
Something similar happens here - there's absolutely no effort to explore the substance of the ad.
There's a profound difference in Iraq policy between the two candidates running for President. John McCain cavalierly suggests that he would be fine with an occupation of Iraq for 100 years, as long as casualties end. But under no imaginable circumstance is that possible. So where Chuck Todd sees a "borderline shameful" ad and Joe Scarborough crows about independent groups getting into the mud, others see a powerful but fair ad that translates the possible consequences of McCain's disastrous Iraq policy into a tangible, real-world reality.