Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Baker's Recipe for Iraq

One of my favorite political writers, Michael Kinsley, produces a piece in the Washingon Post today worthy of a read. His basic message is that policy by Commission is no way to run a Democracy. "If we had wanted our country to be run by James Baker, we had our chance," Kinsley notes. This is a solid point. The deference all parties are placing towards Baker is odd, considering his lack of elected office and distance from the People. I suppose desperate times call for desperate measures, but at least many top Democrats, including Senator Joe Biden, have dared to put their Iraq solutions into substantive form. "The chance that this group of aging white men, plus Vernon Jordan and Sandra Day O'Connor, will come up with something original is not enormous," Kinsley also notes. An ominous reality.

A New York Times mini-profile highlighting John McCain's loner Iraq position exposes the complex disingenuity of demanding more troops in the region after so many years of failure and a national consensus for some form of phased withdrawal. It should come as no surprise that McCain's position is aimed at his "base" instincts, and probably nothing more. The article quotes Leslie Gelb, a former president of the Council on Foreign Relations, saying, “He’s making the bet — and it’s not a crazy bet — that the country doesn’t want to lose. The public realizes we can’t afford to win and probably can’t win, but it doesn’t want to lose. And the Republicans probably won’t nominate anyone who’s prepared to accept that now.”

The State of Denial persists.

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