Greg Sargent spotlights the DNC’s incredibly lame stupid response to RNC chairman Michael Steele’s comments yesterday about Afghanistan, which have gotten him into boiling hot water with Republican leaders:
By all means, Dems should go on the attack against Michael Steele for his wild comments about Afghanistan. But do they really think it’s a good idea to say he’s for cutting and running, is “rooting for failure” and is “betting against our troops”?
[…] The DNC argument for using this script is that Dems rarely attack Republicans as being against the troops, while Republicans go after Dems this way on a nearly daily basis. …
Oh, now there’s a super intelligent explanation… if you’re four years old.
Yes, it’s outrageous and upsetting that “party of war” is now the official Democratic Party slogan — but in another way, isn’t this the more honest position? It’s been obvious for a while now that the Obama administration is as much about endless war as the previous administration was — even though, contrary to Michael Steele’s moronic revisionism, the war itself was not “chosen” by Obama. The decision to escalate the war despite all the evidence that U.S. goals of defeating the Taliban and establishing a stable, un-corrupt government are unachievable was and is Obama’s decision, and we all knew that long before Chairman Steele stuck his foot in his mouth for the umpteenth time.
What I find much more notable about the DNC’s response to Steele is the political blockheadedness of using the same trashy “cut-and-run” argument that Republicans used to attack liberals and Democrats who publicly opposed the Iraq War when George W. Bush was president.
What’s going to be the Democrats’ explanation, after accusing Michael Steele of being a quitter in Afghanistan and of “rooting against the troops,” when the White House is forced — as it will be sooner or later — to pull out of Afghanistan with who knows how many more U.S. troops dead, injured, or permanently disabled and having come no closer to breaking the Taliban’s control or gaining the trust of the Afghan people or ending or significantly reducing the rampant corruption in Afghanistan?
Democrats could have chosen to respond to Steele’s remarks by saying that reasonable people can disagree about U.S. policy in Afghanistan. They could have underscored the differences between this administration’s approach to dissent and the previous one’s, while simultaneously giving this President the flexibility to change his Afghanistan policy without opening his administration to the same accusations of giving up on our troops and on Afghanistan. It was just so incredibly stupid to dilute the impact of the GOP leadership’s horror and fury at Steele undercutting his own party’s position on Afghanistan. Why do that? Democrats kicked away a golden opportunity to just stand back and let the words of the man who is supposed to represent Republican Party unity echo off the windows and walls.
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