In fairness, by “us” he seems to be referring to the House Democratic leadership, not the left as a whole. For the left a good progress report is no problem at all; they’ll shrug it off, dismiss Petraeus as a Bush stooge who’s probably racist and secretly gay, and go right on pounding on about withdrawal. For the leadership, a good report is a headache: it might encourage the Blue Dogs to side with the GOP to continue the mission, thereby leaving Pelosi with a howling anti-war base and no way to placate them. The “big problem,” in other words, is the nutroots’ absolute commitment to withdrawal colliding with facts that support a hope, however slender, of stabilizing the country if we stay on. John Burns still thinks it’s possible, as he told Hewitt last night, and the Pentagon very quietly is making plans for the next rotation of troops into 2008 to give it a shot. The question is whether there’s any reason to believe Maliki and co. are going to get their act together. Reportedly there’s a movement within his own party to push him out and corruption among the Iraqi ministries — especially the ministry of health, which is essentially being run by Mahdi Army — remains “untouchable.”

Click the image, select the second clip in the sidebar, and fast forward to 3:20 to watch. To his credit, Clyburn does go on to say that “none of us want to see a bad result in Iraq.” That’s a lie but a well meaning one. When you’re done, go read Bizzy Blog and see how Nancy Boyda dealt with her own case of cognitive dissonance.

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