Awkward: Dems trying to recast Petraeus as a savior

posted at 1:36 pm on June 29, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

David Petraeus trudged up to Capitol Hill today to win a certain confirmation from the Senate, and one has to wonder whether the general is considering the odd twists of history that have surrounded him.  Today, he’s the heroic commander tapped by Barack Obama in desperation to salvage his Afghanistan surge and to reinstill confidence in the war.  Three years ago, Obama’s allies in Congress and on the Left painted Petraeus as a very different figure, and The Hill reports on the awkward position Democrats now face:

Liberal advocacy groups and senators at the time accused Petraeus of misrepresenting the success of the surge of nearly 40,000 troops. …

[Harry] Reid told CNN in April of 2007 he did not believe Petraeus’s claim that the surge was working in Iraq.

“I don’t believe him, because it’s not happening,” Reid said. “All you have to do is look at the facts.”

At a press conference a few months later, Reid said: “For someone, whether it’s Gen. Petraeus or anyone else, to say things are great in Baghdad isn’t in touch with what’s going on in Baghdad, even though he’s there and I’m not.”

In other words, the Senate Majority Leader strongly implied that Petraeus was either a liar or a fool three years ago.  Nor was he the only Democrat in the Senate to have made that accusation.  When Republicans offered a resolution defending Petraeus “and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus,” 25 Democrats voted against the resolution, including Hillary Clinton, Dick Durbin, Harry Reid, and Carl Levin, chair of the Armed Forces Committee.

What about Barack Obama, the Commander in Chief who wants Petraeus to rescue them from the debacle of Stanley McChrystal’s exit?  He didn’t vote at all, although he was certainly present.  Obama voted in favor of a measure that would have forced a retreat from Iraq on that same day in the very next roll call vote.  He also voted in favor of an amendment prior to the Petraeus vote that offered similar support for men and women in uniform but failed to mention Petraeus.  When it came time to defending the honor of the man Obama now needs to help him win a victory, then-Senator Obama was nowhere to be found.

Now as Democrats hail Petraeus on his return to the Hill, they’re also balking at funding his efforts:

House Democratic leaders are having difficulty convincing rank-and-file colleagues to vote for a military supplemental spending bill funding the war.

Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.) wrote a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) last week asking her to postpone a vote on war funding after Obama fired McChrystal. …

Obama said Sunday that there’s “a lot of obsession” about the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. He said he is focused on ensuring the success of the military mission.

The president has said he will begin withdrawing troops in July of 2011, but warned that he will not “suddenly turn off the lights and let the door close behind us.”

This position has war critics, including Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), unsatisfied. Feingold, who is up for reelection this year, wants more specific information on the size of next year’s force reduction.

I doubt this will disturb Petraeus much, although he will undoubtedly emphasize that reliable resourcing is critical to his mission’s success.  He’s used to dealing with two-faced Democrats these days, and just as accustomed to proving them wrong.

Update: Corrected a problem where I used “they” instead of “he”; thanks to Dave R for the heads-up.


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..oh what a tangled web we weave, etc.

The War Planner on June 29, 2010 at 1:38 PM


When it came time to defending the honor of the man Obama now needs to help him win a victory, then-Senator Obama was nowhere to be found.

ted c on June 29, 2010 at 1:39 PM

What do you expect from a group of spineless, unprincipled hacks?

blatantblue on June 29, 2010 at 1:41 PM

I’d love him to do a “nice to be back” reference to make them squirm a little, but it would likely be counterproductive.

cs89 on June 29, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Think of the convenience for PBHO though if the war would to end badly during his tenure, he could resurrect the “BetrayUs” meme and it would be perfectly acceptable to the leftist hypocrites. “Don’t blame PBHO, blame that uniformed thug over there.”

Bishop on June 29, 2010 at 1:42 PM

They have no shame.

Terrye on June 29, 2010 at 1:44 PM

Awkward: Dems trying to recast Petraeus as a savior

To belief and trust Democrats takes a “willing suspension of disbelief.”

olesparkie on June 29, 2010 at 1:45 PM

Obama might finally get around to voting on the condemnation of the betrayus ad. Or not. You know. Either way.

lorien1973 on June 29, 2010 at 1:46 PM

General Betray-Us, you’re our only hope!

Get out of my head.

upinak on June 29, 2010 at 1:47 PM

They’re all a bunch of Weigels.

the_nile on June 29, 2010 at 1:48 PM

The Donks ain’t foolin’ nobody but themselves on this one.

Heh.

Bruno Strozek on June 29, 2010 at 1:48 PM

Don’t get me wrong, I think Petraeus is a fine general, but I hope somebody asks him about his health.

That’s kind of important. Since he is now going to be (by default) the Commander In Chief of the Middle East.

logis on June 29, 2010 at 1:49 PM

they’re also balking at funding his efforts:

Duh. ..is this new?

Skandia Recluse on June 29, 2010 at 1:49 PM

I have learned to ignore anything that comes after the following phrases:

“Obama said Sunday that there’s …………”

“He said he is focused on ……………”

“The president has said he will …………”

Why bother reading on?

fogw on June 29, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Democrats worship at the alter of satanism.

csdeven on June 29, 2010 at 1:50 PM

We were against him before we were for him.

-Donks

red winger on June 29, 2010 at 1:51 PM

Why bother reading on?

fogw on June 29, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Because sometimes you need a good laugh?

JohnGalt23 on June 29, 2010 at 1:53 PM

It’ll be a very funny day when Gen. McChrystal runs…as VP, for either side.

Hillary/McChrystal

Any Republican/McChrystal

…2012…see how many heads will explode…

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2010 at 1:53 PM

recast Petraeus as a savior

And obama’s fate turns on this guy. There must be a God, no one else could come up with something as divinely ironic as this.

jeanie on June 29, 2010 at 1:53 PM

The Democrats can’t even do a bug-out right.

SlaveDog on June 29, 2010 at 1:53 PM

To belief and trust Democrats takes a “willing suspension of disbelief.”

olesparkie on June 29, 2010 at 1:45 PM

I would need a block-and-tackle to suspend my disbelief that far.

JohnGalt23 on June 29, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Petraeus went to Congress and asked the Democrats to willingly suspend their disbelief, and promised the Secretary of State that no one would shoot her in Tuzla.

Steve Z on June 29, 2010 at 1:55 PM

When it came time to defending the honor of the man Obama now needs to help him win a victory, then-Senator Obama was nowhere to be found.

Will this history repeat itself? I certainly hope not. GEN Petraeus was cast aside when he needed Mr. Obama’s help—now Mr. Obama needs GEN Petraeus’ help. Is this relationship beginning from a position of mutual trust and respect? How do these two reconcile this awkward history? Is the GEN going to be asked to produce a miracle and/or then be scapegoated if he cannot?

ted c on June 29, 2010 at 1:55 PM

It doesn’t matter, libs will get a pass. They do this all the time, whatever a conservative does is wrong, whatever a liberal does is right, even if it’s exactly the same thing…liberals only standard is, if it comes from a conservative, destroy it…if it comes from a liberal embrace it.

right2bright on June 29, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Penny for Hillary’s thoughts…if the earth could swallow all the hypocrits…it w/b a much better world.

Schadenfreude on June 29, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Liberals are, quite simply, unserious people.

BuckeyeSam on June 29, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Republicans suck but Democrats swallow.

The Race Card on June 29, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Republicans suck but Democrats swallow.

The Race Card on June 29, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Would you rather swallow or suck? Thank you very much.

The Race Card on June 29, 2010 at 1:57 PM

that pic….heh. cue *Stripes*

BHO: “Are those my men down there, General?”
GEN: “ummm, no sir, these men down here are your men.”
BHO: “Oh yes, of course…”
GEN: *sigh*

ted c on June 29, 2010 at 1:57 PM

House Democratic leaders are having difficulty convincing rank-and-file colleagues to vote for a military supplemental spending bill funding the war.

Democrats to Petraeus: Go kick some Taliban butt, but don’t ask us to buy you any bullets. Bring a knife to a gunfight!

Steve Z on June 29, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Would you rather swallow or suck? Thank you very much.

Whatever I do I would prefer that you not be a party too. FYI, I pronounce “privacy” priv-uh-see. Thanks yourself.

The Race Card on June 29, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Republicans suck but Democrats swallow.

The Race Card on June 29, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Republicans suck but Democrats swallow.

The Race Card on June 29, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Would you rather swallow or suck? Thank you very much.

The Race Card on June 29, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Would you rather swallow or suck? Thank you very much.

Whatever I do I would prefer that you not be a party too. FYI, I pronounce “privacy” priv-uh-see. Thanks yourself.

The Race Card on June 29, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Are you talking to yourself or are there 2 Race Cards?

Electrongod on June 29, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Clearly, Petraeus is ta’veren.

hawksruleva on June 29, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Republicans suck but Democrats swallow.
The Race Card on June 29, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Would you rather swallow or suck? Thank you very much.
The Race Card on June 29, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Whatever I do I would prefer that you not be a party too. FYI, I pronounce “privacy” priv-uh-see. Thanks yourself.
The Race Card on June 29, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Whatever crazyass kind of argument you’re having with yourself — take it somewhere else.

logis on June 29, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Hypocrisy is a strong suit amongst Democrats. They revel in it.

GarandFan on June 29, 2010 at 2:06 PM

General Betray-Us, you’re our only hope!

The Democratic Party… You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. We must be cautious.

These jokes write themselves. ;-)

itzWicks on June 29, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Lie, back fill, lie, back fill …

Wouldn’t it have been better to tell the truth in the first place.

tarpon on June 29, 2010 at 2:09 PM

Are you talking to yourself or are there 2 Race Cards?
Electrongod on June 29, 2010 at 2:02 PM

He forgot to switch personae during the conversation, it happens to the trolls here from time to time. Getalife used to do it all the time.

Bishop on June 29, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Are you talking to yourself or are there 2 Race Cards?

Electrongod on June 29, 2010 at 2:02 PM

Sounds like a classic case of looking for an argument….

tom on June 29, 2010 at 2:10 PM

NO budget
Asking to postpone funding the troops?
And Feingold wants “specific numbers” of troop reductions?
Sen Feingold,
What more information do you want to pass on to Al-q and the Taliban?

Get these people out of office!

So Nancy’s threat yesterday about a sizeable troop reduction is quite genuine. How can you keep troops in the field if she plays her wait-6 months- game?

journeyintothewhirlwind on June 29, 2010 at 2:12 PM

Has anyone broken out the “Oceana has always been at war with Eurasia” line yet?

Count to 10 on June 29, 2010 at 2:14 PM

Now as Democrats hail Petraeus on his return to the Hill, they’re also balking at funding his efforts:

…liberals are such a joke.


…..Since Obama has been elected..we have watched the liberals:

…..go from yelling and screaming in the streets that”war is not the answer”,” War criminals”,” impeach the murderer”…..to hanging out in coffee shops supporting Obama waging war,using the same policies, and calling it smart power.

……We have Obama’s pockets full of BP money,exempting BP from all kinds of inspections,regulations,and turning the emergency response to the worst environmental disaster this country has ever seen, into one huge clusterfu#k ……and the self-righteous environmental groups proceed to do their best “see no evil..hear no evil..speak no evil” impressions as they give Obama a pass in hopes of getting their legislative agenda passed.

…..liberals praising Petraeus to help other liberals wage war after spending years calling him a liar and a failure,is a small act of hypocrisy compared to all the other positions they have given a pass to their progressive leadership on.

….The democratic platform is built on lies and hypocrisy…..

….liberals have no credibility what-so-ever.

Baxter Greene on June 29, 2010 at 2:15 PM

Are you talking to yourself or are there 2 Race Cards?

Electrongod on June 29, 2010 at 2:02 PM

As far as I can tell, yes — though I can’t always tell them apart.
They don’t like each other much.

Count to 10 on June 29, 2010 at 2:16 PM

Are you talking to yourself or are there 2 Race Cards?
Electrongod on June 29, 2010 at 2:02 PM

He forgot to switch personae during the conversation, it happens to the trolls here from time to time. Getalife used to do it all the time.

Bishop on June 29, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Is that what it was. Sad.

Electrongod on June 29, 2010 at 2:16 PM

He forgot to switch personae during the conversation, it happens to the trolls here from time to time. Getalife used to do it all the time.

Bishop on June 29, 2010 at 2:10 PM

I don’t think so. The ‘other’ The Race Card is generally pretty astute and reasonable. So, if they are actually the same person, it would be more likely that the race baiting The Race Card is a sock puppet of the other one.

Count to 10 on June 29, 2010 at 2:18 PM

Are you talking to yourself or are there 2 Race Cards?
Electrongod on June 29, 2010 at 2:02 PM

He forgot to switch personae during the conversation, it happens to the trolls here from time to time. Getalife used to do it all the time.
Bishop on June 29, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Apparently he still does.

This Blog goes for stretches of time with relatively little troll traffic, and then “several” of them will start cross-posting like crazy for a few hours like this (just a minute or two between posts) then “they” will suddenly stop again. That’s not a random pattern.

logis on June 29, 2010 at 2:19 PM

Petraeus in 2012

mechkiller_k on June 29, 2010 at 2:19 PM

Are you talking to yourself or are there 2 Race Cards?
Electrongod on June 29, 2010 at 2:02 PM

As far as I can tell, yes — though I can’t always tell them apart. They don’t like each other He doesn’t like himself much.
Count to 10 on June 29, 2010 at 2:16 PM

I think that describes all liberals.

logis on June 29, 2010 at 2:22 PM

I think that describes all liberals.

logis on June 29, 2010 at 2:22 PM

Haven’t you seen them arguing before?
It’s the ‘other’ The Race Card that usually gets the last word. Not very troll like, if you ask me.

Count to 10 on June 29, 2010 at 2:23 PM

I have been waiting for this since the day Petraus was announced. Sit back and much popcorn as the Left twists themselves into knots.

Hi-freakin’-larious.

crazy_legs on June 29, 2010 at 2:25 PM

It’s too bad our generals have to fight not only a vicious enemy in the field, but the dominant political class at home as well. The military deserve our prayers and support. May they get the CIC they deserve.

paul1149 on June 29, 2010 at 2:26 PM

He forgot to switch personae during the conversation, it happens to the trolls here from time to time. Getalife used to do it all the time.

Bishop on June 29, 2010 at 2:10 PM

I missed that part-what was getalife’s “other” persona named?

Del Dolemonte on June 29, 2010 at 2:30 PM

What is much more embarrassing than Dems trying to recast Petraeus as a savior is so called conservatives viewing Mr. COIN as any kind of savior.

Tav on June 29, 2010 at 2:30 PM

I missed that part-what was getalife’s “other” persona named?
Del Dolemonte on June 29, 2010 at 2:30 PM

getalife.

Who cares what the other names were? Trying to figure out how many sweaty palms are on how many keyboards is a waste of time. Add all the libtrolls together, and you don’t get a grand total of ONE complete personality among them, let enough to warrant keeping making spreadsheets to keep track of them.

logis on June 29, 2010 at 2:36 PM

So, at this point, who could object with a Petraeus for President campaign?

hawksruleva on June 29, 2010 at 2:37 PM

I was against General Betrayus before I was for General Patraeus.

/Libtards

Key West Reader on June 29, 2010 at 2:39 PM

..Since Obama has been elected..we have watched the liberals:

…..go from yelling and screaming in the streets that”war is not the answer”,” War criminals”,” impeach the murderer”…..to hanging out in coffee shops supporting Obama waging war,using the same policies, and calling it smart power.

Baxter Greene on June 29, 2010 at 2:15 PM

The Left actually filed a claim at The Hague accusing, among others, Colon-Blow Powell with “War Crimes”.

Then they mysteriously rehabilitated him as a “hero” after he endorsed O’bama.

Del Dolemonte on June 29, 2010 at 2:40 PM

So, at this point, who could object with a Petraeus for President campaign?
hawksruleva on June 29, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Obviously Obama couldn’t oppose him without a complete reversal.

But that’s never stopped him before.

logis on June 29, 2010 at 2:40 PM

Post-Modern COIN-age of a Failed Policy—McChrystal, Tocqueville, and the Koran

We have only two legitimate strategic interests in so-called “Af-Pak”:

1) First and foremost, seizing and destroying or removing Pakistan’s nukes

2) Second, destroying Afghanistan’s –and the Taliban’s—odious “cash crop”–opium

If the US is unwilling to pursue these two basic strategic aims, we should withdraw, lest our brave combat soldiers–subjected as they are to our heinous, COIN-based ROEs–become victim to the hopeless malaise characterized so aptly by Rudyard Kipling in his “The Young British Soldier”

When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains

McChrystal’s superficial, bowdlerized pieties on the Koran, and Petraeus’ complete neglect of this foundational Islamic text, contrast starkly with the contemplative, first hand observations on the Koran (and Islam) made by Alexis de Tocqueville. Shortly after his return from America, Tocqueville studied North African Islamic culture and history which included an analysis of the Koran and made two visits to Algeria, becoming one of the foremost experts on these matters, while serving as a French parliamentarian.

The entire COIN strategy is a fraud perpetuated on the American people. The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world is utter nonsense.

Petraeus’s “COIN” strategy, particularity as applied to Afghanistan, is a fraud on a par with Al Gore’s AGW.

Tav on June 29, 2010 at 2:41 PM

Update: Corrected a problem where I used “they” instead of “he”; thanks to Dave R for the heads-up.

An easy mistake to make in reference to a two-faced scumbag.

year_of_the_dingo on June 29, 2010 at 2:47 PM

“Your mistake, if I may be so bold, was promotion. Commanding a Starship is your first best destiny. Anything else is a waste of material.”

- Spock from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn after James T. Kirk re-assumes command of the Enterprise, a position typically thought to beneath his rank of Admiral.

BohicaTwentyTwo on June 29, 2010 at 2:49 PM

I guess Barry inherited him from Bush.

RobCon on June 29, 2010 at 2:49 PM

You would have to wonder, what would George think of all of this?

And I don’t mean Washington.

I mean PATTON!

pilamaye on June 29, 2010 at 2:55 PM

General “Please-Save-Us”

The general gets to hit the Taliban and make the Dems look bad. A two-fer

Hening on June 29, 2010 at 3:13 PM

CIC Barack Obama brings “smart power” to bear on his Afghanistan strategy…

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w110/pitmangraphics/obamaasCaptStillman.jpg

tpitman on June 29, 2010 at 3:28 PM

He forgot to switch personae during the conversation, it happens to the trolls here from time to time. Getalife used to do it all the time.

Bishop on June 29, 2010 at 2:10 PM

As far as I can tell, yes — though I can’t always tell them apart.
They don’t like each other much.

Count to 10 on June 29, 2010 at 2:16 PM

They’re both the same person and same account, no sock puppetry. It’s just a thing he does.

Esthier on June 29, 2010 at 3:55 PM

2) Second, destroying Afghanistan’s –and the Taliban’s—odious “cash crop”–opium

Tav on June 29, 2010 at 2:41 PM

That’s an American value judgement. If the Afghans want to grow opium, I’ve no problem with that. But I DO have a problem with them using the Taliban and Al Qaeda to move their drugs. The point is to starve our enemies of money, locate our enemies, and destroy them or force them to surrender. Fighting a drug war isn’t something we need to do.

Put another way – if the Afghan government was getting all of the opium revenue, that’d be less money that we’d need to send them.

hawksruleva on June 29, 2010 at 4:02 PM

It’s just like Afghanistan was the “good war” and Iraq the “bad war” with the Liberals…until Iraq became a success.
Before General Petraeus was a liar and a failure with these Liberals, but now he’s the perfect man for the job, becasue if he isn’t, then that means Obama isn’t so Brilliant!

OxyCon on June 29, 2010 at 4:21 PM

Petraeus in 2012

mechkiller_k on June 29, 2010 at 2:19 PM

..would that be ironic or what? After getting beaten up by the left and Senator Pantload, he gets called up to save P[OS]OTUS Pantload’s ass, kicks the crap out of the Taliban, and then kicks The Pantload out of office.

Too delicious for words!

The War Planner on June 29, 2010 at 4:51 PM

He forgot to switch personae during the conversation, it happens to the trolls here from time to time. Getalife used to do it all the time.

Bishop on June 29, 2010 at 2:10 PM

Amateur hour at the sock-puppet show.

mr.blacksheep on June 29, 2010 at 5:01 PM

Once again I find myself both savoring the irony, and shaking my head in stunned amazement.

Now the Jug Eared Messiah’s staff will be workin’ overtime on a way to blame Bush for McChrystal debacle – watch!!

Tim_CA on June 29, 2010 at 11:54 PM

Small wonder the man was just confirmed unanimously.

Dark-Star on June 30, 2010 at 4:09 PM