He ducked Jake Tapper when Tapper put the question to him at a press conference last week, but he had nowhere to run to this morning and Bob Schieffer took advantage. So what’s his answer to ethnic cleansing? A two-step plan: (1) hint that genocide couldn’t be worse than what’s happening now, expert opinion to the contrary notwithstanding, and (2) remind the listener that he’s not calling for precipitous withdrawal but for a partial drawdown with a new emphasis on training the Iraqi army, even though that’ll prove extraordinarily dangerous for the trainers while accomplishing little.
It’s good to finally have him on record, though. It’ll come in handy later. As will his comments about Pakistan at the beginning of the clip — “we should go after them wherever they are,” a sentiment that will change instantly if and when Bush takes his advice and there’s an outcry from the, ahem, Muslim street — and at the end about the inadvisability of Russ Feingold’s censure measure. I don’t see why Reid wouldn’t dig that, actually. Trying to impeach Bush in the middle of the war would catch the Democrats all kinds of flak, even from a public that’s turned against him (although they may yet try), but forcing the GOP to filibuster a non-binding censure measure would be a shrewd move. If, as expected, Bush will be politically radioactive next fall, logically the left should do everything they can to force incumbent Republicans to defend him on the record. Expect Reid’s tune to change on that one in a few months, too.
The stuff at the end about Bush and Greenspan is gravy.
Update: In my haste to get this up, I forgot to note two egregious lies Reid floats here. One is where, in the course of his Iraq answer, he says the Sunni, Shia, and Kurds are all trying to kill U.S. troops. Really? American soldiers are on the Kurdish hit list? Scroll down and look for the comment from John from OPFOR for the second lie.