Perfectly predictable but worth posting anyway just to keep this feud going. Doubtless Ingraham and Levin will have plenty to say this afternoon.

Three things to watch for. First, note his claim that he had a line in there initially specifying that “cold-blooded killers” meant Bush’s cabinet and the Pentagon, but that he took it out before airtime. That doesn’t jibe with what he said on dKos about the writing process in this case, though. Johnny Dollar explains.

Second, the business about how “cold-blooded killers” does apply to some administration officials but not to others, like Colin Powell and possibly Bob Gates, only complicates the problem described in my last post about distinguishing the bad guys from the good. Powell and Gates were more reluctant than Cheney and Rumsfeld to go to war but they weren’t so reluctant as to quit in protest of it. Does that make them … warm-blooded killers? Presumably U.S. troops are excused on grounds of duress, since those who were in the service at the time of the invasion had to either fight or face prison for desertion. What about the guys who later re-enlisted? I assume they’d be excused as having re-upped less out of support for the war than out of loyalty to their comrades — but in that case, how about those who actually are vocally pro-war, like Greyhawk? Does he qualify as a “cold-blooded killer” or is he off the hook too thanks to the Absolute Moral Authority forcefield that prevents the left from criticizing even warriors who support the mission lest they risk political blowback for doing so? There’s no logic here, any more than there is in lefties who refused to enlist to fight the war they support in Afghanistan calling righties chickenhawks for refusing to enlist to fight the war they support in Iraq. It’s expedience dressed up as principle.

Finally, re: his accusation that Ingraham and Levin perceive him as blaming the troops only because they themselves blame the troops (consciously or otherwise), does he really want to play that game? Treating criticism from one’s opponents as a case study in projection? He’ll find a lot of willing participants on our side, especially when it comes to race; why, we won’t even have to leave MSNBC to find examples. Exit question: If Kayo’s such a stalwart troop-supportin’ mensch, how come during the early stages of the Haditha story he was so eager to minimize the good work of 130,000 troops in the field by playing up the questionable actions of a very few? Quote: “the incident for which the entire war may ultimately be remembered.”

Tags: Barack Obama