“Left” in this case meaning the lefty blogosphere, of course. So toxic is the cynicism involved — as Ace puts it, “You… um… voiced support of a real serious-as-death war to cadge votes out of a duped public?” — that only someone with nothing to lose professionally would cop to it, which is why you’ll never hear The One or Pelosi or even Tom Friedman mouthing these sentiments. Our Democratic political/pundit class will go on playing the “we really wanted to win, but…” game and the rest of us will go on seeing right through it.
Serious question about their “good war” lie: Was it really a lie if no one was fooled?
Escalation is a bad idea. The Democrats backed themselves into defending the idea of Afghanistan being The Good War because they felt they needed to prove their macho bonafides they called for withdrawal from Iraq. Nobody asked too many questions sat the time, including me. But none of us should forget that it was a political strategy, not a serious foreign policy.
There have been many campaign promises “adjusted” since the election. There is no reason that the administration should feel any more bound to what they said about this than all the other committments [sic] it has blithely turned aside in the interest of “pragmatism.”
The only surprise here is the idea that campaign promises about war are to be taken no more or less lightly than, say, promises about gay marriage — another subject on which Obama transparently dissembled during the campaign to appease centrists. Feigning support for a mission launched in response to 9/11 to win an election is one thing; shrugging about it afterwards is another, and goes way, way beyond “blithe” unless you’re a stalwart dove or the type of see-no-evil sucker who laps up leftist canards about how Sunni and Shiite jihadists would never work together. But save the outrage: The lesson to draw, especially if you’re an independent, is that Democrats can’t be trusted to prosecute even a “good war,” even if it’s one that they explicitly promised to prosecute. Internalize that point, because I promise, it’s being internalized in Iran and Russia as I write this.