OxBlog

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

# Posted 12:01 AM by Ariel David Adesnik  

NEVER THE TRIUMPHALIST: It's only been a week since the Democrats' triumph, but Kevin Drum is already offering candid criticism of his party's time in power. First, Kevin asks, why the heck is Nancy Pelosi throwing her support to Alcee Hastings instead of Jane Harman for the chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee?

Formerly a judge, Hastings was impeached for taking bribes. In contrast, Harman established a very solid record of expertise and bipartisanship as the Committee's ranking member.

Second of all, Kevin, wants to know whether there's really any good reason for Pelosi to support John Murtha instead of Steny Hoyer for Majority Leader. Murtha still be the president's most furious critic, but he is pro-gun and anti-abortion. He even got a 0% rating from NARAL.

Well, I would savor the irony of Murtha losing out because he is insufficiently liberal, but I still prefer to have him as a Majority Leader in order to demonstrate how irrationality and incoherence are welcomed into the Democratic fold.

Of course, Kevin hasn't given up on criticizing the GOP. Unequivocally, he bashes
the idea that we can surge in another 20,000 troops or so and end the Iraqi violence once and for all. John McCain is one of many running this idea up the flagpole, but it's a suggestion so puerile and reckless it boggles the mind. It's unlikely that 20,000 troops would have made a difference three years ago, let alone now, and he knows it.
"Puerile and reckless"? We don't have enough troops now and 20,000 would certainly help, even if it isn't enough to win. But Kevin's criticism of McCain does balance out his equally harsh criticism of the Democrats, who
...have their own bit of truth they'd just as soon avoid: namely that conservatives are correct when they say that a U.S. pullout would be a disaster for Iraq. War supporters may have only themselves to blame for this state of affairs, but that doesn't make them any less right:

A pullout now would almost certainly touch off a full-scale civil war, the deaths of hundreds of thousands, and the eventual establishment of a Shiite theocracy. It's hardly surprising that no one wants to face up to this, but the fact remains that our continued denial only makes the situation worse with every passing day, virtually guaranteeing a higher body count and an even more brutal end game.
I agree. I just wish Kevin and I had something more cheerful to agree about.
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Comments:
McCain is not running for President; he is running for the Republican nomination. So his describing in moral terms his support for expanding (!) the war is meant to go wide right to win votes in the primaries and in money raising.

Harman certainly deserves the shiv for serving as a Bush water carrier, and she knows it. Her election performance was a little too late. Openly campaigning for the job was really dumb and the AIPAC thing doesn't help.

As for pulling out of Iraq now touching off a wider civil war, I think this is widely held conventional wisdom, but if we've learned anything it's that we don't understand Iraq. We should look at post-independence Algeria for an Arab comparison.
 
John Fund's piece on Murtha in the Wall St. Journal today is pretty ugly reading. It would almost seem suicidal for Pelosi to get Murtha in as Majority Leader. I mean why not just shoot yourself instead of handing the republicans a loaded, and aimed gun...

As for Iraq, I have one question. How will we get the oil out if we leave? I mean I thought this whole war was about oil...
 
McCain doesn't really propose where the troops come from. Afghanistan?

Why are we to assume that 20,000 troops will help, especially when it appears that the Iraqi security forces are so thoroughly mobbed up with militia members?
 
Some possible evidence that McCain may just be guessing.
 
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