The WaPos Fred Hiatt wrote this column, quite critical of the Bush Administrations conduct of the Iraq War, but also of the typical Democratic critique, which focuses on if and when someone lied. Heres Hiatt on Bush:
President Bush can lash out at the Democrats, as he did Friday, but ultimately they are mostly exploiting public opinion; he is largely responsible for shaping it. And had he been more honest from the start about the likely difficulties of war, readier to deal with them and then more open in acknowledging his failures, the public likely would be more patient.
Heres Hiatt on the Democratic critics:
Congress...pours most of its Iraq-related energy into allegations of manipulated intelligence before the war.
"Those arent irrelevant questions," says Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.). "But the more they dominate the public debate, the harder it is to sustain public support for the war."
What Lieberman doesnt say is that many Democrats would view such an outcome as an advantage. Their focus on 2002 is a way to further undercut President Bush, and Bushs war, without taking the risk of offering an alternative strategy -- to satisfy their withdraw-now constituents without being accountable for a withdraw-now position.
Many of them understand that dwindling public support could force the United States into a self-defeating position, and that defeat in Iraq would be disastrous for the United States as well as for Mahdi and his countrymen. But the taste of political blood as Bush weakens, combined with their embarrassment at having supported the war in the first place, seems to override that understanding.
Quoting liberally from Joe Lieberman and Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi, Hiatt is critical of both the Administration and the Democratic opposition. Still, thats not good enough for this Kos-sack, who accuses Hiatt of practicing "the new McCarthyism" and of being "a Bush media lackey of the first order." Whew!
Hat tip: NROs The Corner.