David Brooks brings up a point about the Democrats in his NYTimes column today. Because the Democrat party presidential aspirants are so alike (at this point), there’s not much discussion of policy going on. Which is a problem, because there is likely to be some when the nominee is chosen. For example, what would happen if a Democratic President made good on that pledge to withdraw troops within sixty days? Brooks brings up the hue and cry the military and conservative politicians would raise. Kind of defeats the whole “unite the country” thing, Ms Clinton or Mr. Obama.
My first question is, what would happen to the people who stayed behind, waiting their turn to leave? Even if we were able to get all our people out without huge casualties or a last stand, and the private contractors got out too, what then would to Iraq? How would Americans feel watching a civil war in this country we were supposed to “liberate”, watching thousands die and a strong man come in. That would be an interesting polling question: “would you favor staying in Iraq if the alternative was genocide?”
The Democrats have long and loudly proclaimed their support for the troops. But I can see a debate moderator asking the Democrat nominee to explain to the families of a slain soldier or to a soldier with amputated legs or what have you how the Iraq invasion and occupation was “worth it”. I don’t think it would be any good to just blame Bush (even if that might well be accurate).
I was never fond of the “you break it, you bought it” metaphor, but I don’t think you can really get away with “you break it, you bought it, you can take it back five years later”. Anyway, the Democrats have seethed and ground their teeth at what they described as Republican incompetence in running the war. Maybe they should take a crack at running it before they toss it out.
I didn’t even get to Brooks’ discussion of the deficit.