(photo courtesy of albert at Philly)
Jeff Jarvis, the John Naisbitt of smalltown dullards writes:
Second, I fear for politics by attack dogs. The movement in Connecticut did not support Lamont, it opposed Lieberman. Lamont is a cipher, like Robert Redford in The Candidate. I have feared that the left has made its mark these last six years by being against and not being for. I am eager to hear the winning strategy in Iraq and the Middle East â€” and I do not count leaving alone as a strategy â€” and the winning strategy against terrorism and Islamic totalitarianism. Democrats attacking Democrats will not win elections. Democrats attacking Republicans will not rule the nation. Itâ€™s time for positive leadership.
First off, his analogy of Ned Lamont as Bill McKay is fairly off the mark, although I did personally enjoy thinking about Joe Lieberman in the Crocker Jarman role: the smug, self-satisfied, glad-handing incumbent who feels a sense of entitlement to his seat, but I’m not sure that that is what Jeff had in mind. Maybe he was thinking of Chance the Gardner in Being There: the simple platitude-reciting empty-suit propelled into office by wealthy establishment types; but, wait, no, that role has already been cast.
Moving on we have this:
I have feared that the left has made its mark these last six years by being against and not being for. I am eager to hear the winning strategy in Iraq and the Middle East â€” and I do not count leaving alone as a strategy â€” and the winning strategy against terrorism and Islamic totalitarianism.
But Jeff has set some ground rules:
And, no, “getting the hell out of there” is not an acceptable answer, dooming the Iraqis to the civil war many have already declared, and to worsening bloodshed and anarchy. From a humanitarian – that is, a liberal – perspective, we cannot abandon these people to such terror.
Neither is it acceptable to answer the question with the question, “How the hell did we get there?” We’re there. Madeline Bunting in the Guardian and in Comment is Free insists that we cannot be “deleting the past.” I will stipulate that along with much more: that the war is not over and we cannot see the end; that the preparation and execution of this policy have not worked; that the incumbents do not know what to do. So fine, if we acknowledge all that, if we end the argument, where are we? Still in Iraq. Still in the mess.
Norm Geras does not agree. He is a fellow commenter and, like me, a liberal hawk and a warblogger, as we used to be called. Geras blogged his response to Bunting here, refusing her call to account, refusing to confess that this war and the one in Afghanistan are failures and that democracy will not work there. He will not apologise.
But even if he and I and all the hawks, liberal or conservative, agreed to agree with Bunting et al, we are all still no closer to peace in Iraq. Bush and Blair do not have the solution. So what is yours?
I have a better idea, Jeff: what is yours? When the car was hurtling towards the cliff and the people sitting in the backseat mentioned that maybe we should slow down if not stop, you reached your foot over and gave it some more gas. Now that it lies on the rocks below in flames and ruin, you want everyone to run over with fire extinguishers because your skinny ass is getting scorched. You don’t have to apologize, but if you don’t have any answers yourself, then just admit that you were wrong and shut the fuck up. Nobody needs a preachy enabler lamenting how others enabled him and how deeply unfair and hurtful it is to mention the bad thing that happened. You want to wash your hands of it, feel free. Just don’t expect us to hand you a towel.
We finish with this:
Democrats attacking Democrats will not win elections. Democrats attacking Republicans will not rule the nation.
But what about Republicans attacking Democrats?
You’re soaking in it.
*(Two gratuitous Simpson’s references.)