On Meet the Press today, Senator Russ Feingold voiced what seems to be a gathering meme among lefties: the middle course.
[T]he president has presented us with a false choice. It's either stay the course and cut and run. What I'm suggesting is we can have a middle course, a course that allows us for success in Iraq and allows us to return to the larger issue, which is the fight against terrorism all around the world. Let me add also that it helps the Iraqi people feel ownership of this process. It helps the authorities interact, the Iraqis be more credible, because it doesn't look like it's an American dominated operation. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, it helps really take away the ability of these terrorists, al-Zarqawi and others, who say, "Hey, come to Iraq. It's a permanent American occupation." That's how they're recruiting people--and many experts, including military experts, have said that's a good way to get away from that.David Gregory still played the war/anti-war dichotomy, but I wonder if average Americans have moved beyond that talk, even if the press hasn't. The question is no longer whether but how. And so far, Bush's proposal for how we get out of Iraq looks about as well-reasoned as his proposal for getting in. The notion of hawks as "serious" may be a firm fixture in the minds of the press, but more and more, former hawkish citizens are seeing the flaw in that reasoning.
(Bonus content: Feingold demurred at the question of whether he'd run in 2008, but not very convincingly. I argued that he should have run in 2004, and with the Bayhs, Bidens, and Clintons circling the stage now, it's all the more critical to have candidates like Russ--and there ain't many.)
Trent Lott followed Feingold and didn't provide the administration much cover. Each statement of support was followed by a waffle. Example: "We're trying to help them train their people, but I do think that they need to know--and in fact, they do know--that we cannot do this for them forever. "
Then Lott dropped this little bombshell:
But I--but the short answer to your question--I think that he felt like we were going to have to deal with the problem [Saddam Hussein] before some of the diplomatic efforts occurred. . . .Whoops--I guess it wasn't exactly a last resort, after all.
Frank Rich does a nice job of detailing why Cindy Sheehan may be Bush's Waterloo. Proof that we can't handle the truth--even the Poor Man calls Rich "shrill." Oh, for shame.