The other day, as I walked through our family room, Barack Obama came on the 52 inch flat screen in high def clarity. After I rose from my genuflection, I tried to understand what His Nibs is saying about the now universally acclaimed surge strategy in Iraq.
I think he said that it was obvious that it would work (a no brainer; no credit due McCain on that)but that he opposed it - and still would have opposed it - because he disagreed with the Bush administration.
When His disciples heard this, many of them said, This is a hard and difficult and strange saying. Who can stand to hear it?
What does it mean? I knew it would work but I didn't want it to? I knew it would work but I don't think that success in Iraq is important? I knew it would work but we still can't win in Iraq so we should leave without regard to the situation on the ground?
The lefty blogs are all a twitter about a statement by John McCain that seems to suggest that the Anbar Awakening (which they want to define as a tribal accord) happened after the surge. It didn't. But what McCain seems to be saying is that the surge created the space for the Sunni turn against al-Qaeda to be successful.
McCain supported the surge. Obama opposed it. If, in fact, it is now possible to withdraw most American troops from Iraq without the disastrous consequences that the Irag Study Group thought were inevitable and that Obama was prepared to accept (and maybe even with sixteen months of the inauguration of the next President), it is because of a policy that McCain supported and Obama opposed. Obama would have let Iraq go to hell in a hand basket, arguing that there was no alternative. No, we can't, he would have said.
But we did.
Jonah Goldberg argues that this doesn't matter. The surge has been so successful that it takes Iraq off the table as an issue and this hurts McCain because his natural advantage is on foreign policy and national security. The American people, he argues, already believe that McCain is better suited to be commander-in-chief. McCain's challenge, according to Jonah, is to convince Americans that is what they need.
But history tells us that, when it comes to the Presidency, that is precisely what we need.