Normally, I deal with the stupidest of the stupid posts from up here in the northwest over at my other playground, but every once in a while, a special occasion rolls by and it just belongs here at the Ass. This is one of those times. Eric Earling at Sound Politics has completely lost all contact with reality over the past week. First by displaying some world-class hypocrisy by attacking those who criticized Ken Hutcherson, then having a 5-alarm freakout over Jeremiah Wright because of his “bigotry” (psst, Eric, paranoia is not bigotry). Second by still attempting to maintain that the Republicans still have credibility when it comes to national security and Iraq.
I’ll post about Wright after this weekend, but to help with the latter point, here’s a rundown of the recent polling on the war in Iraq. Despite what Earling has convinced himself to believe, public opinion on how things are going in Iraq has not changed over the past few months. The American public still overwhelmingly believes the following:
– The Iraq War was a mistake
– Any kind of “victory” in Iraq is not still possible
– We should withdraw from Iraq within the next year
Somehow, though, Earling still attempts to refute this by linking to this set of polling, which shows that a lot of Americans still buy into the belief that we’re actually keeping a lid on things while our troops our there. Even with that, however, a plurality of Americans still believe that we’re more likely to be attacked by terrorists if we stay in Iraq than if we leave. This is a pretty extraordinary rejection of the GOP propaganda that has been almost universally adopted within the traditional media. And it should be a strong indication that the folks that John McCain is pandering to have become “the fringe” when it comes to Iraq.
With that said, I want to wander through his post and hopefully help our friend from across the aisle wrap his head around this stuff:
Dear Local McGovernites with Modems,
A couple of your blogging comrades were kind enough to enunciate some thoughts at a recent post of mine discussing everyone’s favorite Netroots candidate, Darcy Burner.
Daniel K and thehim, at #1 & 2 as well as #24 & 25 respectively, noted they didn’t quite agree with my take on the matter.
Hey, that’s me! I was kind enough to point out to Eric that his last post indicated some faulty logic on his part. For instance, the unpopularity of the Democratic Congress is not a result of their being too far to the left on the war, but instead is a result of their being too wishy-washy in their opposition to the President on both the Iraq war and his attacks on our civil liberties. I also pointed out to him that Americans trust Democrats more when it comes to Iraq, something even the GOP-leaning Rasmussen Reports has indicated.
thehim in particular, while kindly offering modest praise of my intellect, argued I have it all wrong on the topic of Democrats, Iraq, national security, and this fall’s election.
Certainly, no one can predict the future, but this claim from Earling’s earlier post was several light years out into La-La-Land:
Coming out of the gate talking about Iraq is peculiar given the degree to which the Democratic Presidential nominee isn’t actually going to want to focus on national security issues.
Exactly why would the Democratic Presidential nominee not want to focus on national security issues? Not only do Americans clearly trust Democrats more when it comes to Iraq, but the Republican nominee is openly expressing a desire to continue an occupation that the American public overwhelmingly wants ended. And according to the poll that Eric himself linked to, the American public even thinks that staying in Iraq will actually increase the chance of a terrorist attack. Somehow, I don’t think the Democrats are going to be shy about this topic this year.
Back to the most recent post:
Indeed, he asserted that the public is displeased with the current Congress because Democrats are “not antagonistic enough” in confronting Administration policy toward Iraq.
Exactly, and that’s why Darcy Burner, and a growing number of Democratic candidates are supporting the Responsible Plan, a plan for getting ourselves out of Iraq efficiently and responsibly. And while the netroots certainly like it, the good people in the 8th Congressional District who are understandably frustrated by the fact that they’ve been represented by an empty suit who has brainlessly cheered on the Iraq fiasco for the past 3 years, have good reason to like it as well.
But Earling is only getting warmed up here. This gets much better:
With that in mind, I have a request. Please do encourage all your favored candidates to be more “antagonistic” about Iraq. Please do raise a ruckus to keep them running to the left of the current Democratic Congress, especially on that topic.
Not to go too far above Earling’s head here, but people who want us to leave Iraq to the Iraqis are not “to the left” of the current Democratic Congress. They are those who have a more libertarian view on foreign policy. Principled isolationist conservatives like Ron Paul are sure as hell not “to the left” of the current Democratic Congress. These kinds of “live and let live” views on foreign policy have not been very widespread until recently and it appears that this phenomenon is one that Earling is trying his best to both ignore and mislabel. The occupation of Iraq has re-shaped many Americans’ views on the limits of our military might, and shown the wisdom of taking a more hands-off approach to the Middle East. This is happening not just on the left, but across the political spectrum. In fact, the two candidates receiving the most donations from members of our military in this election cycle have been Ron Paul and Barack Obama.
By all means, as Iraq steadily fades from the eyes of the news media and the public, please make this your issue du jour. Don’t worry, that part where Americans say they aren’t too keen on the “get out now!” strategy is probably just a bad polling sample…or something.
Amazingly, as much of an unpopular disaster as the Iraq War still is, it won’t be the Democrats trump card this year. The economy will be.
Also, you may recall this blogger doesn’t have the warmest feelings for John McCain. Please don’t let that dissuade you from encouraging your candidates to challenge him on Iraq – and all manner of national security issues too for that matter. I think I might like to see that.
I’d love to see it. Especially since the old geezer once again demonstrated how little he knows about what’s happening in Iraq by actually trying to claim that Iran was training Al Qaeda forces. Exactly how does someone who purports to be the “war candidate” and is set to become the Republican nominee for President have such a piss-poor knowledge of what’s actually going on over there? We’re five years into this thing. How does he not know that the Iranians and Al Qaeda are ideologically opposed to each other? How does Earling think that someone with such basic misunderstandings of the region and the players involved is going to solve any of these serious problems?
Lastly, while you’re at it, and if I’m not being too impertinent, could I beseech you to insist that candidates earning Netroots support also run to the left of the current Congress on domestic issues too? Especially on taxes and healthcare. I think that would be bracing, perhaps even cathartic.
Absolutely! If there’s one thing I’ve learned about voters in the 8th District, they’re terrified of universal health care. They love overpaying for prescription drugs. And they really enjoy the thrill that comes with knowing they could lose their life savings because of an illness. It’s so exhilarating!
Thank you for your attention and careful consideration of this request. In the meantime, I remain your faithful and eager antagonist,
My hat’s off to you, sir. Most people as smart as you would have had enough pride to stop doing this to yourself by now.
P.S. If you could accomplish even part of this, I really would be happy to buy you a pitcher or two at a Drinking Liberally gathering in the future. Since I no longer drink (grumble) thanks to family health history, that’s more beer for you!