Broder on speed over accuracy

BRODER ON SPEED OVER ACCURACY…. I checked the byline a couple of times this morning, to make sure the column that was ostensibly written by David Broder wasn’t, in fact, written by Charles Krauthammer. Regrettably, the so-called Dean of the D.C. Media Establishment actually wrote this.

The more President Obama examines our options in Afghanistan, the less he likes the choices he sees. But, as the old saying goes, to govern is to choose — and he has stretched the internal debate to the breaking point.

It is evident from the length of this deliberative process and from the flood of leaks that have emerged from Kabul and Washington that the perfect course of action does not exist. Given that reality, the urgent necessity is to make a decision — whether or not it is right.

“Whether or not it is right.” The Commander in Chief, in other words, should put expediency over merit. Speed is preferable to accuracy. It’s only the longest military conflict in American history, with the future of U.S. foreign policy on the line — the president should worry less about due diligence and thoughtful analysis, and worry more about picking a course, even if it’s wrong. Other than the loss of American servicemen and women, untold billions of dollars, and undermining U.S. interests in a critical region, what’s the worst that can happen?

What a crock.

I realize there’s been a painful decline in the quality of Broder’s analysis in recent years, but this column is a mess. He’s effectively calling for President Obama to act and think more like President Bush — make decisions first, and think through the consequences and implications second.

Worse, Broder goes so far as to castigate the administration for “all this dithering” — using Dick Cheney’s preferred choice of words.

The premise of the piece is that a decision is needed immediately. Where did this arbitrary deadline come from? Broder doesn’t say; he just warns of the Taliban “coming back in Afghanistan,” as if the Taliban hasn’t already reclaimed much of the country.

Thinking back, I don’t recall Broder ever showing this kind of Afghanistan-related antagonism towards the Bush administration — which was, not incidentally, the team that allowed Afghanistan to deteriorate, watched as hard-earned gains slipped away, and never bothered to craft a strategy for the future of U.S. policy in the country.

Indeed, reading today’s Broder piece I get the distinct impression that the columnist had lunch with John McCain at some point this week, and then rushed back to his desk to jot down the senator’s criticism. That’s a shame. Given the reality, Broder was facing an editorial deadline, and he decided the urgent necessity was to write a column — whether or not it was right.