THE SURGE SURGE….Matt Yglesias turns on the contrarianism and argues that yesterday’s soporific congressional hearing was a big win for Democrats:
The war was incredibly unpopular on the morning of September 10, 2007 so the Republicans needed not just a solid performance, but some kind of show-stopping one from Crocker and Petraeus to turn things around. A dull hearing guaranteed that the game would end in a draw, and a draw is a political win for the Democrats.
….The “surge” itself was hail mary strategy, and it didn’t work. Then we had the surge of dog and pony shows, but that didn’t bring anyone other than Michael O’Hanlon over to Bush’s side. Now the surge of testimony has begun, and it looks to be, in essence, another dud. Something the administration’s dead-ender supporters can feel good about, but that’s not going to change the public’s accurate perception that if ever there were a time when this policy could have been saved, it came and went years ago.
This sort of confirms my view that contrarianism should be attempted only by people named Kinsley — and probably not even by him anymore.
This seems exactly backward to me. All the White House needs is enough support to prevent Congress from defunding the war, and the August PR surge more than accomplished that (it wasn’t just O’Hanlon who came home from Iraq burbling about the Dora market). To have any hope of affecting the course of the war, Democrats need a home run of some kind, something that really puts pressure on congressional Republicans and therefore on George Bush. That didn’t happen, and that means both the surge and the war will continue. It may be a low bar, but that’s a win for Bush. Right?