Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Big Deal? No ... Bigger

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
 
kevinmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 03:25 PM
Original message
Big Deal? No ... Bigger
TPM - Josh Marshall

I've spent a couple hours now trying to process the probable impact of Prime Minister al Maliki's explicit endorsement of Barack Obama's 16 month timetable for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. My first instinct is always to try not to overstate the impact of momentary developments. But I don't think it's enough to say this is a huge development. It's huger than that. In a stroke, I think, al Maliki has cut McCain off at the knees in a way I'm not sure his campaign strategy can recover from.

Consider McCain's strategy, which is all bound up with Iraq.

All understand it is a given that the war is unpopular and that the vast majority of Americans want out as soon as possible. The big of wiggle room is just what's 'possible.' McCain has invested his entire campaign in support for the purportedly nascent Iraqi democracy al Maliki represents and the claim that Obama's support for a timetable for withdrawal irresponsibly risks losing the gains we've achieved and giving Iraq back to al Qaeda.

Here, with a brush of the hand and in so many words, al Maliki says, "No, we're good."

What exactly is McCain to say to that? He can hardly turn against Maliki or say he doesn't have a feel of the situation on the ground.

What's more, he's given Obama want amounts to a potent new talking point by defining American redeployment out of Iraq as 'victory'. Says Maliki: "So far the Americans have had trouble agreeing to a concrete timetable for withdrawal, because they feel it would appear tantamount to an admission of defeat. But that isn't the case at all. If we come to an agreement, it is not evidence of a defeat, but of a victory, of a severe blow we have inflicted on al-Qaida and the militias."

I don't doubt that the McCain will come up with some pat response, though their silence so far does signal the difficulty of coming up with it. But McCain's campaign has been almost entirely dedicated to raising doubts about a withdrawal strategy the great majority would like to embrace. And Maliki has now handed Obama the trump card of all trump cards with which to parry all of McCain's attacks.

I would not discount the possibility that the White House will muscle Maliki into a retraction of some sort. But I think it will be difficult for that to seem to be anything other than what it is. What he said pre-waterboarding will always appear more genuine than whatever statement came later. McCain may also say that his 'surge' strategy is what made all this possible. But fundamentally that's not a point Obama is arguing. The debate is about whether or not to leave. And on that count, Maliki has now placed McCain is an extremely precarious position.


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
jenmito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R so it doesn't sink
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Inuca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. It will be fascinating to see how they will spin this
McCain and the WH should be grateful to Maliki for at least having the decency to have the Spiegel interview published on a Friday, so they get a bit more time to wiggle it out. "The surge was a success" will definitely be part of the answer, but it cannot be enough. The talk shows tomorrow morning should be interesting...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
3. this is the end of any serious effort to elect John McCain

That sound your hearing are Republicans all over the country putting away their check books for a candidate that they really didn't like anyway.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jenmito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. But they're spinning it as a win for BOTH candidates. They say McCain wins because this shows
he was right about the surge, and Obama wins because Maliki agrees with his position. (But of course McCain didn't WANT timelines-EVER, saying it would announce to "the enemy" when we're leaving so they can "wait us out."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 04:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. even if McCain was right about the surge he was still wrong about starting the war in
the first place - that really neutralize each other out - from an independent point of view.


But even if he was right, and I don't agree that he is, that was then and the question is now who is going to get us out in the right way at the right time. McCain isn't even listening to the generals or to the Maliki government any more. His whole bit about rather being 'right' rather than winning the election is out the window.

He has no seperation from Bush on the economy and his only advantage was Iraq and that is not gone. Everyone knows that we are going to have our troops basically out in 16 months - that is what the Iraqi's want.


Also it shows that the Iraqis are more intersted in having us leave than listen to us lecture them about how to share their oil.

The only way that this is a win for McCain is that there is true reconciliation politically in Iraq and McCain could point and say that the surge not only reduced violence but met the political goals.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jenmito Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 05:47 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I agree. I'm just saying how McCain and the media will spin it...
regardless of everything you saying being true.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sam kane Donating Member (326 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 03:51 PM
Response to Original message
5. wow.
did the msm know this was coming, hence there frantic criticism of Obama's trip beforehand?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
elkston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
8. The Repubs. will simply attribute this change of events to the surge...
and hammer home that Obama was opposed to it.

At the macro level, Obama wins. The war was a mistake. But pubs are going to claim victory on the tactical level with the surge and bolster up McCain's "Commander in Chief" credentials.

The good news is that the President is supposed to make those big, high level decisisons. Bush flubbed that and so did McCain.

Obama needs to drive home that he is the winner at seeing the big picture.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TankLV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Turn on all the networks - they have already been spinning it that way.;.
sickening, isn't it?!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Thu Aug 21st 2014, 03:22 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC