Everybody knows that Republicans care terribly deeply about American kids fighting and dying in Iraq and would never, ever consider putting their political interests ahead of the brave young men whom they sent to war. That is why the following stories seem so jarringly strange.
One, via Josh Marshall:
For three months now, Sanchez has been making off-the-record statements. He eventually came to the conclusion, he says, that Republican politics had trumped the national security interests of the United States in the execution of plans in Iraq. The Bush Administration had not planned to win in Iraq, but simply to keep a war running so Bush could run around and play “war president.” That is as devastating a criticism as any general has made of a president since the days of Douglas MacArthur.
Second, from Kevin Drum:
Democrats understand the negative consequences of moving too quickly to reverse Bush’s Iraq policy [he said]. The official noted that in the wake of Vietnam, anti-war Democrats “suffered for 20-some-odd years because they were identified as the party, when it came to national security, of being weak.”
….”One of two things will happen if a Democrat gets elected president,” he said. “They will either have to withdraw U.S. troops in order to remain true to the rhetoric — in which case, any consequences in the aftermath fall on their heads. Or they have to break their word, in which case they encourage fratricide on the left of their party. Now that’s a thorny issue to work through.”
Third, via Atrios:
A small group of Republicans facing election fights next year have rallied around war legislation they think could unite the GOP: a call for an end to U.S. combat in Iraq, but not until President Bush is out of office.
The legislation was deemed essentially a nonstarter by Democrats Friday and underscored the difficulty Congress has in striking a bipartisan compromise on war policy.
One of those mean awful liberal types might see a pattern emerging.