One step forward, ten steps back
Yesterday, McNerney asked me and CA-11 to stand with him on Iraq. All I can say is: I will try but he must know he's making it very difficult with quotes like this: Washington Post
But in an interview yesterday, McNerney made clear his views have shifted since returning from Iraq. He said Democrats should be willing to negotiate with the generals in Iraq over just how much more time they might need. And, he said, Democrats should move beyond their confrontational approach, away from tough-minded, partisan withdrawal resolutions, to be more conciliatory with Republicans who might also be looking for a way out of the war.
"We should sit down with Republicans, see what would be acceptable to them to end the war and present it to the president, start negotiating from the beginning," he said, adding, "I don't know what the [Democratic] leadership is thinking. Sometimes they've done things that are beyond me."
Good. Lord. Someone is forgetting the Iraq Study Group report
(aka Baker-Hamilton). They delivered the Republicans and Bush an "acceptable way out" on a Poppy Bush crony co-chaired, bi-partisan, American people approved
(65%), silver f**king platter. You know, way back, 9 months ago in December 2006? Bush called it a "flaming turd
" and "the surge" was born.
By all means Jerry, try that again. But this time do it by negotiating directly with Bush and the Republicans rather than using a bi-partisan, independent commission. Jeebus.
One question for McNerney: If I stand with you on Iraq and you don't stand with our Congressional leadership, where exactly will we be standing? On a hill in San Ramon with a bullhorn?
the task ahead
I'm encouraged by McNerney's reaffirmation
of his stance on a "date certain" redeployment from Iraq. I'm not encouraged because I agree with his policy stance (I always did) but I'm encouraged because he's unequivocally stated his position and can now begin the critical task of bringing others to an understanding of his judgement
. As I stated in a recent comment
, I don't think he can get this done by visiting Iraq and then signalling a willingness for "more time".
in the Tracy Press about Rove's legacy as it relates to CA-11 and all Congressional races.
I basically agree with James Carville
who thinks Rove's legacy will be to lose a generation of Republican voters. The damage he's caused will continue to reverberate for some time to come.
Let's remember the depths of Rove's malfeasance are not known. Just take a look
at three avenues of Congressional investigations that ain't close to being over.
Moreover, the "politics of hate" will continue. Take a look at each GOP presidential candidate try to prove himself more inclined to torture people
than the other guy. The GOP base will be listening to this trash for months to come. It will be quite interesting how candidates like Andal will navigate this rhetorical minefield. Pass the popcorn.
My only hope is that we all remember what happens when we choose party over country and conflate with politics with policy.
And finally, some Friday humor
Questioning the Generals
It seems the "Petraeus" report, which McNerney has telegraphed a willingness to consider favorably, will be written by the White House
. Perhaps that little factoid will help his decision to endorse/reject.
Wes Clark gave a fantastic talk at the DailyKos convention in which he hammers home a point I think McNerney should run with. It's not about the generals, timetables and such - it's about the strategy. video here (3min.)
Until we shift our political discourse to the strategy
we are "playing George Bush's game".
While I wait
for a response from McNerney on the questions I posed here
and also emailed to his staff, I have the pleasure of reading news articles like this:
Democrats Praise Military Progress
California Democratic Rep. Jerry McNerney had a different take. After visiting Iraq last month and visiting with Petraeus, McNerney said signs of progress led him to decide he'll be a little more flexible about when troops should be brought home.
``I'm more willing to work with finding a way forward to accommodate what the generals are saying,'' McNerney said.
What signs of progress? Where? What "way forward" do the Generals have in mind?
Houston not running in CA-11
Lisa V reports Guy Houston won't challenge McNerney
Instead, Houston will run against his former staff member, Mary Piepho, whom he helped elect to her county supervisor seat. Piepho's current Chief of Staff
is a former Houston staffer as well. Would seem like one big GOP happy family but it seems Piepho is none too happy about his decision...
"I talked to Mary this morning and it wasn't the most pleasant conversation, but we're cordial," Houston said. "We agreed to disagree on the reasons why I decided to run."
Heh. I'll bet
CA-11 "leans Democratic"
according to the Cook Political Report