Saturday, July 21, 2007

Editorializing in the Washington Post

This editorial on what the Congress is doing about the Iraq strategy is being torn to shreds all over the liberal/progressive blogs, and for good reasons:

The decision of Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) to deny rather than nourish a bipartisan agreement is, of course, irresponsible. But so was Mr. Reid's answer when he was asked by the Los Angeles Times how the United States should manage the explosion of violence that the U.S. intelligence community agrees would follow a rapid pullout. "That's a hypothetical. I'm not going to get into it," the paper quoted the Democratic leader as saying.


There's no guarantee that Mr. Bush can agree with Congress on those points or that he will make the effort to do so. But a Democratic strategy of trying to use Iraq as a polarizing campaign issue and as a club against moderate Republicans who are up for reelection will certainly have the effect of making consensus impossible -- and deepening the trouble for Iraq and for American security.

It causes the rage to rise, doesn't it? As tboggs put it, the argument seems to be that Reid is responsible for the lack of an exit strategy in the Iraq debacle.

And note that bit about "there being no guarantee that Mr. Bush can agree" on anything whatsoever. He is released from all responsibility for this horrible mess we find ourselves in, even though he has gritted his teeth, decided on his destiny in private conversations between his god and himself, and continues to ride into the solitary and bloody sunset on the Horse of History. Nope. It's not George Bush and the neocons that are to blame for the problems in Iraq; it's Harry Reid.

But when I write all that I'm doing exactly what the Washington Post people want me to. I'm giving them clicks and that gives them advertising revenue. To some extent the editorials are often nothing more than places where somebody can say the most shocking thing imaginable so that others get angry enough to read them, too. Or places where the government supporters can insert their propaganda. They can also be places where interesting arguments are presented, true, but this seems to be less true now that the newspapers in general are in financial trouble. (Why go there when you can read me for zilch?)