"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Monday, June 26, 2006

Russert: Meet the Press - Streak of Guest Losers

John (Fred Mertz) Murtha
What’s with Russert lately? I stopped watching Meet the Press about 5 years ago as I got tired of the lopsidedness of his guests/views. I often hear that Russert is fair and unbiased, but I don’t see that myself; he’s better than most, but that is as far as I’ll go.

Last week it was another loser on Meet the Press, Murtha for 30 minutes, after a Republican-proposed measure reflecting Murthas view was rejected 403 to 3.

This week, Russert has Feinfold on now after his resolution bit the dust. One nice thing about insisting on cut and run is that eventually we will withdraw from Iraq and the Dems will always be able to claim “so and so finally listened.” Ignore anything good that happens and talk up the negative. When the time comes when withdrawal to some degree or another is appropriate....Ta da!!!


I’ve just chosen a few snippets as example of “well this is what I’ve been saying all along” type responses.

The resolution calling for withdrawal of all U.S. troops by next year was defeated 86-to-13.

RUSSERT: As you know, General George Casey, the U.S. commander of ground troops in Iraq, met with President Bush and Pentagon leaders this week, and this is one of the news reports about his meetings. "The top U.S. commander in Iraq has drawn up plans that could lead to sharp reductions in American forces there as early as September and cut the number of combat brigades by nearly two-thirds by late 2007.

"Army General George Casey presented his plan to Pentagon leaders and President Bush in confidential briefings during a visit to Washington last week, an administration official said. ...

"Under Casey's plan, the number of combat brigades could shrink to seven or eight by the middle of next year, and to five or six by the end of 2007. One military official said the reductions could leave the U.S. with 40,000 to 50,000 troops in the country by the end of next year, far below any previous estimates." Make sense?

SEN. FEINGOLD: Not only does it make sense, but it short--sort of shows that all this talk about a timetable being unreasonable or ridiculous is just wrong. Even General Casey is talking about how realistic it is to bring the troops home, and our timetable that we proposed last week had to do with bringing the troops home within one year. I mean, how is this different? And of course, the claim is, if you tell the terrorists that you're going to leave, that somehow they're going to be able to wait us out. Well, apparently General Casey and the administration is allowing us to tell them this.

The fact is is it a public timetable, just of the kind that General Casey here is basically talking about, where everybody's going to know about it, is the best way to transition so that the Iraqis know what's going to happen, we know what's going to happen, the American people knows what's going to happen--know what's going to happen. That is the way to have confidence in the process in Iraq and get us refocused on the broader fight against terrorism in those places in the world, Tim, where we're losing ground. We're losing ground in Afghanistan. We don't have enough resources in Indonesia and Malaysia area in this regard. We have lost ground in Somalia. And the fact is that Iraq is draining our strength. I think General Casey knows that. And this plan is very similar to the type of thing that Senator Kerry and I actually proposed in the United States Senate this week.

MR. RUSSERT: What General Casey and others would say about your plan is that it limited his flexibility. You wanted a time certain for all troops out. What he says is, "I need flexibility. I need to be able to have a withdrawal plan on my terms, based on what's happening on the ground." And he would have 40,000 to 50,000 troops on the ground at the end of next year. You would be completely out.

SEN. FEINGOLD: When he gives--we give total flexibility to the Pentagon and to General Casey in terms of what order he wants to do this, what time frame within the year that we have proposed. And the fact is our amendment does not call for the complete elimination of all troops. We allow exceptions to protect American facilities, to conduct anti-terrorist activities, and to help in a limited way in terms of training the Iraqi military and the Iraqi police. So the fact is, we do provide the flexibility that General Casey needs. Our plan is so similar to what he's talking about it makes me wonder what the Republicans of the United States Senate and others were talking about when they said a timetable was a sort of a crazy idea. It's a perfectly reasonable idea.

Below Feingold appears to think only Democrats are people of this country:

MR. RUSSERT: But Senator, you only have 13 votes for your resolution.

SEN. FEINGOLD: Yeah, that’s not the American people. The 13 votes...

MR. RUSSERT: But that’s the Democratic Party.

SEN. FEINGOLD: No, it’s not.

MR. RUSSERT: It’s less than a third of the—in the Senate.

SEN. FEINGOLD: The Democratic Party of this country is the people of this country

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