Given this reality, there's mainly a rhetorical difference between a) setting a chronologically explicit (but actually flexible) timetable in order to get the Iraqis to "take the training of their own security forces more seriously"--what the Drum position amounts to--and b) making an explicitly flexible (chronologically vague) pledge to get out as soon as Iraqis can defend themselves, coupled with leaks about actual, planned troop reductions--which is the current U.S. position. Either way, we're getting out as soon as we can! (Or as soon as we're kicked out.) Still, in the current news climate any politician who calls for (a) will get lots of press and effectively register displeasure with the war. Hillary might not be able to resist.
**--In contrast, during the Vietnam years many on the left (myself included) were ready to withdraw even if it meant the South Vietnamese government would not survive.
P.P.P.S.: WaPo's David Ignatius laments the Democratic Party's lack of a strong spokesman who can fulfill "the role of an opposition party" in Bush's time of troubles. I'm not sure it's a big dilemma for Democrats (as opposed to for Hillary) if the party remains championless. After all, there already is an effective anti-Bush opposition party in America. It's called the media. We don't need two of them! Alert kf reader G.S. suggests leaderless Democrats take another look at that Amazing Dr. Pollkatz Polling Graphic. The only time Bush's steady polling decline stopped was in 2004, when he actually had some identifiable Democratic champions (Dean, then Kerry) to be set off against. G.S.'s upshot is
Midterm political advice for the Dems: Keep the party face-less through the 2006 races.
It's good to be kingless! ... 2:22 P.M link
Drudge Report--80 % true. Close enough! Instapundit--All-powerful hit king. Joshua Marshall--He reports! And decides! Wonkette--Makes Jack Shafer feel guilty. Salon--Survives! kf gloating on hold. Andrew Sullivan--He asks, he tells. He sells! David Corn--Trustworthy reporting from the left. Washington Monthly--Includes Charlie Peters' proto-blog. Lucianne.com--Stirs the drink. Virginia Postrel--Friend of the future! Peggy Noonan--Gold in every column. Matt Miller--Savvy rad-centrism. WaPo--Waking from post-Bradlee snooze. Keller's Calmer Times--Registration required. NY Observer--Read it before the good writers are all hired away. New Republic--Left on welfare, right on warfare! Jim Pinkerton--Quality ideas come from quantity ideas. Tom Tomorrow--Everyone's favorite leftish cartoonists' blog. Ann "Too Far" Coulter--Sometimes it's just far enough. Bull Moose--National Greatness Central. John Ellis--Forget that Florida business! The cuz knows politics, and he has, ah, sources. "The Note"--How the pros start their day. Romenesko--O.K. they actually start it here. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities--Money Liberal Central. Steve Chapman--Ornery-but-lovable libertarian. Rich Galen--Sophisticated GOP insider. Man Without Qualities--Seems to know a lot about white collar crime. Hmmm. Overlawyered.com--Daily horror stories. Eugene Volokh--Smart, packin' prof, and not Instapundit! Eve Tushnet--Queer, Catholic, conservative and not Andrew Sullivan! WSJ's Best of the Web--James Taranto's excellent obsessions. Walter Shapiro--Politics and (don't laugh) neoliberal humor! Eric Alterman--Born to blog. Joe Conason--Bush-bashing, free most days. Lloyd Grove--Don't let him write about you. Arianna's Huffosphere--Now a whole fleet of hybrid vehicles. TomPaine.com--Web-lib populists. Take on the News--TomPaine's blog. B-Log--Blog of spirituality! Hit & Run--Reason gone wild! Daniel Weintraub--Beeblogger and Davis Recall Central. Eduwonk--You'll never have to read another mind-numbing education story again. Nonzero--Bob Wright explains it all. John Leo--If you've got political correctness, he's got a column ... [More tk]
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Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.