“Plenty of Time”

Joe Lieberman, discussing the President’s “surge” plan, gives a perfect example of why I can’t stand him. It’s not just that he’s a weasel who fetishizes centrism, but that he’s a politician who doesn’t understand politics.

The Senate should “step back for a moment and give you [Gen. Petraeus] a chance…. Perhaps a last chance, to succeeed in Iraq,” Lieberman said. “If God forbid, you are unable to succeed, then there will be plenty of time for the resolutions of disapproval or the other alternatives that have been contemplated.”

Plenty of time? When? In 6-9 months from now, the Democratic and Republican 2008 primary races will already be in full gear. Any action, pro- or anti-Bush, will be seen as an election-motivated ploy. Joe Lieberman, who’s run for President himself, should know as well as anybody that trying to get anything done during a Presidential election is nearly impossible. The further we wait, the more likely that any significant action will be put off, lest the Senate be accused of “playing politics” with the lives of soldiers. But that’s the whole point of the “surge” anyways. Let Bush try to wait out the clock and make Iraq somebody else’s problem (and in the process, fuel a new generation of armchair hawks who, like their Vietnam-era brethren, will insist with blind hindsight that the Iraq war was winnable). If Lieberman honestly thinks that “there will be plenty of time” to change direction in Iraq once the “surge” fails, then he’s an even bigger fool than I thought.