When the opposition gives you advice, do the opposite of what he says. That ought to be a maxim. On that note, Charles Krauthammer, snarling and unapologetic hawk, has joined the chorus of those who have criticized the defeat of George Bush’s favorite Republican, Joe Lieberman, another unapologetic hawk. His argument goes like this: just as the peacenik democrats undermined their party in the Cold War after Vietnam, so it will happen again. Americans will not “trust a democrat with the presidency.”
The reality question–the one asked by Lamont, his supporters and much of the American people but ignored by Lieberman–is what we should do about the unmitigated disaster that is the war in Iraq.
The pundit question–the one Krauthammer asks–is whether our asking the reality question will cause us to be characterized by the political opposition as weak on terrorism.
They are two separate questions, however often they are conflated.
Here’s the rub: asking the pundit question in place of the reality question will not bring back the dead, it will not bring back American credibility, or strengthen our military, or help us win the war on terror. It will only bring more ugly reality, reality that just won’t go away, no matter how often we ignore it.