As Atrios noted
, the latest Washington Post
editorial is drawing the ire of nearly everyone, and with good cause; the piece is a mess
, based on a misguided premise.
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.... 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.
One wonders if perhaps the Post
editorial board simply hasn't been paying attention to current events. As Kevin Drum noted
, "After four years of Republican insistence that Congress's only role in the war is to pony up trainloads of money and then shut the hell up, it turns out that it's actually Democrats
who are making consensus impossible."
Yes, that dastardly Harry Reid insisted on bringing to the floor a measure that enjoys bi-partisan support, is popular with the vast majority of the country, and offers a realistic chance to improve the country's security interests. How "irresponsible." Doesn't the Senate Majority Leader realize that a watered-down measure of dubious reliability that offers craven WINOs
political cover is the only way to reach "consensus"? He's obviously history's greatest monster.
It's worth adding, by the way, that a new meme seems to be quickly emerging within the chattering class: the lack of Senate progress on Iraq legislation isn't Bush's fault (he's vowed to veto any measure that undercut his authority to do what he pleases), or the GOP's fault (the party has voted to filibuster any measure that might pass), but actually Harry Reid's fault.
editorial obviously holds Reid responsible, as does an analysis piece
in today's LA Times
, which blames the Majority Leader for not "compromising" enough with Republicans. For that matter, David Brooks added this assessment
"[A] lot of Republicans who detest where the White House is are furious at Harry Reid.... [A] lot of Republicans would like to peel off from the president, but they feel that Harry Reid is making it impossible. He's taking this as an issue, forcing them to vote with the president for political reasons. [...]
"Republican senators were anxious to move away from the White House, to move towards some sort of withdrawal. Now they're not talking that way. They're talking, 'We've got to stick with the president.' And why? Two words: Harry Reid.'"
As hilzoy put it
, "If David Brooks is right, then 'senior Republican senators' are planning to cast their votes on the question what to do in Iraq ... not on the basis of what is actually best for Iraq, or for our country, or for our troops, or for our long-term national interests, but because of 'Two words: Harry Reid.'"
And for inexplicable reasons, the Washington Post
editorial board seems to find this persuasive.