December 6, 2006
-- by John Emerson
Over and over I keep hearing about how wonderful it is that the ISG report is some sort of bipartisan consensus. There certainly is a time and place for compromise and bipartisanship, but it's a means not an end. Good advice and good policy is what matters, not political asscovering. Splitting the baby is not always a very smart thing to do. (Atrios)
Let's push this a little further. Who is it that wants a bipartisan solution? Above all, it's the perps -- the media people and politicians who led us into this mess. They want to be able to drop the whole thing, mumble "Mistakes were made", and carry on as before -- still in the drivers' seat.
But that would not be good for the country or good for the world. Accountability is what we need. Heads should roll -- the guys who screwed things up should be demoted, removed from office, or otherwise punished. Above all, they should never get the chance to screw up again.
A partisan solution is what would be good for the country. The only reason we're talking about a bi-partisan solution at all is that most of the media and many of the Democrats have been implicated in the disaster, and they're afraid that if the Republicans are called to account, they might be too.
This is really blackmail. We're being told that if we don't get too mad at the perps, maybe they'll quit making things worse. (Maybe.) This isn't even an Idi Amin solution. Amin was never punished for anything, but at least he was removed from power. The Iraq War bad guys aren't willing to give up anything at all.
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Bipartisan is a slogan used in this case to refer to the party who enabled this mess to now piggyback with the paper white knights. The cavalry has not arrived. It just ain't that easy cause Custer's still in charge of the troops.
I haven't read the book yet (a paperback of the report should show up soon) but I wasn't too impressed by what I heard this morning. Better than nothing, maybe, considering that nothing's what we've had a policy for so long.
I sort of took the 'bipartisan' idea as a slap at Rove's policy of dividing the country, though I see what you're saying as completely correct, too -- a way of saving face and spreading the blame. At least the report admits that Iraq is an out of control horror, and that there isn't necessarily any "plan" that could save it from disaster at this point.
The report isn't really awful. But the reception of the report seems to emphasize the bipartisanship as though it were a good thing. It really isn't; if there were a way for the Democrats to bounce Bush out of there, the country would be better shape.
A lot of the motive for bipartisanship is the recognition that Bush will be almost invulnerable during the next two years, so he has to be given a face-saving way to clean up his act, rather than making things a lot worse.
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