It’s Like When You’re Waiting 45 Minutes for a Bus in a Blizzard, and Then Four Busses Come Along.Posted: February 1, 2008
Reaction to last night’s debate: We haven’t had a Democratic candidate for President in the last 44 years who was smart, capable, and gutsy enough to communicate real ideas succinctly, and now we have two. The busses have shown up at last. But we only need one.
I liked Hillary on Iraq better than Obama. I liked her talking about our need to worry about the Iraqis who have helped us. The news this morning that a big car bomb killed 60 people, the worst attack since the surge, makes me feel more that we have a responsibility there, not less. It was completely stupid that we went in there without a plan for what would happen next. But we did, and messed that country all up. Now we’re supposed just to get out and let Iraq murder itself? A murder in which, by our absence, we would collectively be the abettor, if not the accomplice? That’s immoral. I agree we need to get out, but after last night, I feel she would, of the two, be the more likely to get us out in a way consistent with our obligations.
Which also, incidentally, would be in our interest. Earning a reputation as a reckless country that doesn’t clean up the messes it makes will earn us more enemies around the world.
2002 was a different time. I remember not being smart enough then to realize Iraq was a terrible idea. Obama guessed right in 2002. He might not have, had he been burdened by actual power and responsibility, but let’s let that go. Anyway, there were smart people like Obama who “knew” (if you want to use that word) that Iraq was a bad idea, but there were a lot more people who were smart who, based on the information they had and the world as it was, thought it was a necessary idea. No one wants to talk about that now–we want to pretend we were all brilliant soothsayers at the time, and blame anyone who wasn’t.
A few days ago it seemed a terrible idea to me to have “the Clintons” in the White House again, but last night I entertained the idea that of the two Clintons, she’s been the better one all along. To turn her away might be to deny ourselves as a country the opportunity to have the really good Clinton in the White House at last.