The world is a really small place, smaller than people can imagine. There's a better than even chance that I will be at a summer party with Joe Klein in August (I always miss him, its a big party and I'm dallying with John Waters so I don't have time to patrol and kick him in the ankle) but I do my bit by explaining, in painstaking detail to the hostess during the off season why she shouldn't have invited him. Its kind of deep in the weeds for the hostess because she's not american and it requires close reading of a rather pathetic and opaque oeuvre to figure out just why he is such an execrable person. But its getting a bit socially awkward to be the Joe Klein must go voice of doom at someone else's summer party so today I was pleased to find a link to him at TPM saying, laconically, McCain loses Joe Klein.
Would that it were so. After some criticism of the sainted aviator Klein returns to his vomit:
The reality is that neither Barack Obama nor Nouri al-Maliki nor most anybody else believes that the Iraq war can be "lost" at this point. The reality is that no matter who is elected President, we are looking at a residual U.S. force of 30-50,000 by 2011 (a year ahead of the previous schedule). The reality is that McCain should be proud that he helped salvage a disastrous situation by pushing the counterinsurgency plan. It's something to run on.
Its a fine point that a war that has already been lost can't *now* be lost again, I guess. But even worse is this strange line "whoever is elected President, we are looking at a residual U.S. force of 30,00-50,000 in 2011 (a year ahead of the previous schedule)." Whoever is elected president? Really? Can someone tell me where John McCain has laid out any clear plan for bringing the troops home and going down to a residual force before 2011? Because as I recall the only such discussion was a gauzy, vaseline smeared bit of pre-emptive nostalgia that said vaguely "It is 2013...and the troops are home." Not for nothing is John McCain known among the DFH as the John Lennon of the right--war is over, if you want it seems like the only actual Republican strategy under discussion.