'With absolutely nothing else to talk about'
just nails it: "With absolutely nothing else
to talk about, the right wing has, of course, decided to raise the question
of why Deval Patrick hates America." ... As truly historic events unfold on Capitol Hill and in Iraq, it really is fascinating, as David Bernstein
notes, to watch how these non-issue issues are pushed to the forefront by those simultaneously in need of changing the topic and obsessively winning gutter arguments against the left. Scott Thomas Beauchamp's bogus reports. MoveOn.org's ads. Now Deval Patrick's remarks. They're all side issues to the main drama unfolding. They'll be forgotten by history -- and we all know it. Yet the Wall Street Journal's lead editorial
declared the morning after Petraeus's intitial testimony:
Important as was yesterday's appearance before Congress by General David Petraeus, the events leading up to his testimony may have been more significant.
As you may have guessed, the more significant events were MoveOn.org's ads and Dems' critical remarks about the war and Petraeus, whose detailed battlefield report was brushed aside so the righties could take on the lefties. Hey, if you can't win an actual war, you might as well win an argument, right? ...
FYI: The WSJ op-ed pages, on the same day, were topped by a piece
comparing the Baader-Meinhof Gang to today's lefties and another
by Normam Podhoretz reliving his heroic intellectual battles against the left in the 1960s. ... Do you see a pattern here? Need any more proof that the far right and left are like two scorpions in a bottle? ...
So I won't be accused of not paying attention to substantive issues: Notice how Dems are changing their legislative tactics
on the war. It's a smart move -- and one that will more likely lead to substantive changes. The Dems' previous all-or-nothing initiatives, as demanded by the radical left, accomplished nothing. Now pragmaticism is the order of the day. It's about time. They may even stumble upon a sound compromise that deals with the very legitimate concerns outlined by George Packer.