Opposing the Surge: Damned Whether It Succeeds or Fails

Noemie Emery is ready to pounce on the Democrats in the unlikely event that Bush’s surge in Iraq turns out wonderful:

Giddy with joy at their sudden good fortune, the Democrats have set out to embarrass the president, pushing resolutions of less-than-no-confidence, clubbing his Iraq surge plan as it lies in its cradle, and declaring defeat in advance. In some sense, they have achieved their objectives: They have embarrassed Bush, exposed his weakness, and won over a cadre of frightened Republicans. But they have also painted themselves into a number of corners, from which they may find it hard to escape. If Iraq is stabilized this side of chaos, the congressional Democrats will be remembered as the people who fought to prevent it, who tried to kneecap the commander and demoralize the armed forces, and all in all make the mission more difficult.

Despite his dishonest claim that we Democrats oppose another Bush scheme destined to backfire only because we are more interesting in embarrassing the President than good policy – if Bush’s ill conceived plan actually works, we Democrats should tip our hat. But does Noemie Emery really believe this nonsense? Then explain what immediately followed in his op-ed:

If, on the other hand, the surge is seen to fail, they will be the ones who made it more difficult, demoralized the armed forces, kneecapped the commander, and telegraphed to the enemy that our will was cracking, and we would shortly be leaving. The Democrats have also given Bush a partial alibi for a possible failure – he tried, but at a critical moment they threw in the towel. This argument would be plausible enough to attract support from a great many people.

Kevin Drum wants to cut in right here:

Over at the Weekly Standard, the magazine that provides the intellectual superstructure for hawkish neoconservatism, Noemie Emery provides the most straightforward version yet of the stab-in-the-back narrative that neocons plan
to lay on Democrats a few months from now … Why yes, it might be plausible enough to “attract support from a great many people”! It just might. But I wonder where all these people will get the idea in the first place? Such a wonderful invention, the passive voice, isn’t it?

Now that we’ve given Kevin a chance to inject some commonsense, let’s get back to the pathetic rant of Noemie Emery:

Had they let the surge play itself out, with best wishes but grave reservations, the Democrats could have gained a reputation for good will in any event, and for genuine prescience in the case of failure. But there is a difference between warning of failure ensues, it is no longer his fault, in its entirety. Now it is his fault – and theirs.

That’s wonderful. We Democrats are supposed to just shut up and let the Blundering-in-Chief proceed with his incompetence. Otherwise, we are to blame for his failures.