I’m reminded here of an episode from the historical novels of Robert Graves about the life of the Roman Emperor, Claudius, who tried to reform the empire. Toward the end, as Graves interprets it, Claudius concludes that despite his best efforts, Rome cannot be redeemed. Is too far gone in autocratic decay. Claudius figures that before things have any chance of getting better, they must get even worse. So, he lets the throne pass to Nero. Rome burns.Maybe that was also their secret plan for Iraq. When you look at it that way, the "Mission Accomplished" banner makes sense.
Another alternative of US-Out-Of-The-UN types might be to make a case to the American People for getting the US out of the UN. I wonder why these guys never suggest such an approach? It's a hard sell, sure, but I thought people like Rossett specialized in hard truths. Rather than prescribing a sneaky program of wreckage, why not insist on principles?
It may be that, on the eve of the Democratic Congressional takeover, a Victor Davis Hansonian despair has taken hold of them. For years their default argument was that the citizens understood reality better than any pointy-head could, and that's why they kept electing Republicans. But their recent losses appear to have shaken their faith in the voters and, more surprisingly, in the political process itself.
For example, Stanley Kurtz, in trying to work his way out from under Josh Marshall's understandable impression that Kurtz was blaming the failures in Iraq on a feckless American People, talks about the Iraqi project as if it were doomed from the start by the very existence of an opposition, however weak:
Marshall says the Democrats in congress were a minority, and politically powerless. Yet in a country divided by razor-thin political margins, a party in power has to weigh its actions in light of the opposition’s political plans. We’re always just an election away from a transfer of power, as we’ve seen.So they couldn't get their way despite control of the White House and both houses of Congress and a self-proclaimed mandate. Makes you wonder why they bother trying to elect candidates in the first place. Sport, perhaps, or maybe just the graft.
Entertaining as their malaise may be, be prepared, because it can't last forever. Some champion will eventually ride out of the wilderness and reinvigorate them. I understand Sam Brownback has formed an exploratory committee.