Sunday, January 21, 2007

David Broder: So Dumb it Hurts to Read His Stuff

David Broder has a columm in today's Washington Post titled "A Chance for Unity on Iraq". The title tells you all you need to know about Broder's worldview: Broder thinks the constant goal is "unity," that "partisanship" and "divisive debate" are bad. Broder's take on Bush's Surge plan? Cut out the divisive debate and get with the program!

Broder writes:
The change of command in Iraq offers an opportunity to move past the divisive domestic debate over the deployment of more troops to Baghdad and instead put the pressure where it belongs -- on the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
That's Broder for you! While others debate the actual Iraq War debacle, Broder is busy hunting for an opportunity to "move past the divisive domestic debate over the deployment of more troops." "Moving past" the substance of the Surge proposal is a good thing, because it ends "divisive domestic debate". "Divisive domestic debate" is inherently bad, because it is inconsistent with achieving "unity." How do you achieve unity in circumstances where the President is hell-bent on escalating a catastrophic and massively unpopular war that has just been specifically repudiated in an election? Why, just cut out all the divisiveness and support the President's policy!

Here is Broder's argument, in detail: if the Democrats and those Republicans who have abandoned Bush start supporting the Surge plan and Bush's conduct of the Iraq War, then Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki could be threatened with the loss of that support if he doesn't accede to American demands. Got that? Start supporting the War, so we can use the prospect of the loss of that support as leverage against the Iraqi government. Broder writes:
In effect, [General] Petraeus is offering a way to convert the opposition to the war that is growing in both Republican and Democratic ranks into leverage on Maliki. Together, they can hold the prime minister to his pledge to go after all the combatants -- Shiites as well as Sunnis -- and to provide the troops for the fight.
Yes, that's Broder's argument. "Convert the opposition to the war" into "leverage," i.e., convert the opposition to the war into support for the war, which will yield "leverage."

Here is Broder's concluding paragraph:
The challenge is immense, but for a change, there is a chance to get the full weight of our government pulling in the same direction. Congress ought to seize the opportunity.
There you have it. Broder always thinks the goal is to achieve "unity," to have "the full weight of our government pulling [sic] in the same direction." Broder doesn't particularly care what that direction is -- he doesn't care about the actual policies, except to the extent that they present an "opportunity to unite."

I've said it before and I'll say it again: it speaks volumes about the state of political punditry in America that a guy as vacuous as David Broder is widely regarded as the "Dean of Washington journalists."

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