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Dems say Steele is "rooting for failure." Really, Dems?

By all means, Dems should go on the attack against Michael Steele for his wild comments about Afghanistan. But do they really think it's a good idea to say he's for cutting and running, is "rooting for failure" and is "betting against our troops"?

The statement from DNC spox Brad Woodhouse, just out:

RNC CHAIRMAN MICHAEL STEELE BETS AGAINST OUR TROOPS, ROOTS FOR FAILURE

"Here goes Michael Steele setting policy for the GOP again. The likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham will be interested to hear that the Republican Party position is that we should walk away from the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban without finishing the job. They'd also be interested to hear that the Chairman of the Republican Party thinks we have no business in Afghanistan notwithstanding the fact that we are there because we were attacked by terrorists on 9-11.

"And, the American people will be interested to hear that the leader of the Republican Party thinks recent events related to the war are 'comical' and that he is betting against our troops and rooting for failure in Afghanistan. It's simply unconscionable that Michael Steele would undermine the morale of our troops when what they need is our support and encouragement. Michael Steele would do well to remember that we are not in Afghanistan by our own choosing, that we were attacked and that his words have consequences."

The DNC argument for using this script is that Dems rarely attack Republicans as being against the troops, while Republicans go after Dems this way on a nearly daily basis. They would insist that the strong language really is warranted. Steele said that history suggests we can't win there -- this is what the DNC describes as "betting against our troops." And Bill Kristol agrees that this is an "affront" to them.

Are liberal Dems who have made much the same case about Afghanistan also "rooting for failure" and "betting against our troops"? The DNC would argue that this is a different situation -- that Steele's argument isn't in good faith. It cuts against what he himself has said in the past -- that we must win -- and is at odds with his entire party. Also, they'd argue that coming from a party leader, his words really do have consequences for troop morale and for the war effort.

But Steele didn't "root for failure" anywhere. And he isn't really "betting against our troops." He's saying that this an inherently unwinnable situation, however brave and tough the troops are. I don't know if that's what he believes, but that's what he said.

Clearly, Dems are opting for strong language to break through on a Friday before a holiday weekend in the belief that this does raise real questions about Steele's candor. But this is Karl Rove's playbook. I don't care how often Republicans do it -- this blog is not on board with this kind of thing from either party.

By Greg Sargent  |  July 2, 2010; 1:15 PM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security  
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Next: Michael Steele clarifies again: Yes, we must win

Comments

You're right Greg that it's very cyncial of the DNC to use this kind of language especially when a growing number of the base is turning against the war.

But, if it causes a major intra-GOP hissy fit, what does it hurt?

Posted by: bmcchgo | July 2, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

TPM's Brian Beutler has a post citing Michale Steele's gung-ho support for the Afghan war about a half-year ago:

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/07/flashback-steele-calls-afghanistan-a-war-we-have-to-win.php

Interesting thing is Brian got that tip from a GOP operative. Smells like Steele's detractors among the GOP are mobilizing.

Still, I think it'd be a serious body blow for them to replace Steele now. So I really don't see it happening. But I can hope, can't I?

Posted by: jzap | July 2, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Steele saying the war in unwinnable and Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires is true. It may be the only thing he has said tghat is true, but it is true nonetheless.

This is a stupid counterattack for the Dems. All they need to say is that George Bush invaded Afghanistan aftert 9/11 and then left an unsettled situation which Obama is trying to work his way out of. And we welcome a spirited ddebate on policy going forward.

Posted by: Mimikatz | July 2, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"I don't care how often Republicans do it -- this blog is not on board with this kind of thing from either party."

Haha. Well I guess we'll have to disagree on that one.

I prefer the strongest language possible against the people who are responsible for the current pathetic state of our country.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 2, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

No surprise there. More evidence of the scorn for the Democratic base held by the Democratic establishment.

Which reminds me to donate to Moveon and ACtBlue but not one damn Dem party committee.

Posted by: ANDYO1 | July 2, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Ethan, I'm certainly not against strong language. Just against this particular tactic.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 2, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"I don't care how often Republicans do it -- this blog is not on board with this kind of thing from either party."

I agree Greg, but we're seeing the gloves come off in a lot of "stooping to the level" language lately. I think Dems are getting worried about November and will resort to whatever tactics they can to insure that Dems go to the polls.

I don't like it, but it's an election year and it's particularly bitter and angry out here.

The problem with this particular tack is that a lot of Dems agree that the war can't be won, so they're also criticizing their own base. That's a fence I wouldn't want to be walking on.

Posted by: lmsinca | July 2, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"But this is Karl Rove's playbook. ... This blog is not on board with this kind of thing from either party."

Good statement, Greg. It resonates very strongly with me. I suspect many commenters here at TPL are similarly sympathetic.

It's kinda like watching a horrific car crash. Too riveting to not look.

Posted by: jzap | July 2, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Andy: "Which reminds me to donate to MoveOn and ActBlue but not one damn Dem party committee."

Exactly right. I've kinda distanced myself from MoveOn in the past few years, but I do give to individual candidates via ActBlue. Giving to the DNC, DCCC, or DSCC seems too much like betting against myself.

Posted by: jzap | July 2, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

@greg:Ethan, I'm certainly not against strong language. Just against this particular tactic.

I agree Greg. Using hyperbolic and frankly misstating Steele's position just makes the dems look cynical. His actual quotes are damning enough. Why guild the lily and be accused of Rovian tactics? We don't need that.

Posted by: srw3 | July 2, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

All those exploding GOP heads having Michael Steele cranial conniptions on a Friday afternoon mean at least this: Whatever anti-Obama traction GOOPers had hoped to gain from the disappointing jobs news, well, that just got buried.

Posted by: jzap | July 2, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse


Barry the incompetent boob Obama has already sent 509 U.S. soldiers to their deaths in Afghanistan more than were lost during the years 2001 through 2007 combined. At the current rate by mid-September Barry will have sent more Americans to their deaths in Afghanistan than were lost during both terms of the Bush administration.

This is Barry's war strategy. McChrystal asked for 80,000 new troops for a surge. Barry the inept stumblebum dithered for 120 days, finally sent just 30,000 soldiers, and then told the Taliban when they would be leaving. So far this year 203 Americans have been killed and the year is just half over.

[source: icasualties.org]

Miserable failure Obama

Posted by: screwjob16 | July 2, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"Using hyperbolic and frankly misstating Steele's position just makes the dems look cynical. His actual quotes are damning enough. Why guild the lily and be accused of Rovian tactics?"

Imho, you're falling into a trap. We have EVERY RIGHT to be cynical about the Republican Party. Rove's tactics worked at the outset because they were strong politics. They failed because they were bad policies. We need strong politics with Dem policies (which we know are the right policies).

In re-reading the Dem statement I think it is DEAD ON in tone and in policy.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 2, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I think this is a stupid strategy on the part of the Dems for one reason only: Michael Steele clearly is unecumbered by the thought process when he speaks, and this is just more evidence of it. How can anything he says be taken seriously after he claims Obama started the war? Gimme a break. And for the Dems to use the same cut and run wording that Republicans use is just awful. Don't get into a mudfight with a pig, and all.

Posted by: CTVoter | July 2, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, stupid move by the DNC. When your foe is tripping all over themselves, stay out of the way. This is a perfect GOP infighting story - leave it that way. There's no reason for the DNC to make this a GOP v. Dem battle...unless...

...maybe they are worried that this really WILL get Steele to resign, so they are trying to throw him a life line by way of allowing him to go on offense after Dems, instead of defense against his fellow GOPers.

Ok, that's way too "3d-chess" for the DNC. Nevermind.

But while we're on theories...until I saw that this fundraiser was yesterday, I had the feeling that this was a perfect execution of a leak to change the subject by Dems over the poor jobs report.

But it appears to just be really well timed for Dems, politically. The YouTube user who uploaded it appears to be following the CT race, and is probably in CT. So having/taking the video isn't all that shocking, and since it was yesterday, uploading it today doesn't appear to be sinister in timing either.

Steele really is the gift that keeps on giving for Dems.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 2, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

It isn't cynical, it's heavy handed and unbelievably stupid !

Posted by: rbe1 | July 2, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

@jzap:

"Whatever anti-Obama traction GOOPers had hoped to gain from the disappointing jobs news, well, that just got buried.
"

You betcha!

I said this yesterday, but I'll say it again: were it not for the gaffe machine that the Republicans are renting, I'd be in deep despair about November.

Now I'm just deeply depressed.

Posted by: CTVoter | July 2, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse


American soldiers Barry the incompetent boob Obama has sent to their deaths in Afghanistan during 17 months in office: 509

Location of Osama bin Laden according to CIA chief Leon Panetta: Pakistan


"He is, as is obvious, in very deep hiding," said Panetta. "He's in an area of the tribal areas of Pakistan that is very difficult... All I can tell you is it's in the tribal areas. We know that he's located in that vicinity." (6/27/2010)

Posted by: screwjob16 | July 2, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

BBQ?

The story on local news yesterday about Steele's visit sure wasn't this--it was Steele insisting that McMahon wasn't responsible for steroid use in WWE, and that reporters could question McMahon about that as soon as the Obama White House answers questions about every single person working there.

It was a bit strange, actually.

Posted by: CTVoter | July 2, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Good call Greg. This is wrong regardless of who is doing it. Frankly, I expect more from the DNC.

Questioning the Afghanistan policy is supporting the troops.

If a Republican opposes making veterans care a top priority, or fails to take seriously the brain injuries and PTS our returning soldiers are having to deal with, blast them for it. We have an obligation to blast them for it. But the "you don't support the troops" canard is garbage.

IIRC, Think Progress called out a similar message used against Rep. Lee Terry last year. I think the DNC has pulled this crap before.

Posted by: michael_conrad | July 2, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

i think the language about rooting for failure comes from the fact that so many republicans, including steele, so often do pretty much root for failure in foreign relations, the economy and even the olymnpics fer chrissakes.

that said, it does smack of the rightwing republicans' playbook. it don't think they meant it this way, but it could be taken as applying to any critic of any war.

not a good road to go down.

by all means, stoke the fire. just don't throw car batteries into the flames.

Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 2, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

ss28: threadjacking again?

Posted by: srw3 | July 2, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

@CTVoter

I meant that it looks like the work of a citizen-journalist. RealityCheck's userpage on YouTube has several videos of the Senate race in CT.

-----

A better response from the DNC would simply had stated "surprise" at how at odds Steele's statements were from both reality (Obama's War) and from the stated GOP position (Opinion on Afgahn War).

Then left it at that.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | July 2, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey Greg, how about a little perspective here. For 30 years the Democrats have been drummed on by the Rove/Atwater/Krostol brigade. They've held their collective fire so often that Republicans have attained an image of toughness, and Democrats passive and WAY too tolerant. The bloviators of the right have been using over the top language daily, and when the Democrats fire back FINALLY, you equate them with Karl Rove. You're acting like they did a John Boehner, and wildly overstated the case. Got any memory of the vitriol, abuse and volume of the launguage that greeted EVERY anti war or anti-Bush speaker? Do you think that taking punch after punch proves that you're a better man than to retaliate?
Sorry--but after watching what they did to Max Cleland and John Kerry, and the acid they STILL heap on Ted Kennedy--there needs to be consequences. In your scenario, they never win--when they don't respond you label them passive and frightened, and when they do you act as though one counter attack equals 50 previous slanders. Nah.

Posted by: bklyndan22 | July 2, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

If you're looking for a way out of the cognitive dissonance between disappointment at this DNC overaggeration and enjoyment of the GOP turmoil, consider this:

If you don't take Brad Woodhouse's statement literally, but instead as a parody of GOOPer tactics, it works out pretty well.

Posted by: jzap | July 2, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Looks like my view is vastly outnumbered!

Glad ya'll are sticking to principles on this one. I really can't do it on this one. I think it's great to call the GOP out on rooting for Obama to fail, which is exactly what they're doing on every front, including imho Afghanistan.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 2, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

All, Michael Steele tries AGAIN to clean it up:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/07/steele_clarifies_again_yes_we.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | July 2, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

BBQ: "... maybe they [DNC] are worried that this really WILL get Steele to resign ..."

Seems unlikely. Previous Michale Steele dust-ups have shown him to be very tenacious. And to force him out, the GOP would have to endure the hugely embarrassing spectacle of an emergency convention where there's a good chance they couldn't get the 2/3 vote needed to remove him.

Posted by: jzap | July 2, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Yet another reason that I won't be donating money to the DNC.

Posted by: adlynn24 | July 2, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

*** Dems say Steele is "rooting for failure." Really, Dems? ***
--------------------------------------------

True that. I don't recall who it was that said never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake, but it's good advice. Democrats would be well advised to just take a step back and let Steele do what he does best.

Posted by: CalD | July 2, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

on the very first post of this thread I flippantly rooted for the DNC and their Rovian verbage. I now regret the error and would like to take back my mis-statement.

Why? What Greenwald said:

"I understand and even accept the need to use the other side's rhetoric against them, though once you start doing that, you forever forfeit the ability to complain when it's used against you."

Posted by: bmcchgo | July 2, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

""I understand and even accept the need to use the other side's rhetoric against them, though once you start doing that, you forever forfeit the ability to complain when it's used against you.""

Wow, I TOTALLY disagree with that.

Why? Simple.

Because on substance, when it was used against the Dems it was FALSE (nobody was rooting for failure in Iraq, just an end to the war) and when the Dems used it against the GOP it was TRUE (the GOP has explicitly stated that they want Obama to fail).

I can't believe people are neglecting to mention that.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 2, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

""I understand and even accept the need to use the other side's rhetoric against them, though once you start doing that, you forever forfeit the ability to complain when it's used against you.""

Wow, I TOTALLY disagree with that.

Why? Simple.

Because on substance, when it was used against the Dems it was FALSE (nobody was rooting for failure in Iraq, just an end to the war) and when the Dems used it against the GOP it was TRUE (the GOP has explicitly stated that they want Obama to fail).

I can't believe people are neglecting to mention that.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 2, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

There's a difference between the charge of wanting Obama to fail and the charge of undermining the troops.

What the DNC just did was to reuse the disgusting accusations that GOP warmongers flung at antiwar Americans back in the early days of the Iraq War -- that if you dissented from supporting the war, you were hurting the troops, and perhaps hoping they would fail and hating America. It was a disgusting way to tar political opponents and stifle dissent about an obviously contentious war.

This whole "undermine the morale of our troops" line of attack on Steele is the same as all that garbage from 2002-3. Shame on the DNC, and kudos to Greg and Glenn Greenwald for saying what needs to be said.

Posted by: Former_Prospector | July 2, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Ya'll may disagree, but I think these comments by the spokesman for Linda McMahon proves the efficacy of the kind of strategy the Dems have taken with respect to Steele's outrageous comments:

"We have one commander-in-chief in this country, and the president made the decision to increase the troop levels in Afghanistan," said Patru. "And Linda's position from the beginning has been that once the decision has been made, it is important that we commit ourselves to success there, that the troops have what they need to be successful, and that the political will remain consistent throughout this engagement."

Does McMahon agree or disagree with Steele's statement that Afghanistan is a war of America's choosing that was not being prosecuted before, I asked? "The history on the war in Afghanistan is a matter of public record. Is that what you're asking me?" Patru responded.

Yes, I was asking about that, I responded. To which Patru answered: "It certainly began under the Bush administration. It is now the longest running war in American history."

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/07/linda-mcmahon-campaign-on-steeles-afghanistan-commentes-we-have-one-commander-in-chief-in-this-count.php

Imho, it is key to note the following phrases:

"it is important that we commit ourselves to success there"

"It certainly began under the Bush administration"

Anything that can re-frame the topic from GOP spin to what is ACTUALLY OCCURRING is a big benefit to America and, politically, to the Dems. I think the DNC comments have already begun to have that effect.

It also explains why the neocon/Kristol contingent is so pissed off. All that progress that Liz Cheney and her cadre have made has just been totally wiped out by Steele's comments and the hard-hitting DNC response.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 2, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

What a ridiculous DNC statement. How can it hurt if - finally after so many years of reflexive neocon support of seemingly any and every potential and actual war effort - the Republican establishment has a legitimate debate about the ongoing commmitment of troops and money to the war in Afghanistan? That's a good thing - doesn't need to be played for cheap points by the DNC....

Posted by: chop1 | July 2, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

ethan,

i certainly understand the need to not let rightwiners and republicans slide. and i agree that steele's comments fit in with the larger republican strategy of rooting for failure.

we should point all of that out. but i don't think we should adopt the rightwing republican tactic of labeling any questioning of the war -- any war -- as undermining the troops and rooting for them to fail.

we could even point out that that could perhaps be a consequence if we acted on the sentiment he expressed, but we should not -- and cannot, really -- say that he was deliberately rooting for military failure.

as others have noted, that could then be applied to people, like myself, who have serious questions about our presence there.


Posted by: blahgblogwordpresscom | July 2, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Unless someone has served over there in theater or has been intimately involved with developing the soundest strategy from point of view of the White House or Pentagon, they have absolutely no clue on how winable the war is, how long we should continue to fight it out...none of that policy stuff. Whether you are Dem, GOP or just an opinionated independent, if you talk like you have all the answers, you are part of the problem. Because you don't know as much as you think you do, and you're using a big mouth in attempt to assail the opposition.

I think what Mr. Steele is attempting was to shift the narrative on to shoulders of Democrats and the President. He might have hoped only a smattering of complaints would allow alter the perception. It's clear if some people don't get reminded at least monthly on how the war actually progressed, a change in narrative could affect the public perception. A hypocrit like Steele doesn't care about facts, he only cares about if his party up in the polls. If I was doubtful of that perception before this gaffe, now I am much more convinced.
PrideNavy

Posted by: retidd | July 2, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"i don't think we should adopt the rightwing republican tactic of labeling any questioning of the war -- any war -- as undermining the troops and rooting for them to fail."

I think we absolutely should cation against undermining the troops where it is warranted. All that the American people -- troops included -- have been hearing from the Right is how Obama is a foreign usurper, not a real American, a muslim, etc. How do you think THAT plays in the military? To be in a war zone while politicians back home -- in fact THE politicians who STARTED the operation -- are calling for "Revolution" against the President?!?!

No way. I think the DNC was absolutely right to call them out on their hatred of the current Commander in Chief.

"we should not -- and cannot, really -- say that he was deliberately rooting for military failure. as others have noted, that could then be applied to people, like myself, who have serious questions about our presence there."

I hear your point. But let's keep this in context. It was a statement by the RNC responded to by the DNC. It is a political statement by nature. The DNC response was a direct attack on the RNC. While I agree that it could apply to people who genuinely question our strategy there, you don't have the ulterior political motive that the GOP has established that they are willing to exercise on ANY issue, including military conflict.

I, for one, am not thrilled by the Afghan strategy either, but I don't take offense to the statement the way I took offense to the litany of flagrantly improper GOP statements about anti-war protesters (of which I was one).

Again, substantively, I understand your reaction, but in my view, the positive benefit of landing a severe upper-cut on the chin of the RNC and Neocons is WORTH any consequences of offending people who are questioning the strategy. And again, the reason being that you ARE genuinely questioning the strategy and THEY have proven again and again that they are NOT genuinely questioning the strategy. Therein, I believe is the vast difference between the two.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 2, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

retidd,

"It's clear if some people don't get reminded at least monthly on how the war actually progressed, a change in narrative could affect the public perception. A hypocrit like Steele doesn't care about facts, he only cares about if his party up in the polls."

I agree 10,000%.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | July 2, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

It's another GOP case of blatent disregard for the facts. The difference here he was in CT, I daresay a moderate (or even Libehhhrahhl stronghold and he got caught pandering. As for Mr. Sargent's view...yes there's a bit of hypocrisy there too. Once again, when they criticize the war they did so regardless of who the audience was.

Posted by: retidd | July 2, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Stories like this one make me wonder if we belong in Afghanistan at all. After all, should we be spending our treasure and the lives of our soldiers in a war where both sides want the same sort of anti-freedom outcome?

http://rhymeswithright.mu.nu/archives/303093.php

Posted by: RhymesWithRight | July 2, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Republicans announced as soon as this President was elected that they were going to do everything in their power to see to it that he failed.
They didn't discriminate among their goals: they didn't say, well, we want him to succeed in the two wars he has inherited, we want him to succeed in making sure that North Korea doesn't detonate an atomic bomb in the South East Asia, we want him to succeed in disarming Iran of nuclear weapons, we want him to succeed in rescuing the American economy, NO, they declared that they wanted him to fail in all respects in everything.
They have been very clear about this since Nov. 4, 2008.
And, they remain clear about this.
You know, on this Fourth of July weekend in America, it is just simply sickening to realize that we have an entire and complete political party masquerating as Americans, shooting off the fireworks, secretly hoping that all of America fails. That would be the Republican Party.

Posted by: cms1 | July 2, 2010 8:43 PM | Report abuse

There is a way to "be in Afghanistan" but it's pretty bloodthirsty ~ and most folks, probably even the Red Chinese would frown on it.

First, you have to do what the Greeks did ~ give 'em jobs doing guard duty in India.

Secondly, you have to do a house to house search and destroy operation throughout the entire country ferreting out the folks who make no pretense of respecting any higher authority than their little village or valley. Just smoke 'em.

So, what's the big benefit? Well, for one, the Mongols were able to pry open the Silk Road between East Asia, Europe and South Asia. It'd been closed for about 800 years! That's a benefit if and only if we even need the Silk Road though, and modern shipping systems and aircraft have kind of made the whole thing obsolete!

There's another benefit ~ rarely spoken of ~ cheap smack! Yup, you do this right, you get cheap smack. George Soros probably thinks that's a great idea. (I don't, but this is considered a benefit by some, mostly Democrats).

Downsides include the rest of the world thinking you are nuts for going house to house exterminating the NIMBY people.

Add to that the fact that the troops would rebel, and you end up right where we are today. We are faced with letting the Afghans deal with the Afghans, if not with us, and keeping it at home.

Maybe we could offer them a reward for each and every Arab or Chechen they catch, dead or alive, pickled or fresh!

Posted by: muawiyah | July 2, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Michael Steele is his own worst enemy. Democrats have no reason to attack him as he displays his weaknesses for all to see voluntarily.

Posted by: Chas1 | July 3, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Its interesting that some seem to feel its cynical for the DNC to use the old "rooting against the troops" chestnut but not cynical of the GOP to do so.

Posted by: Chops2 | July 3, 2010 8:02 AM | Report abuse

The criticism of Democrats pointing out how Republicans attack everything Democrats & the President does, simply to enhance Republican's election chances by using Steele's flip flop on the war shows Republicans have no sense of justice.

In December 2009, in Steele's official capacity as RNC Chairman, Steele had a remarkably different take. Steele said, "Although this decision took far too long and it should not have, I am glad the president will finally provide General McChrystal with the troops he needs.."

This was said by Steele in response to President Obama's decision to greenlight a surge in Afghanistan. Steele said, "However, tonight's speech must be the beginning, not the end, of the case President Obama makes to the American people as to why this is, as he said during the campaign, 'a war we have to win.' If the president remains committed to this crucial fight, Republicans - and the American people - will stand with him..."

Video shows Steele as RNC, now saying this is Obama's war, is unwinnable, and Republicans are not with him any more.

Not only is Steele not being consistent in his comments for political purposes, he is not supporting the troops.

Of course, Republicans have been inconsistent by denegrating President Obama and the troops since he was elected.

This is despite the Republicans comments made when President Bush went to war that any comment against the war or President Bush by Democrats was unpatriotric in time of war.

To demand Justice, one must be Just - Republicans don't know what that means.

Posted by: SCVoter | July 3, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Politics aside, our great nation is at war, and we must win. Winning means an effective treaty, ratified by our Senate. Only Congress can declare war, hence, only Congress (Senate) can end the war declared.
An effective treaty will translate battlefield victory into political gain---for the American people AND their vanquished enemy. Is the complete lack of required treaty a "paper sack", which the Commander (President) can't fight out of?

Posted by: swordmakerkurtisdavis | July 3, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I would like to know where you were when a US Senator stood in the well and declared that the war in Iraq was not winnable. Yes, a US Senator, not a non elected person in charge of a political party. Reid got no flack from that statement nor did other people who called Bush a Nazi or worse. I cannot believe that this president is so thin skinned that he has to take on everyone who says anything about his polices. If Bush had done that, the press would have been all over him like bees on honey. The reason the press is so soft on Obama is the press thinks that the liberal way is normal. Grow up and take off the blinders.

Posted by: dy19spider57 | July 3, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

It might be interesting to note that the Republican National Committee has not had a chairman in years who has been in step with most Republicans.

Those of us who do not like Steele (and many of those who came before him) choose not to castigate.....it is much more effective to withhold funding from the organization, pick one's issues of choice and fund what makes sense, some of us are politically savvy enough not to need a talking head to tell us what we should be supporting (or not). I don't care what the man says, he certainly rarely speaks for me and if he needs to defend himself let him do so.

John McCain can shut up as far as I'm concerned, this critique of Steele is just the latest "tack" in his sailboat race back to his Senate seat. Or so he hopes....if the voters of Arizona don't throw his sorry butt out of that seat they will simply be perpetuating wishy, washy, mediocrity they have had for too many years!

Posted by: OregonStorm | July 5, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Nice to see the DNC follow in the stinky footsteps of Karl Rove. The Democratic party under Obama has once and for all become Republican Light.

Posted by: splamco | July 5, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

What is ironic is that just 4 years ago a lot of these same Democrats who are sharpening their knives for Steele were saying the same thing about Iraq, that the troops were doing their best, but that the situation was unwinnable. The Surge proved them wrong.

Perhaps Afghanistan is unwinnable. The Soviets failed to win there, and most Afghans seem to be betting against us now, or at least hedging their bets in the likelihood that America does fail. Perhaps, too, Afghanistan is simply a matter of finding the right leadership, strategy, and resolve. Still, the continued presence in Afghanistan and the increase in troops there turns Afghanistan into a war of Obama's own choosing. Obama didn't have to ramp up the war there, nor did he have to announce up front that we'd be pulling back out by next year, giving the Taliban every reason simply to hunker down and avoid conflict until we leave. No, Obama didn't get us into Afghanistan, but he's made the decision to keep fighting there. If it is unwinnable, though, shouldn't someone stand up and say so, or at least be willing to debate the question?

Posted by: blert | July 5, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

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