Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Politics As Usual

When John McCain issued a statement Wednesday vowing to work "to delay Friday night's debate until we have taken action to address " the current financial crisis, he "temporarily set politics aside." However, former U.S. Representative Mickey Edwards (R.-OK), now a lecturer at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, explained best the illogic of McCain's misguided effort to intervene in this affair:

McCain and Obama are both members of the senate and they're both able to help craft a solution if they wish to do so without putting the presidential campaign on hold; after all, I’m sure congressional leaders would be willing to accept their calls if they have some important insights to impart. And while one of them will eventually become president, neither one is president yet, nor is either one a member of the congressional leadership; I’m confident that somehow the administration and the other 533 members of congress will be able to muddle through without tapping into the superior wisdom and intellect of their nominees. Sorry, john; it really sounds like you're afraid to debate. This sounds like the sort of ploy we used to use in junior high school elections.

As Ben Smith of Politico put it: "in terms of the timing of this move: The only thing that's changed in the last 48 hours is the public polling."

But this is not the Repub Party's most politically expedient move that has come to light in the past 48 hours. According to the Wonk Room at think progress.org, Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki on September 17 described in an interview with Al-Iraqiya the nature of negotiations between the United States and Iraq about withdrawal of American troops. According to a transcript obtained from the Open Source Center, Maliki explained

Actually, the final date was really the end of 2010 and the period between the end of 2010 and the end of 2011 was for withdrawing the remaining troops from all of Iraq, but they [the Bush administration] asked for a change [in date] due to political circumstances related to the domestic situation [in the US] so it will not be said to the end of 2010 followed by one year for withdrawal but the end of 2011 as a final date. Agreement has been reached on this issue. They are willing to respond positively because they, too, are facing a critical situation.

So the timing of the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq would be subject to political considerations- presidential politics and George W. Bush's effort to get John McCain elected president. So much for "supporting the troops."

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