The Republican debate last night was definitely argumentative. I was waiting for John McCain and Mitt Romney to clench one another's throat and choke away. The intense dislike between these two is apparent. The argument had to do with McCain's assertion in Florida that Romney called for timetables for withdrawal from Iraq. McCain has been steadfastly supporting a permanent American presence in Iraq for at least the next 100 years.
Reality check for McCain: 70% of Americans are dead set against that policy.
Romney claims he never called for a publicly announced date for withdrawal but for a secret agreement with the Iraqi leadership for progress on political issues. No peace will ever come to Iraq until the Shias, Sunnis and Kurds agree to share power, resources and wealth. No progress has yet been made because the Bush Administration refuses to mandate goals and benchmarks for completion of these issues.
Republicans have blocked every Democratic effort to impose such basic management methods. I love the GOP revisionism on Iraq: now it's the Democrats fault that we lost this war. Calling it "Hillary's surrender" is lying. George W. Bush and his fellow Republicans lost this war, not Clinton. Hillary, in fact, supported Bush and was one of his enablers in Congress.
Democrats didn't lose Iraq, Republicans lost this war. Trying to transfer the blame for their massive policy failures is cowardice. Democrats didn't disband the Iraqi Army. Democrats didn't declare Baathists could no be employed. Democrats didn't create phony intelligence and lie to America to build phony support for the war. Democrats didn't fail to deploy enough troops to keep the peace. Democrats didn't fail to have a plan for civil administration of Iraq during an occupation. Democrats didn't lie about how many Iraqis were being trained. Democrats didn't blindly equip the insurgents with our own arms. It wasn't Democrats who failed to have enough troops to guard large arms caches and depots during the invasion.
These were all Republican failures, mismanaged by the White House and supported by a GOP Congress and Cabinet. Now the Republican presidential candidates are trying to paint the blame for their massive failures on the Democrats. It is The Big Lie of 2008.