On September 2, 2007’s Meet The Press, Bob Shrum, Mary Matalin, James Carville, and Michael Murphy sat at the “round table” and discussed many current issues.
When the subject of Iraq came up, Mary Matalin began by pointing out how many of the “benchmarks” in Iraq were set up for failure. She then (as Duncan Hunter did in last night’s debate) began to point out many successes in recent months.
Bob Shrum immediately started throwing in his usual liberal talking points that intentionally mislead Americans. I’m sick of the left’s incomplete statements regarding Iraq, but then again, full thoughts have never been part of their usual dialogue.
What astonishes me is how many keep missing it…
Here was part of the exchange that caught my eye and I have put the portion of Shrum’s comments in bold that immediately got my attention:
MS. MATALIN: Yes, because what we’re seeing for the first time last week, is a majority of people now support and believe that the war can be won. This leaked negative aspect of the GAO report, which in no way measured the progress on the things that really matter: Are the Iraqis making a difference? Did not report on the Sunni split thing, did not report on the provincial progress, did not report on the political reconciliation, did not report on the religious reconciliation. It does not comport with the critics of the president who say progress is being made, including front-runners Hillary Rodham Clinton and, and Barack Obama. So people are very nuanced about this. They understand not only that it can be won, but that it must be one. They understand the consequences of defeat. Further, two thirds of them trust—and nobody more than the generals—when Petraeus and Crocker come and give their report, that will be the positive time.
MR. SHRUM: I hope, I hope the Republican hires you to make that argument in November of 2008.
MS. MATALIN: I’ll make that happily.
MR. SHRUM: Because let me tell, let me tell you something, this Petraeus report is going to be the eighth, ninth or 10th iteration of mission semi-accomplished. It’s going to be the same thing General Westmoreland did just before the Tet Offensive when he came back and said there was light at the end of the tunnel. We are bogged down in a civil war in Iraq, the country wants to get out. I think you should run a Republican candidate who says, “Let’s stay indefinitely.”
MS. MATALIN: Hillary doesn’t think that. Obama doesn’t think that.
MR. SHRUM: No, Hillary says we need to get out—wait a minute!
MS. MATALIN: Baird doesn’t think that.
MR. SHRUM: No, no, Hillary says we need to get out—wait a minute. Hillary says we ought to get out of Iraq.
MR. MURPHY: No, she doesn’t.
MR. SHRUM: She ways we ought to get out of Iraq.
MS. MATALIN: These benchmarks were designed to produce a negative report. They do not measure progress, and they measure apples and oranges. The congressionally mandated progress report for the president is to show progress and the, and the GAO is to show completion. So if an element of the benchmark has three parts to it and they’ve completed two, the president says they’ve made progress, and the GAO says “No, they’ve not made any progress whatsoever,” despite the fact that they’ve completed two thirds of what it requires to do that benchmark. It’s all—this is all—and people know this out there.
MR. SHRUM: No, they don’t. No, they don’t.
MS. MATALIN: They are sick of it.
MR. SHRUM: No, they don’t.
MS. MATALIN: Yes, they do.
MR. SHRUM: No, they don’t. They want us to withdraw from Iraq. This is…
MS. MATALIN: No.
MR. SHRUM: …the relentless rhetoric of redemption that started after mission accomplished turned out not to be true.
MS. MATALIN: No. Even twenty…
MR. SHRUM: And General Petraeus…
MS. MATALIN: Bob, read your own polls.
MR. SHRUM: …may be an excellent general, but we all know—we all know the administration’s going to put tremendous pressure…
MS. MATALIN: There…
MR. SHRUM: …on him. He’s going to come in there and the odds are overwhelming he’s going to say, “The surge is working. I need more time.” And James is right. They’re talking about having to be there for nine or 10 years.
MS. MATALIN: They’re talking about a presence…
MR. SHRUM: This country is not going to vote for a president—Petraeus has said nine or 10 years. Country is not going to vote for a president who’s going to keep us there for nine or 10 years.
MS. MATALIN: I—you keep talking like this, because even, even…
MR. SHRUM: I will, Mary, I promise you.
MS. MATALIN: …there’s only 25 percent of the Democrats think that…
MR. SHRUM: I will.
MS. MATALIN: …we should immediately withdraw.
MR. SHRUM: I didn’t say immediately withdraw.
MS. MATALIN: We have, but we have…
MR. SHRUM: That’s another, now that’s another, now that’s a perfect Cheneyism.
MS. MATALIN: We have presence, we have troop presence in the world.
MR. SHRUM: I didn’t say immediately withdraw. I just said they thought we should withdraw.
It is Bob Shrum’s fault in the earlier part of that exchange (along with every other liberal that mis-leads) when he makes idiotic proclamations like “Hillary wants us out” or when they say that the “majority” of the American people want “out of Iraq!”
You know what, OF COURSE the majority of Americans want out of Iraq. I want our troops home, everybody does! But if Democrats would actually finish their broad statements by telling us exactly when that should be, perhaps they could finally thrash their way to a coherent position. Should it be after we win, Mr. Shrum? Should we leave now? Should we leave after five benchmarks are met or 20?
Could one liberal finish that statement?
The entire message from Democrats (since five minutes before we went in) is that they want out but they never leave us with details of how we should leave or what condition Iraq should be in. They purposely set people like Mary Matalin up by making these idiotic, half-baked statements as an example of their “eye on the issues” when they exude as every liberal candidate does now and as Bob Shrum did in this interview the very same thing we have known forever — they have no plan!
Whenever you are in a debate with a liberal that says “the majority of Americans want out of Iraq,” just make sure you force them to finish the thought and actually make a point that will help America.