Wlady: I am indeed listening, but all I’m hearing is an echo. The Chris Matthews mantra — Tonkin Gulf was a fraud, so is Iraq’s WMD — is a liberal chant now popular among the more fevered antiwar types.
Even more interesting is Hillary’s forced recalibration. Preparing to throw her broom into the ring for ’08, she has been wisely running to the right of her party on the war. And, as a result, she’s been bashed by the Cindy Sheehanite wing of her party. She can’t get the nomination without their support, and the Sorosbucks that come with it. Two weeks ago, the Clinton machine was bashing Cindy Sheehan. Now the Sheehanites are reining her in.
According to a fascinating Newsday report, Mizz Clinton, “received thousands of letters and e-mails on the war, many asking her to justify her October 2002 vote authorizing the invasion of Iraq.” In response, she’s tacking left, and gaining speed. That report quotes a letter she sent out to constituents and — much more importantly — political donors, saying, “I do not believe that we should allow this to be an open-ended commitment without limits or end.” The letter goes on to say, “Nor do I believe that we can or should pull out of Iraq immediately.” Nicely parsed, that.
Howard Fineman wrote that the president wasn’t saying we should cut and run, but to “trim and tiptoe.” So how shall we characterize Hillary’s left turn? It’s neither “cut and run” nor “stay the course.”