Thursday, March 08, 2007

Janet goes to Iraq-- and starts sounding like a neo-con.

I have to say I was very disappointed with Governor Napolitano's trip to Iraq.

I don't have a problem with her going, to visit Arizona National Guardsmen.

But her comments seem to mirror the kind of garbage we've heard coming out of Iraq for years, citing 'progress' and expressing support for the latest folly, the President's troop surge. In that regard, she might as well have been George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleeza Rice or any of the other names we've heard spouting the line about how everything is going according to plan for the past four years (hint: if it had gone according to plan during the past four years, we'd be out of there by now.)

Politically, it is not hard to see where the Governor is going. In 2010, she will be term-limited out, and John McCain, who will be older than the hills by then and who will likely be weakened by a failed Presidential run (just look at how fast he is dropping in GOP primary polls) will be up for re-election. If McCain does not then retire, or even if he does, she would be all but guaranteed of the Democratic nomination to run for the Senate.

In terms of the Iraq war, McCain has taken a very hardline stance. So even if people are turned off by her pro-Iraq war stance, it's not like she has much ground to lose on the issue.

But it still bothers me. In four years, we have accomplished the objectives of Iran more than anything else, and I'm sure the Governor is smart enough to realize that.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Eli:
I would expect the Governor to call it how she sees it and I believe thats what she did. We shouldn't force her to say only the things that the DNC wants her to say. If she sees progress, Hurray. Our politicians are over categorized already. You don't need to call Janet a "Neo Con" just because she tells the truth.

The problem is that you don't want any good news from Iraq. If you did, you would have been happy for an optimistic assessment of the situation.

Eli Blake said...

Anonymous,

The problem is that I've heard exactly the same kind of phony 'optimism' for the past four years, and in fact things have only gotten worse and worse.

As for the 'neo-con' remark, well, that's generally who I've heard it from for the past four years.

If there is progress then great, but I'll believe it when it happens, because I sure haven't seen any of the past assessments of 'progress' turn out to be anything other than illusions. As far as I can see, the only result of the 'surge' has been an increase, not a decrease, in violence-- and many predicted that would be the case beforehand. And in the meantime, the net effect of this debate about what to do in Iraq is that more Americans will die while we figure out how to get out.

Nicholas said...

anonymous is right though.

Janet Napolitano has never been a hard core liberal. There are certain issues she believes strongly in, like all-day kindergarten and paying teachers better, but on everything else she is a pragmatic centrist. That doesn't make her a neo-con. To be honest, if she was a hard-core liberal... well you'd be looking at the second term of the Matt Salmon administration right now.

Keep in mind that one out of every three Republicans in Arizona voted for her last year to be re-elected. That is because she is the kind of politician who people want to be working on solving our problems, not hidebound by ideology or partisanship.

As for the political impact, you are stretching it. You are speculating on a Senate race that is so far away that no one has even thought about who the candidates will be. And I think, even if the war goes well (which to be honest I share your doubts about) that no one will remember in 2010 what she said on this trip to Iraq, and if anything it will hurt her more with the MoveOn.org nutty left that still dominates the nominating process in the Democratic party than it might help her with people who (if they have those positions) are more likely to still vote for John McCain anyway.