William Kristol and Robert Kagan are scrambling to retrieve something out of the Iraq mess. Their latest editorial caught my eye: “Although neither the American media nor many observers of the American political scene seem to realize it, there is nothing the Baker commission can do to force Bush to take a different course than the one he chooses. Nor is it easy for a Democratic majority in Congress to call the shots in Iraq. In the American system, the president always has enormous authority in foreign policy, if he wants to exercise it. President Bush clearly does. He intends to pursue steadfastly his own course in Iraq. He is determined not to withdraw before it becomes stable and, yes, democratic. He will not be buffeted by conventional wisdom or by Baker and his colleagues, no matter how much they employ public relations tactics to defeat him.”
Hmm. Does this mean that we impose democracy in Iraq but ignore popular wisdom at home?
OK, Kristol and Kagan do concede the obvious in the next graph, which is that no president can sustain a foreign policy that doesn’t command the support of the American people. But they’re whistling past the graveyard. The fact is that the president long ago lost that support, and he’s not going to get it back, no matter what he does.
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