Thursday, January 25, 2007

Cognitive dissonance on General Petraeus's nomination

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted unanimously to approve General Petraeus's nomination to be commander of the forces in Iraq. He's expected to be easily approved by the rest of the Senate.

Isn't this a bit of cognitive dissonance? The Democrats on this committee and in the Senate condemn the plan that Petraeus put together. They're willing to vote (in a nonbinding way, of course) to voice their disapproval of this plan. But they're approving the guy who devised the plan and is going to head on over there to put it in action. And they wish him Godspeed as they do so. If they're so against this plan, why approve the guy who developed it and wants to implement it?

Meanwhile, the Democrats (and some Republicans) are having some trouble trying to distinguish how their nonbinding resolution doesn't interfere with their support for the troops. Senator Schumer went on NBC and was asked about this by David Gregory.
Gregory: But how can the public really buy [that] the Democrats support the troops but don't support the mission? How can you do both?

Schumer: Well, that's the difficulty. A resolution that says we're against this escalation, that's easy. The next step will be how do you put further pressure on the administration against the escalation but still supporting the troops who are there? And that's what we're figuring out right now.
In other words, it's easy to pass a meaningless resolution. Figuring out how they support the troops - that is for later. (link via James Taranto)

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