Thursday, May 8, 2008

Forest, Trees, Etc.

Sen. Collins waives two cents at war critics, and BDN acts like she's given them a dollar.

Wednesday's BDN editorial is better than the paper's first article touting the junior senator's proposed ban on Iraq reconstruction spending: The piece acknowledges that the plan is almost purely symbolic. But it still errs in characterizing the proposal as genuine, meaningful progress.

Notably, it fails to mention that there is no new funding in the pipeline for Iraq reconstruction--at least none that I've been able to find. So prohibiting such expenditure is either an empty gesture, or a suggestion that the President can't be trusted not to shift US military funds to Iraq reconstruction projects.

(Of course, if Collins thinks the latter is the case, and that the President is fundamentally untrustworthy, she should end her support for his Iraq policy.)

Implicit in the editorial, throughout, is the sense that while the proposal doesn't amount to much, it's the best politically viable progress we can currently hope for.

But that assumption misses a key point: What's politically viable is a function of what Sen. Collins and her "moderate" Republican friends are willing to get behind.

In other words, BDN ought to cut out the middle man and call on Collins to abandon her unwavering support for an indefinite occupation. And it should challenge Sen. Collins to withdraw her endorsement of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) unless he pledges to extricate us from Iraq in a lot less than 100 years.

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