Joe Biden: Edwards is Mistaken, but I'm Not
Wed Nov 16, 2005 at 12:25:26 PM PDT
- From today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Former Sen John Edwards of North Carolina rcently said his vote to authorize the war was a mistake. Biden's reaction:
"I think he did make a mistake. He voted for the war and against funding it, I think that was a mistake.
Sigh... so if Edwards had voted for both things, then it wouldn't have been a mistake? And yet, Biden manages to very nearly contradict himself with his very next statement:
"The only regret I had voting for the war is that I never anticipated how incompetent the administration would be in using the authority we gave them to avoid war.
Oh no - but this is not a "mistake." This is merely a "regret." It's espcially frustrating to see Biden unwilling to make the same admission as Edwards, considering there is actually not that much daylight between their two stances. Consider the following recent remarks:
He said the American people are starting to "catch on" that they were at least partially "snookered and tricked," though he said that's not the administration's greatest failing.
The argument for going to war with Iraq was based on intelligence that we now know was inaccurate. The information the American people were hearing from the president - and that I was being given by our intelligence community - wasn't the whole story. Had I known this at the time, I never would have voted for this war.
Back to that Post-Gazette interview, we see where Biden is actually coming from. Sigh again... he imagines that there is still some "possibility of succeeding."
"Everyone kind of second-guesses us right now and I realize there is big pressure on Sen. Edwards, and me and anyone seeking the nomination because 80 percent of the Democrats say, leave now, basically, or get the troops out ... what I look at is how is it going to look like in 2008, not 2006. So if we pull out in 2006, prematurely, when there's still some possibility of succeeding, if we pull out of Iraq in 2006, and it devolves into the civil war I fear ... then what happens when that terror is exported, which I guarantee it will be -- and by the way, it never existed before. ... the idea that Iraq was exporting terror, was an Islamist base was simply not true. It's become that. We've attracted them just like Afghanistan attracted them."
This point of view makes Biden sound like he's living in two-years-ago land. I guess some people just get so invested in the decisions they make that they simply can't admit their mistakes.
I suspect it's more than that, because Al Franken has a similar,
sickening 'we can't leave' attitude even though he probably, unlike
Biden, considers the war a mistake. I have to conclude that for many
people it is difficult to accept 'least harm' as a 'positive'
outcome. It's another and subtler form of George W. Bush's
narcissistic division of the world into 'for me = 'good'' and 'against
me = 'evil''—sharp verbal distinctions coloring actual life
circumstances of 'less harm' versus 'more harm'. We must leave now and
let the least harm proceed.