Begala claimed his good doctor had said it recently, but that wasn't true: It was published in the Jewish newspaper The Forward in November. That's not all. Begala didn't finish the sentence he's quoting in that article, which is understandable since it would have given the audience the true flavor of this man's thinking. It ends, "Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men."
And there's more still. If you want a good look at what Begala and Carville's new most esteemed historian in the world would have us do in Iraq, that comes earlier in the piece. He suggests our model is the fall of Saigon, a complete, abject withdrawal: "Clearly this is not a pleasant model to follow, but no other alternative appears in sight."
When CNN's Wolf Blitzer asked about the international signal sacking Rumsfeld would send, Begala shot back: "It would send a signal to our soldiers that incompetence will be punished. When Les Aspin was the secretary of Defense for President Clinton, he was asked to send armor into Somalia. . . . Les Aspin lost his job for that. . . . He was fired because of that."
Can Begala be straightforward about anything? Fired? Funny, that's not exactly what the media reported when Aspin resigned about two months after the Somalia fiasco. Newsweek reported: "After the massacre, he offered Clinton his resignation. The president turned it down, but the endgame had begun." Less-than-loyal Clinton began searching for a replacement behind his back. When the search was over, "Clinton was gracious with the bad news. He told Aspin to take some time off and come back with an idea of what else he would like to do." Clinton also "praised him at some length for mapping out a new defense strategy, and for his 'razor-sharp mind.'"
Aspin resented the "college bull session" style of White House meetings, Newsweek said: "Clinton seemed unwilling to set any clear objectives, and his top advisers . . . never could agree on a course of action." Aspin is dead now, so he is blamed by Team Clinton for Team Clinton's mistakes.
Liberal TV pundits have every right to criticize. But they're the ones who look untethered to reality when they start inflating Iraq into the biggest disaster in centuries, or even millennia. And by the way, Messrs. Carville and Begala: most foolish war since Caesar Augustus? That's one hell of an insult to our troops, who are fighting, suffering and dying as we speak.