Iraq Not Just McCain's Problem

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jul 08, 2008 12:20 PM
It's worth wondering why Barack Obama can get away with the numerous policy shifts with nary a peep from the left.  It's tempting to conclude that -- given that he had the most liberal voting record in the entire Senate in 2007 (yes, to the left of Kennedy, Leahy and even former Socialist Bernie Sanders) -- the left knows that a lot of the moderate talk is just that . . . talk.

But as this Bloomberg piece notes, there is one topic upon which the left will brook no dissent -- seeking an immediate withdrawal in Iraq, which given the good (though underreported) news from the region, is tantamount to seizing defeat from the jaws of victory.

No doubt the unpopularity of the Iraq war is difficult for McCain.  But it's difficult for Barack, too.  If he persists in the pull-out-now absolutism that helped him defeat Hillary Clinton, he's going to look like a defeatist (and despite the best efforts of some in the MSM to obscure it, the fact is that Americans have long wanted to win in Iraq.  If he shifts to the center, he alienates his most reliable constituency, i.e. the far left -- and further embitters the Hillary Clinton crowd, which isn't likely to forget that he secured the nomination in large part by hammering her on the topic.