If You Live Long Enough


Actually, if you live four years. A gem from Rich Lowry:

It's a good lesson in why you should put your faith in principles not in men. It was always weird that so many conservatives stayed so vested in Rumsfeld — mostly because they liked his style and he was attacked by the left — when the policy he preferred was pretty close to that of Murtha: Begin to scale down, so the Iraqis will have an incentive to help themselves.

Well, as I recall, it was National Review among others that championed re-electing Bush in 2004 and re-electing Republicans in 2006, knowing full well it meant more Rumsfeld. And those of us who called for his ouster were variously slimed and attacked as pro-terror or somehow lily-livered fair-weather war-supporters. And even now, Lowry continues to mouthe the emptiest of phrases:

On the merits, needless to say, I think the Rumsfeld proposals to pull back are folly. Chaotic areas of Iraq need more U.S. forces not less.

From where? How many? 50,000 now? I could go on. Actually, I have gone on and on and on. Because I actually wanted the Iraq experiment to work more than I wanted Republicans to save face. And that's the difference here: not between men and principles, but between party and principles. Lowry picked party. He's now living with the consequences. In fact, we all are.

(Photo: Stephen Chernin/Getty.)