Yglesias Award Nominee
by Chris Bodenner
"Sen. Obama didn't support the surge.... I supported it when it was the toughest thing to do. [T]he American people will examine our records, and I will win." That's John McCain explaining why he'll win. He's wrong. He's leading a loud chorus of conservatives and Republicans desperate to make the surge the defining issue of the campaign. ... Yes, McCain heroically pushed for the surge when the war was at its most unpopular point. ... That's all great stuff for McCain's biographers. But the tragic Catch-22 for the Arizona senator is that the more the surge succeeds, the more politically advantageous it is for Obama. Voters don't care about the surge; they care about the war. ... If [the war] were going worse, McCain's Churchillian rhetoric would match reality more. But with sectarian violence nearly gone, Al Qaeda in Iraq almost totally routed and even Shiite Sadrist militias seemingly neutralized, the stakes of withdrawal seem low enough for Americans to feel comfortable voting for Obama. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's support for an American troop drawdown undoubtedly pushes the perceived stakes even lower. ... Although the economy will dominate this election, McCain can still press his advantage on foreign policy. But not with I-told-you-sos. Re-arguing the surge is almost as counterproductive as re-arguing the war itself. Elections are about the future," - Jonah Goldberg, National Review.