It's always good to see bloggish notions getting wider dispersion through newspaper columnists not named "Paul Krugman." Take, for example, today's Eugene Robinson column:

The next six months in Iraq are crucial -- and always will be. That noise you heard yesterday on Capitol Hill was the can being kicked further down the road leading to January 2009, when George W. Bush gets to hand off his Iraq fiasco to somebody else.

It's clear by now that playing for time is the real White House strategy for Iraq. Everything else is tactical maneuver and rhetorical legerdemain -- nothing up my sleeve -- with which the administration is buying time, roughly in six-month increments.

Increasingly, I think Republicans are shooting themselves in the foot politically. More and more people have figured out what's happening. As I write in a new piece for The Guardian:

Soon enough, though, it'll be time for another election, and polls have shown for some time now that the American public has no appetite for an indefinite military commitment to Iraq and that, however they may struggle to hide it, is exactly what Republicans are promising as will be perfectly evident if Bush gets his way and more than 100,000 American soldiers are still in Mesopotamia when voters go to the polls in 14 months.

That's great, if you work at the DCCC or the DSCC. For the country, though, it's really not so good and it would be much, much, better to implement better policies rather than just waste the next 18 months.

At any rate, now I'm watching John Kerry, and I'm thinking someone should ask General Petraeus how you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake.