A Good Question

Tim Fernholtz, a new American Prospect writing fellow, is becoming must-reading. Here he is with a good question about McCain's "listen to the Generals"-centric policy agenda:

But it raises this important question: If John McCain knows nothing about the economy and most domestic issues but wants to be elected based on his foreign policy, which is apparently 'do whatever David Petraeus says,' why not have McCain do a surprise endorsement of Petraeus and drop out? It would certainly be easier than crafting a coherent foreign policy.

The whole notion of listening to commanders on the ground as an alternative to listening to the Iraqi government is a bit bizarre. I mean, suppose President McCain is inaugurated in January. Then Prime Minister Maliki says, "we want US forces out within two years." People want to know how McCain will respond. And he says . . . ask General Odierno. But at this point unless General Odierno is totally unfamiliar with the constitution, he's going to have to . . . turn around and ask the White House what the administration's policy is. After all, there's a substantial difference between a military deployment in support of a foreign government and one taking place in the face of opposition from that government.