I feel sorry for people like David Corn who have put themselves in such a box that they de facto are rooting for failure in Iraq, no matter how much they deny that.
Well, I'd already read Juan Cole for the latest update on just how good things are de facto looking for the people "like David" (my fourth grade teacher would smack your knuckles for confusing "like" and "as", Roger) who are rooting de facto for failure. And it occurred to me to google "rooting failure Iraq" in hopes of finding a quote chain and some de facto humor.
It didn't work out that way. First, I found a lot of links to people responding to the notion instead of perpetrating it. Then I noticed that the phrase seemed specifically connected to the various Iraqi elections, as though "rooting for failure" meant "party pooper" in hyperbolical Rightspeak. I stumbed upon The Politburo Diktat (commissar), and Protein Wisdom (Jeff Goldstein), and a curious feature of the phenomenon.
Both jumped last Thursday at the opportunity to claim that anti-war leftist bloggers were ignoring the Great Day. Der commissar:
You would not know from reading AMERICABlog, dKos, Atrios, TalkLeft, TBogg, Bitch Phd, Mustang Bobby, Talking Points Memo, firedoglake, pandagon, Left Coaster, Brad deLong, or (surprisingly) Kevin Drum* that there is an election being held in Iraq today.
[The apostrophe led to the following: "I expect Kevin to have something reasonable and positive to say later on. (He did.)" It also noted that Mustang Bobby wished the Iraqi people well. So there was time for an update, and a single apostrophe, but curiously, no time to shorten the list.]
Goldstein took a slightly different tack: listing the items run that day by our All-Star anti-war leftist blogs and bolding "relevant" stories to demonstrate the relative paucity of coverage. He concluded with a nice flourish:
Note : I’m not passing judgment on these sites; I’m just trying to give you some idea about how the anti-war sites are reacting to the elections. Perhaps some sites are waiting for results. Or a really nasty explosion or something. You can draw your own conclusions. [emphasis in original]
Now, I'm sure you're ahead of me at this point. You already expect a blogger would recognize the distinction between a blog and the daily tree-killer they toss on your doorstep. And most, if not all, of those folks The Diktat mentioned are opinion writers, not news blogs. I sure didn't click on Brad DeLong last Thursday hoping he'd update me on what CNN was saying about the elections, and I don't turn to Mr. Boggioni for a soothing recap of what everybody already knows. And Goldstein's choices were even odder: The Huffington Post Blog had entries on other topics? Crooked Timber was also covering a dispute between the Irish Department of Justice and the European Parliament? The Poor Man hadn't updated? Wow. Draw your own conclusions. Mine is that anybody who tosses Wonkette into a "Leftist" mix is intending to fudge the data.
Okay, we're all caught up now. Time for an update. Tuesday, December 20, headlines: "Shiite alliance takes commanding lead in Iraq elections"; "Secular candidates not doing well in Iraq elections"; "Sunnis decry Iraq election results"; "Coercion marred Iraq elections : experts"; "Iran wins big in Iraq's elections";
And here are yesterday's relevant blog entries from Goldstein and the commissar:
[this space left intentionally blank]
Hypocrite, am I? Doing the same thing these guys did, expecting a blogger to jump right to the keyboard and get to work? Okay, well, let's look at the days since the election to see how they've been keeping up with this major story. Commissar: two posts--a link last Friday to "the acid-tongued, anti-American, anti-Iraqi government blogger Riverbend" which will surprise the reader "familiar with her diatribes and lies", and a post last Sunday, calling Juan Cole a liar for claiming “The elections in Iraq will install an Islamic Republic". Need I mention that Cole said no such thing? He reported on early returns, according to al-Zaman and the AP, that the religious Shiite parties were sweeping the south, and that Allawi was doing poorly. I'm left feeling a bit dirty for having to mention the two in the same paragraph.
Then Goldstein: four posts which even mentioned the elections, only one of which actually concerned the actual election, a link to a UPI story via the Jammies kids saying that insurgents had prevented violence at the polls. The other three: an ABC link stating the elections were partly responsible for Bush's improved poll numbers; an insistence (seconding Fred Barnes) that Democrats are lying about poll numbers showing Iraqis want the US out, and will use the "high voter turnout" as evidence; and a claim that the NSA story came out in order to distract from the success of the elections.
You can draw your own conclusions about people who insist the acid-tongued, anti-war, anti-American left is insufficiently enthusiastic about an election whose actual results they themselves lose interest in almost instantaneously. A skeptical man might suggest they know the high point has already been reached and would appreciate it if the rest of us remembered how great the party was and not all the broken furniture we found the next day.
Ah, you say, but they've been busy covering the NSA story, right? Well, some. But since Goldstein listed what those lefties were finding to blog about instead, let's have a look at some of the important stuff he's been doing in the interim:
• A satirical conversation in which John Murtha disagrees with his mechanic, implying he doesn't know anything about cars or the military, not like George W. (and Goldstein, presumably).
• A discussion of literary criticism and somebody's column on King Kong.
• A magical realist interview with Tucker Carlson's bowtie.
• Anna Nicole Smith's Christmas Card [note: not real card].
• Steven Spielberg--"Zionist-hating prick".
• A review of The 40 Year Old Virgin (2005, in case you'd forgotten).
• An imaginary conversations with his progressive friends at his first holiday party of the season [he wins, with a single laser-like retort].
• Cindy Sheehan.