The Bad And Better Joe Klein

Via atrios and Instaputz.

My defenses (kidding) of Joe Klein finally struck gold. He didn't genuflect (a la Mark "Freak Show" Halperin) at the altar of Hugh Hewitt. But Joe can't help but falsely smear Left Blogs saying:

JK: You know, the most recent thing that I did that got them [the Left Blogs] ticked off was in my column not this week, but last week. I reported that there was good news in Al Anbar Province . . . I did this based on a lot of reporting, and including a high-ranking military official in Iraq, and I was accused of taking dictation from the Bush administration by some of the left wing bloggers. . . . [I]t’s because there are, you know, this doesn’t represent everybody on the left. It only represents a small segment. But there are people who just don’t want good news from Iraq. . . . JK: They want us to lose

Come on Joe. Criticizing you is not wanting us to lose. I disagreed with the criticism actually but for crissakes, what is it about your ego that would equate criticism of you with wanting us to lose? Sound like Bush on that one.

But now for the somewhat better Klein:

HH: Joe, I want to know if you’ve read America Alone.

JK: No, I haven’t read America Alone. What’s that?

HH: It’s Mark Steyn’s bestseller, New York Times.

JK: (laughing) Oh, it’s right wing propaganda. I read stuff in the middle, I talk to our generals, I talk to our intelligence community, I try and get, I don’t believe in much of the crap that’s coming from the left or right on this stuff. We’re not in World War IV, but we’re in a very serious situation, and we’re not…and up until Gates was hired, we haven’t, this administration hasn’t taken a very serious situation very seriously.

HH: I’m going back to your column, though. Do you read Victor Davis Hanson, last guy I’ll ask you about.

JK: Yes, from time to time. I think he’s ridiculous. He’s a wonderful historian, and his sense of what’s going on in Iraq right now is as foolish as Bernard Lewis’ sense.

HH: So Bernard Lewis, Victor Davis Hanson and Mark Steyn are all foolish?

JK: Yes, absolutely.

Now I say the better Joe Klein not because he knows what he is talking about. On Iraq, he really does not imo. And his reflexive Broderism is pretty appalling. But it is "better Joe" because he at least stands up to Hewitt and calls wingnuts wingnuts. And that is "better" than most of them.

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    Speaking of Broder (1.00 / 2) (#1)
    by talex on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 12:32:10 PM EST
    It seems like he is finally starting to wake up. In fact he is reporting something here that the Left Bogoshphere for some reason wants to ignore.

    Bush has hinted that he is taking a fresh look at the suggestion from the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group that U.S. troops be reduced in number and redeployed to concentrate on training Iraqis and fighting al-Qaeda. He was cool to that report when it was issued in December, but now he has moved on another of the Baker-Hamilton recommendations by having his ambassador in Baghdad open talks on the future of Iraq with the Iranian ambassador.

    Meanwhile, a significant movement is developing in the Senate to make Baker-Hamilton's recommendations the official policy of the government. A resolution to that effect, co-sponsored by Democrat Ken Salazar of Colorado and Republican Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, will be introduced in early June, with at least six other senators -- three from each party -- endorsing it.

    These senators are centrists -- the kind who can exert leverage on their colleagues. But the man who can do the most to catalyze the shift among Republicans is Sen. John Warner of Virginia, the widely respected former chairman of the Armed Services Committee. Colleagues say that Warner is torn between his loyalty to the president and his deep anxiety about events in Iraq. And as a former Navy secretary, he has an acute awareness of the price America's fighting men and women are paying for the policy mistakes there.

    If Warner shifts, many other Republican senators will move with him, and the policy will change. I think that time is coming soon.

    I was very surprised when I did not run across any of the blogs picking up on the fact that Rice's visit to Syria and our recent sit-down with Iraq was in fact in step with the B-H Iraq Study Group. And now Bush is looking at other suggested areas of the B-H recommendations.

    Who says the Dems efforts are not having any affect?
    And then there is this from another long time war supporter David Ignatius:

    President Bush said publicly last Thursday what his top aides have been discussing privately for weeks. He talked about a transition to "a different configuration" in Iraq after the surge of U.S. troops is completed this summer. When pressed on whether he was talking about a post-surge Plan B, Bush answered: "Actually, I would call that a plan recommended by Baker-Hamilton, so that would be a Plan B-H."
    Funding would run out again at the end of September, and there were growing signs that Republicans would join Democrats in calling for a troop withdrawal. Before that September vote, Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, would be making a crucial progress report. It was unlikely that Petraeus would be able to proclaim such glowing success that congressional criticism would disappear, and in any event officials were wary of putting all their eggs in that basket. Political reality required a reduction in U.S. troops during 2008, rather than an open-ended surge.
    The internal debate seems to have been quite open for a White House that sometimes appears to be operating in a bubble. Officials say it helped that the president has a new team on Iraq -- from White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten to Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Centcom commander Adm. William Fallon to Ambassador Ryan Crocker and Gen. Petraeus.

    So Bush is actually quoted as saying "Plan B-H". Interesting.

    Yeah well OK - the blogs missed this one also. Seems like the old saws that support the war are not only seeing the writing on the wall - they are reporting it.

    Got to give them credit - they beat the blogs to the punch on this significant news.

    And again...

    Who says the Dems efforts are not having any affect?

    Dems efforts are not having any affect? (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Edger on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 12:56:09 PM EST
    Sure they are, talex. Just what you've wanted. Looks like a good fifty years or so.... Happy?

    E (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 01:57:10 PM EST
    Why pay attention to this fellow? The "development" he writes about was debunked here, and everywhere where people have brains.

    HE is not one of those. The fool is best ignored.


    Pity The Fool (1.00 / 2) (#5)
    by talex on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 02:21:14 PM EST
    who speaks with forked tongue.

    What Bush said and is now planning around has not been debunked by you.

    He said it and is starting to act on it and not only are other newspapers besides the WaPo reporting and talking about it but as of a few days ago I discovered today a few blogs are talking about it.

    Of course this whole development slipped by you.

    Consider yourself debunked you fool.


    Only (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 04:59:29 PM EST
    to show what he's after.

    Klein means small as in insinificant (none / 0) (#3)
    by koshembos on Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 01:10:52 PM EST
    Stupidly doesn't prevent the stupid from doing and saying smart things once in awhile. Broder, Klein, Ignatius and Freedman are as mediocre as news at 5. Typically they make little sense and once in awhile it's bull's eye.

    Writing about these people is a waste of time.