Urbin Report

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Biden got it backwards

Rob points out that Biden was dead wrong in his speech last night.

I got to thinking about that line and I began to wonder: What, exactly, has Obama been right about and McCain been wrong about?

It’s sort of hard to compare the two Senators because one has been in the Senate for decades and the other hasn’t even been there for a full term yet, but there is one major issue we can compare the two on: Iraq. And in that comparison it’s actually McCain that comes out on top.

Think about it. Obama declared the war lost over a year ago. He opposed the surge saying that it not only wouldn’t work but that it would also make conditions in Iraq worse. In the primaries, when Obama was campaigning against fellow Democrats who had voted in favor the war (like Hillary Clinton and, ahem, Joe Biden) he made a big deal about opposing the war from day one and ending the war as soon as possible upon entering office.

He was wrong about all of that. The war in Iraq has not been lost. In fact, we’re now all but victorious in the conflict. The surge strategy didn’t make things worse in Iraq. Instead it was a rousing success. And had Obama gotten his way and we’d given up on Iraq back when he wanted to we wouldn’t be seeing the victory in the war we’re seeing now.

McCain, on the other hand (and for all his faults on other issues), has been largely right on the war. He supported the surge. He’s opposed Democrat defeatism. Even when things looked dark in Iraq he didn’t abandon his position on the war even though, at the time, it might have been politically convenient.

In short, on Iraq, Obama was dead wrong and McCain was right.