Sunday, February 14, 2016

Donald Trump Forces Republicans to Relitigate the Iraq War

So, Trump nailed down the Code Pink constituency last night:

And from Byron York, at the Washington Examiner, "Trump forces GOP to take uncomfortable look at Iraq War":

GREENVILLE, S.C. — The Republican presidential candidates met in debate just hours after learning of the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Beyond that, the debate came at a time when the entire world economy has the jitters; when yet another attempt to bring peace to Syria is in tatters; and when the Republican establishment is more nervous than ever about the continued strength of Donald Trump. And with all of that going on, the most passionate exchange of the entire event was about … relitigating the Iraq War.

It's not shocking that George W. Bush's decision to invade Iraq would come up nearly 13 years after the fact; it pops up in Democratic debates these days, too. But the exchange between Trump and Jeb Bush over Iraq Saturday night wasn't just a passing reference. It was in some ways the debate Republicans mostly didn't have back in 2004, when Democrats were consumed with the war. And here in Greenville, as has happened elsewhere in this campaign, the candidate named Bush had a hard time dealing with the subject.

The back-and-forth started when moderator John Dickerson brought up a 2008 interview with CNN in which Trump said he was surprised that Democrats had not impeached George W. Bush over the war, and that it would be "a wonderful thing" if they had.

On stage Saturday, Trump would not repeat what he said about impeachment — there are apparently limits even for Trump. But he did not hesitate to talk about Iraq. "Obviously, the war in Iraq was a big, fat mistake, all right?" Trump said. "We spent $2 trillion, thousands of lives, we don't even have it. Iran has taken over Iraq with the second-largest oil reserves in the world."

"George Bush made a mistake," Trump continued. "We can make mistakes. But that one was a beauty. We should have never been in Iraq. We have destabilized the Middle East."

And finally: "They lied," Trump said of the Bush administration. "They said there were weapons of mass destruction, there were none. And they knew there were none. There were no weapons of mass destruction."
I love Trump, but he's losing me here. And if you think back, earlier in the campaign he's said he oblititerate the terrorists and we'd win the war on terror, so he's not too consistent in his ideological positions.

Oh well, at least he's once again dominating the debate, although perhaps not in the direction I'd prefer.

Still more.

More at Memeorandum.