Surge and Risk

While it’s nice, as always, to see someone as infuential on the larger media as Thomas Friedman slowly turning on McCain, I’m really having trouble getting past this one line in particular:

I respected McCain’s willingness to support the troop surge in Iraq, even if it was going to cost him the Republican nomination. Now the same guy, who would not sell his soul to win his party’s nomination, is ready to sell every piece of his soul to win the presidency.

What?! Now, to be sure, calling for more troops in Iraq while a sizeable majority of the populace had turned against the war might be a politically unwise move, but it certainly wasn’t unpopular in the Republican primary. As a rule of thumb, Republicans en masse went along with whatever the White House was pushing at the time. So yes, perhaps, it was politically dangerous to push for the surge in 2006 when the White House was opposed to the idea that more troops were needed in Iraq, but after the White House reversed course, Republican Presidential candidates were falling over themselves to argue that they were the surgiest of all.

Perhaps this is a minor point, but we need more accuracy in punditry, because these are the retroactive explanations that will eventually decide how we understand events, so something so obviously wrong really can’t be left uncorrected