by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
There’s no nice way to say this, but somebody has to: There have been a lot of bad reactions on the right to the Afghan calamity. The great majority of these reactions are simply misguided, but some are flat-out stupid — and a few are truly ghoulish.
What unites all of them is partisanship: The need to hit Democrats, and the Democratic Party, for being the enemy — the reason everything is wrong.
That need is understandable: It’s very difficult to resist that partisan urge when the Democratic Party has politicized everything in daily life, from your church to your bathroom, and from your distant ancestors to the skin color they handed down. But when we gaze out on the ruins of our foreign policy, on the wounded and maimed young men and women growing old around us — and on the graves of the fallen — we need to resist partisanship at all levels.
Why? Because this war — this catastrophe — implicates all parties in Washington.
It started under a Republican who ran as a non-interventionist; it was escalated by a Democrat who beat out Hillary Clinton in part by emphasizing his opposition to wasteful wars abroad. Both those presidents eventually ended up parroting the talking points of pompous, dishonest, and incompetent Ivy League politicians presented to the public as “generals.”
And if we’re honest, President Donald Trump ended up parroting many of those talking points as well. He’s parroting some of them right now. …
… Now, in the last chapter of this 20-year book, a Democrat has forced through a sloppy exit. It was uglier than it needed to be, but it was, mercifully, an end. Now the rush is on to blame him for the entire thing, but we can’t fall for that.