On Friday, Obama held a press conference in which he said he would bring our troops home from Iraq in 16 months, and that he would listen to the commanders on the ground for specifics of how to accomplish that. Unfortunately for him, he used a new word: "refine."
The McCain campaign pounced, saying that Obama had adopted McCain's position that we must not leave until we have "won" in Iraq. "Winnning in Iraq" has no operational definition, of course, beyond the goal of keeping our troops there indefinately to "project power."
The press ate up the McCain statement, repeating it as fact, which caused Obama to call a 2nd press conference:
So you tell me, does that sound like he's willing to stay in Iraq 100 years if that's what it takes?
Let me be as clear as I can be. I intend to end this war. My first day in office I will bring the Joint Chiefs of Staff in, and I will give them a new mission, and that is to end this war — responsibly, deliberately, but decisively. And I have seen no information that contradicts the notion that we can bring our troops out safely at a pace of one to two brigades a month, and again, that pace translates into having our combat troops out in 16 months' time.
How can our press be so bad at their jobs? Obama has always said that "we would be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in," and that means consulting with the generals in charge of operations on how best to accomplish that, since no President can dictate logistics. But now that the McCain campaign has lied about this being a changed position, the press is dutifully repeating the lie. Unbelievable.
How can the Republicans be so good at winning elections, but so bad at running the country after they win the election? (answer: they govern for the top 1% only, and do it very well.)