Setting the deadline actually seemed to work as the Shiites came back to the table at the last minute. Even though many voted no, the fact that they voted gives more legitimacy to the process. So, can't we just admit that Bush's plan is working? I'll make this a dkos diary below the fold.
We shoot ourselves in the foot when we talk about incomptetence in the CPA, cronyism, or that deadlines will never be met. This is the wrong talking point for Dems. George W Bush's plan was exectued flawlessly in Iraq and it didn't work. The incompetence is not in the execution, but in the planning and the stubborness that kept them from ever changing their plan.
Why is it so important to place our critique correctly? It is, because incompetence at the individual level is fixed with new individuals, icomptence in the policy is only fixed by changing policy, changing course, ultimately-changing parties in power.
In a brilliant article in Harpers, Naomi Klein described, Baghdad Year Zero. "Year Zero" is the concept of Iraq as a clean slate to finally inact conservative economic and governmental principles.
This article is from Sept. of 2004, but is important to remember on these days where the Adminstration will gloat. They have had their chance to do it their way, their goals are being met, yet nothing improves. This is an important indictment on not only this Adminstration, but the entire Conservative philosophy. But, to place the blame where it belongs, we must give them their small purple-fingered victories.
It is not enough to accuse Team Bush of conryism. Cronyism is just a minor symptom of a political philosophy that is morally bankrupt and literally dangerous (Katrina). Bush hating might give Dems some purple-fingered moments of their own in '06, but it, like Bush's Iraq plan, is a losing policy.
The middle ground between the Cindy Sheehans of the world and the Barak Obamas, is in attacking the entire Conservative philosophy and proposing Democratic principles with strong convictions (I'm digging on Edwards' poverty center). Bush, Rove, Delay -- all trees, let's not forget the forest.