This is what I don’t get about Glenn Reynolds, who is a fine man and a great blogger. Responding to Matt Welch’s superb denunciation of the growing attempt to blame the media for the manifest fuck-ups in Bush administration’s conduct of the war in Iraq, Glenn writes the following:

Reporting on things that are actually going wrong, without the “see, Bush is horrible!” spin, and false facts, that we’re getting elsewhere, is actually helpful, and we could use more of it.

A classic attempt to sound reasonable, but, upon inspection, hooey. Why, after all, should the president somehow be excused from reponsibility for the war he launched and has conducted with such glaring incompetence? Maybe Bush is horrible as a war-leader. Has that occurred to Reynolds yet? Maybe if he’d had the balls to point that out last year, instead of cowering behind the “Kerry-is-worse” meme for months on end, and hyping the Swift-Boat attacks, we’d have had more pressure to change course. For the record, it is not unpatriotic to call this president on the mistakes he has made – the grotesque recklessness of invading a country with no serious plan for the post-invasion, the wrecking of the United States’ reputation for humane treatment of prisoners, the debunked intelligence on which he relied (oh, sorry, we’re not supposed to criticize the guy who assured us that there were stockpiles of WMDs as a fact, because others were wrong as well). Reynolds simply won’t criticize the president for the mistakes for which this president is responsible. Worse, he’s arguing that anyone who points out that, yes, Bush is horrible as a commander-in-chief is somehow unhelpful or unpatriotic. One day, denial and distraction from reality will finally collapse at Instapundit. And it won’t be pretty. (UPDATE: David Adesnik has some helpful comments on other aspects of this here and here.)


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