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Conserv. Blog Buzz: Tonight's speech

From NBC's Kelly Paice
As President Obama is set to unveil the way forward in Afghanistan in his primetime speech tonight, Power Line highlights the take by Washington Examiner's Byron York, as he analyzes why a majority of Democrats today do not want to escalate the fight in Afghanistan, contradicting their support during the 2008 presidential race when they backed Obama's call to fight the "good war."

York: "If the base didn't support it, then why did candidates promise it? Because Democratic voters and candidates were playing a complex game... [T]hey were afraid to appear soft on national security, so they pronounced the smaller conflict in Afghanistan one they could support. Many of them didn't, really, but for political expediency they supported candidates who said they did. Thus the party base signed on to a good war-bad war strategy... [Obama] had to make certain promises to get elected. Unlike some of his supporters, he has to remember those promises now that he is in office. So he is sending more troops. But he still can't tell the truth about so many Democratic pledges to support the war in Afghanistan: They didn't mean it."

NRO's Rich Lowry adds, "[Obama's] heart is not really in this war, but the responsibilities of the office have basically forced him into making the right choice. Although he wants to hedge his commitment with all sorts of timelines and conditions, I'm guessing the logic of the war will continue to carry him in the right direction."

The Weekly Standard's Daily Grind makes a point that First Read highlighted yesterday: How is the president's message tonight on Afghanistan going to be different from his speech last March? The Daily Grind reminds us of the "Obama rhetoric flashback from March 2009," quoting President Obama's speech: "So I want the American people to understand that we have a clear and focused goal: to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future. That's the goal that must be achieved. That is a cause that could not be more just. And to the terrorists who oppose us, my message is the same: We will defeat you."

GOP 12 points out that Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), like many others on the Hill and across the nation, is looking for the president to "define success" in Afghanistan during his primetime speech this evening. Corker said, "I don't think anybody has ever articulated to the American people, certainly not clearly to me, what success in Afghanistan actually means... I hope the president will delve into that deeply."

Huck Update: Former Governor Mike Huckabee talked with FOX's Bill O'Reilly last night regarding the suspected shooter of the Washington state slayings who reportedly died early this morning. GOP12 has highlights and video of the interview. Huckabee defended his decision to grant clemency to the suspected shooter, saying, "[I]f I could have known nine years ago this guy was capable of something of this magnitude, obviously I would have never granted the commutation." And later in the interview, O'Reilly showed some support for Huck, saying, "Well, it's not your fault, governor."