From NBC's Ali Weinberg
Hours away from President Obama's speech unveiling his new Afghanistan strategy, liberal bloggers are trading barbs with their conservative counterparts as new criticism of Obama surfaces from major Republican players and groups.
Balloon Juice's John Cole on Dick Cheney's latest slight at Obama's strategy, which Politico reported today.
Cole writes, "It appears now the press is camping out at Cheney's house in order to find the next quote to undermine current policy."
Andrew Sullivan on Cheney's remarks: "To accuse your successor of 'weakness' because he has actually conscientiously tried to figure out the right thing to do in a war Cheney and Bush clearly botched is a new low in American politics and the partisan politicization of war and peace." And on Cheney's criticism of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's upcoming civil trial, Sullivan writes, "What Cheney cannot see - because he has no deep appreciation of it - is the beauty of treating a monster like KSM to the stringent calm of Western justice. And what Cheney fears - for he is no fool - is that the trial will also reveal Cheney's torture regime, how it distorted intelligence, prevented bringing suspects to justice and tarred the US for ever as a country that now does what its enemies used to do: abuse, torture and mistreat prisoners in wartime."
Balloon Juice's Cole also responds to Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard, who writes that Obama's "painful, three-month deliberation on what to do in Afghanistan severely undermined his prior statements."
Cole: "So despite the fact that the previous administration almost completely ignored Afghanistan for the last two terms, and the fact that it was Obama who immediately rushed more supplies and personnel to Afghanistan upon his inauguration, because Obama has not immediately followed through with the next neo-con wet dream and instead took a couple months to determine the best course of action, he has a credibility problem."
David Weigel at the Washington Independent picks up on the National Republican Senatorial Committee's "going nuclear" on Ohio Senate hopeful Jennifer Brunner after she "challenges [General Stanley] McChrystal's credibility" in a Huffington Post article today, comparing it to MoveOn.org's "General Betray-us" controversy of 2007.
The NRSC's Amber Wilkerson Marchand said that Brunner "should immediately apologize not only to General McChrystal but to all American troops" for her op-ed questioning McChrystal based on his "previous association with the abuse of detainees and with the incident surrounding Pat Tillman."
Weigel: "Two years ago, Republicans got most Democrats to denounce MoveOn.org when it attacked Gen. David Petraeus's credibility on Iraq. This isn't a new playbook."
Talking Points Memo's Christina Bellantoni on the pre-speech political fallout: "Republicans after weeks of blasting Obama for taking too long already are hailing the decision as the right one. Meanwhile, left-leaning groups question the cost in both blood and treasure, and Code Pink is out with a tough new flier mocking Obama's 'hope' slogan and marching in front of the White House today."