I agree with basically all of this. And it's one of the things I find most galling about Blair's support for Bush, and Bush's complete unwillingness to moderate key policies to help Blair. Tony has been one of the left's brighter lights in recent years, leading a resurgence of Labour and creating a clear and compelling model for liberals. And then he went and threw it away on our unconcerned leader and his incompetent and immoral wars. Now, with election coming, he's battered and bloodied because he tried to be a liberal hawk in a neocon war and got burned for it, and so, I fear, will the left.

Now, I've no reason to believe that Blair's support for Iraq was anything but sincere. Some backed the war on gut, anti-tyranny grounds, and right or wrong, their convictions led them. Blair seems to be one of these. But he's destroying his government and derailing his agenda by refusing to admit the mistake, and he's isolating himself from ideological allies by allowing the Iraq War to define him. Now maybe it'll just lead to a Liberal Democrats-Labour hook-up, something I'd find defensible if not necessarily ideal. But in any case, by weakening himself, he's hastened the end of the Labour project. Don't believe me? Check out this Luntz focus group. The guy threw away the third way to go to war the wrong way. Clinton lost control of his attempt thanks to his own sexual appetites (and an obsessive right-wing Congress). It'd be nice if just one visionary liberal would put the movement ahead of themselves for awhile so other leaders could have a model untainted by disgrace...

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