Attacks on Rosa Brooks

Former LA Times columnist Rosa Brooks is going to work for Michele Flournoy in the defense department and now is being subject to attacks via some kind of right-wing email campaign being hyped up by The Weekly Standard. Taken out of the oppo writeup form, the basic case against Brooks seems to be that:

ONE: She thinks the Vietnam War was a mistake with tragic consequences for civilians across Southeast Asia.

TWO: She thinks the Bush administration’s pre-war statements about Iraq intelligence were misleading.

THREE: She thought the “surge” would not produce an enduring solution to Iraq’s political problems.

FOUR: She favors prosecuting terrorists in normal courts rather than kangaroo courts.

FIVE: She thinks George W. Bush was a generally crappy president.

With the exception of point four, I honestly don’t understand how anyone could even begin to disagree with any of this. On point four, the complaint amounts to something like “she supports the policy of the Obama administration, rather than the policy of the Republican Party.” But of course she does! To be honest, given that she was a pretty regular newspaper columnist and occasional blogger, I find it a bit shocking that they don’t have anything better on her. It’s hard to write on current affairs without occasionally saying something that’s totally wrong or incredibly dumb. But the right’s oppo team has come up with . . . nothing . . . other than that she’s not a conservative. Which is what happens when the conservative candidate loses an election and the new team comes in.


Beyond pettiness and sour grapes, one thing that comes through here is the extent to which the conservative movement just can’t quit George W. Bush. Nominally, the right’s new view is that Bush really was a bad president, but he was bad because he wasn’t conservative enough or something. But show a conservative a liberal who’s subjected Bush to the strongly-worded criticism he so richly deserves, and it’s like waving a cape in the face of a bull. Out comes the whole message operation, the smear machine, the whole deal to defend the sterling record of Bush, Bush’s policies, and the view that anyone who criticized them is borderline treasonous.