William Saletan, Slate’s liberal chief political correspondent, reports on “the decline of the Wes” –Clark, that is. Saletan is speaking about moral, rather than political, decline. Noting that General Clark battled defeatism during the Kosovo war, Saletan finds it disappointing “to see Clark join in the same self-fulfilling wave of determined pessimism and obstruction he battled four years ago.” The flip-flopping Clark said in the presidential debate on Sunday that he does not support the president’s request for $87 billion to carry on in Iraq, at least not until Bush “produces a winning strategy.” Says Saletan, “I don’t know whether we’ll win the postwar if Congress approves the money Bush asked for. But I know we’ll lose it if Congress doesn’t. That’s what happens when a nation at war starts to think like the Wes Clark of 2003. Just ask the Wes Clark of 1999.”
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