Patriot Games

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Greg Sargent gets the prize today for reporting the least surprising news of the week:

Republican leaders are gearing up to critize Obama’s eventual decision on the way forward in Afghanistan even if it falls modestly short of sending an additional 40,000 troops, a senior GOP aide says.

What a shocker.  But as Spencer Ackerman says, why stop at 40,000?  After all, there’s an 80,000 number that’s been making the rounds too.  “As long as the GOP is indicating to Sargent that it’s interested primarily in playing politics with the war, why not go for a number with real differences from any 30,000-plus option Obama is likely to favor?”

In any case, it’s sort of odd that all these patriots never had a problem with the 30,000 troops George Bush had in Afghanistan for the past couple of years.  Or the 20,000 he had before that.  Or the 10,000 before that.  But Obama’s 100,000+?  Why, that’s practically treason, my friends.

But like I said: hardly surprising.  So here’s the real question: how seriously will the media take this when it happens?  Will they give plenty of coverage to criticism that’s so patently contrived that a five-year-old would see though it?  Or will they treat it as if it’s a serious national security debate?  Wait and see!

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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