The solution to a problem: denial

It is well-established that (so long as there is a Republican president), if America does well as a country it is bad for Democrats.

If Iraq becomes safer, if fewer American soldiers are being killed, all of this is bad for Democrats. You don't need to take my word for it. House Majority Whip - the third ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives - has stated it very clearly. American progress towards peace, prosperity, democracy and human rights in Iraq is, in Clyburn's words, "a real big problem".

And now the Democrats have a solution: denial. He didn't say it. It's not happening. He's a liar anyway. Even, there is no such person as General Petraeus, it's 'the Bush report'.

This should be no particular surprise. Democrat operatives outside Congress - such as MoveOn and the New York Times - have been sliming Petraeus for some time. MoveOn called him (in an ad in the New York Times) General Betray Us. There is even some evidence that the paper gave the organisation a discount on the advert. NYT columnist Paul Krugman has been foaming at the mouth that Petraeus is a liar for weeks.

The view from New York is that Iraq is getting worse. And if the view from Iraq differs from that, then the best approach is denial.

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