The Democratic Party Can’t Have It Both Ways on Afghanistan

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds her weekly news conference with Capitol Hill reporters at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., July 22, 2021. (Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters)
Leaving to put ‘America First’ or staying to protect Afghan human rights would be defensible. Leaving while pretending to care about those rights is not.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE M istakes tend to hurt politicians most when they play into the public’s preconceptions. A man who is regarded as intelligent but aloof will be able to say something truly dumb and get away with it, but will likely be damaged if he seems detached. A man who is considered stupid but kind can sound blunt without consequence, but may be damaged by appearing inadequate. It is reinforcement, not surprise, that remains the politician’s greatest foe.

Given his carefully crafted image, the biggest political risk to Joe Biden posed by the Afghanistan fiasco is that it will make him seem incompetent —

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