If Grover Norquist wants U.S. troops to pull out of Afghanistan right now, why doesn’t he just come out and say it?
Last week, at a dinner sponsored by the New America Foundation, Norquist tiptoed around the issue, but “stopped short of personally calling for a rapid withdrawal,” according to the Huffington Post.
Instead he called for a “conversation” on the war, saying that he was “confident about where that conversation would go” — i.e., in the direction of withdrawal.
And in an interview with the Daily Caller today, Norquist again avoided giving a direct answer. “Norquist insisted that he is not calling for America to pull out of the war — at least not yet,” reported the Caller.
“I see enough to say that I think about it, and that’s what I’ve tossed out there,” said Norquist, adding that “I just think we ought to have a conversation.”
Well, nobody is stopping him from having a conversation. In fact, the discussion has been going on for years inside the conservative movement. And, no, it hasn’t led to the conclusion that Norquist “confidently” alluded to but for some reason declined to say outright.
Could it be that Norquist isn’t yet ready to throw his lot in with those on the right who have openly supported withdrawal — Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, Justin Raimondo, for example?
Whatever the reason, it’s a good move on his part. By framing this as a “conversation,” Norquist can shoot out anti-war talking points while refusing to commit himself to a solid position on the issue. After all, he’s just asking questions, right?