This is it in a nutshell:
WASHINGTON - It's a Senate showdown that could pit the three presidential candidates against each other in a fight for dominance.
Sens. John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are all pushing for the perfect sound bite; for that singular moment that will define their campaigns' stance on the Iraq war.
And it happens on Tuesday. That's when General David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker will report to Congress in two Senate hearings. They’ll give progress reports on the war and offer strategy going forward.
Does it strike you as the least bit odd or uncouth that the link to this article on the main MSN web site is "Candidates set to grill Petraeus on Iraq"? Call me crazy, but my understanding was that the good general was to give a report on the status of the war effort in Iraq, particularly since the "surge" has been implemented. Since when are war time military leaders "grilled" for their testimony, much less by presidential candidates? Is the assumption now that the general is a liar and must be cross-examined like a slippery witness on the stand?
It's nothing but pure madness to use the testimony of a man engaged in trying to fight a war as theater for your presidential campaign.
Things have come to a pretty pass indeed.