The Bush Administration let Jim Baker and Lee Hamilton have a free day on the Sunday shows -- one last day for them to flog the Iraq Study Group mush before hanging it up.
(The ISG chairs noted that the group is now disbanded, no more PR efforts or follow-up work. Our earlier prediction is looking pretty good.)
But that doesn't mean the Bushies weren't busy this weekend.
They fed the Sunday NY Times a story about how they find the ISG recommendations "impractical."
Earlier, on Friday, they leaked to ABC a proposal to embed the Iraqi military involving more US troops than the ISG embed plan.
Having said that, it does seem from the NY Times and this Newsweek piece that the White House is still debating internally what exactly is the "New Way Forward."
And you can bet that the Washington press corps will be in a delirious tizzy this week, trying to guess what will go in the plan.
All of which are nothing more but minor tactical shifts on the same course to permanent occupation.
Which is all the Iraq Study Group amounted to anyway. (In a rare moment of insight, Fox News Sunday's Brit Hume said yesterday, "This is a stay-the-course document. These recommendations are at the margins.")
We're going to keep having breathless, tedious, useless discussion about tactics until Democrats start talking about fundamental course changes -- scrapping the neocon, unilateralist policy goals in the region.
That can force the media to reframe the debate, give the public a chance to understand the difference between the parties, and let us make a real choice about where our foreign policy should go.