8/18/2005

Daily Kos: Democrats and Iraq

Democrats and Iraq
by Armando
Thu Aug 18th, 2005 at 10:27:21 CDT

In Iraq, 4 US soldiers were killed today, continuing the gnawing and numbing tragic consequences of the biggest American strategic blunder since Vietnam. We must find a way to stop it. And by we, I mean Democrats, because Bush and the Republicans have no clue and no will. The question is do Democrats have the wisdom and will to do it?

Kevin Drum writes a good piece on the developing Democratic problem on Iraq:

Right now, conventional wisdom suggests that Iraq is likely to be bad news for Republicans in the 2006 elections, but if liberals don't watch out, the disconnect that Berman identified could cause an even bigger crackup on the Democratic side. . . . [T]he hawkish establishment . . . got the harder job, because they actually need to change their position. The problem is that it's pretty easy to understand why none of them are willing to embrace immediate withdrawal: not only do they genuinely not think it's a good idea, but they also know perfectly well that similar demands during the Vietnam war wrecked the Democratic party's reputation on national security issues for a generation. Was that unfair? Sure. But unfair or not, they aren't eager to see it happen again.

I quibble with the "dovish" Left part. Many of us can not be described by any stretch of the imagination as "dovish." This is to accept a GOP talking point. But let me not get sidetracked with that. Because Kevin advocates for an announced timetable for withdrawal, the position Russ Feingold announced yesterday (withdrawal by the end of 2006) and that Rhode Islad Democratic Senate candidate Matt Brown announced as his position yesterday as well (PLUG - I'll be posting on my interview yesterday of Brown this afternoon.) And that seems to me to be the place where Democrats are going to need to be politically.

Is that the right policy choice? Frankly, I don't know. There is much to be said for withdrawal as soon as possible -- the "cutting and running" option as it is referred to in denigrating fashion. But Bush is President and the GOP controls Congress. Whether it is good policy or not, it will not happen.

My bottom line is this -- we need to find a way to take control of Iraq policy away from the incompetent, deceitful Bush Administration. There are 2 ways I know of doing this: (1) Overwhelming public pressure; and/or (2) defeat of the GOP Iraq policy in the 2006 elections.

How to do those 2 things are what is uppermost in my mind. Frankly, as Kevin notes, the Dem Iraq hawks (Iraq hawk is my euphemism for idiot) are completely lost in space..

As I argued in a post a few days ago, I am utterly bereft of confidence that the Bidens, Clintons and Bayhs of our Party have the wisdom or courage to help us here. What is needed is to strike fear as to their political fortunes. It pains me to say it, but that seems to be the only thing they understand or care about. To put it plainly, we need to let them know that if they don't get on the right side of the Iraq debate, then we won't support their Presidential ambitions. I am already there. If you want them to move on Iraq, then I suggest we all need to get there.

Daily Kos: Democrats and Iraq

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