I’m sorry I missed “Meet the Press” yesterday. It sounds like Tim Russert was really trying to pin down DNC chair Howard Dean as to what exactly the Democrats would do differently in Iraq (via Wizbang):
MR. RUSSERT: But is it enough for you to say to the country, "Trust us, the other guy's no good. We'll do better, but we're not going to tell you specifically how we're going to deal with Iraq."There you go: on the single most critical issue of our time, the Democrats have nothing to offer aside from criticism. It's all so obvious what to do until you ask them. Washington Post columnist Fred Hiatt sees through the Democrats’ game in “The Politics of War”:
DR. DEAN: We will. When the time comes, we will do that.
Whether Iraqis are in fact committed to a life-or-death struggle for democracy will become clear as its army does, or does not, continue to shoulder a greater burden. But the aptness of Mahdi's view of the United States is already evident in Congress, which pours most of its Iraq-related energy into allegations of manipulated intelligence before the war.Seeing how Jay Rockefeller, Harry Reid, and countless other Democrats have cynically twisted history for political gain, it’s not a leap to declare “liberals are unpatriotic.”
"Those aren't irrelevant questions," says Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.). "But the more they dominate the public debate, the harder it is to sustain public support for the war."
What Lieberman doesn't say is that many Democrats would view such an outcome as an advantage. Their focus on 2002 is a way to further undercut President Bush, and Bush's war, without taking the risk of offering an alternative strategy -- to satisfy their withdraw-now constituents without being accountable for a withdraw-now position.
Many of them understand that dwindling public support could force the United States into a self-defeating position, and that defeat in Iraq would be disastrous for the United States as well as for Mahdi and his countrymen. But the taste of political blood as Bush weakens, combined with their embarrassment at having supported the war in the first place, seems to override that understanding.