Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Joe Klein's column in Time this week is spot-on.

Klein rightly points out that 1) The invasion of Iraq was an enormous mistake that has been fumbled beyond imagination; 2) For some reason the Dems can't seem to do a damn thing about it.

I agree with Klein's assertion that Democrats seem confused, divided, and uncertain. John Kerry has called for the withdraw of troops from Iraq by Dec. 31, 2006 (saw on Hardball today that he changed his mind over the weekend and his NEW timeline is July 1, 2007...give me a break Senator).

Here's the quote to take from the piece:

"And so, a mystery: How is it possible—with 2,500 U.S. solders dead, no discernible progress on the ground and a solid majority of the public now agreeing that the war in Iraq was a mistake—for the Democrats to seem so bollixed about the war and for the President to seem so confident? A good part of it is flawed strategy. Democrats keep hoping that the elections can be framed as a referendum on the Bush policy, and Republicans keep reminding the public that elections are a choice, not a referendum."

The war is disasterer to be sure. Every day, in every way. Americans lost their stomach for this debacle many months ago. Why then, can't the Dems seem to gain any ground?

Here are my thoughts- Democrats can't gain any ground because they don't have a leader. They are too nervous running for the nomination to make any real policy. Congressman Murtha (agree with him or not) is the only Democrat that doesn't seem to be pandering these days. It's nice to hear him call out Karl Rove's transparent, hate filled, fear mongering in New Hampshire. Murtha's not the person (at all) the Dems need- but they could use his spirit. And he's far more a leader than Kerry is.

Hillary is too afraid to break either way and no one has the stomach for that.

Above all else--- DO NOT LET YOURSELF BE LABELEDED AS "CUT AND RUN." I know that Karl Rove salivates every time he sees the opportunity to paint a Democrat as "cutting and running", and for some reason Democrats seem content on letting it happen. How about "redeploying our troops to make America safer", or "ending an unsafe and unnecessary occupationon of Iraq"? Anything is better than cutting and running. That's not what anyone is saying- and it's high time the Dems stop letting Rove & Co. using it.


Blogger Cardinal Sin said...

I think this post personifies what is wrong with the Democrats today. Democrats are too easy to stand behind blanket statements such as "the war was wrong" or, "our boys are getting slaughtered for nothing" - this is far from the truth. But I guess when you have presidential ambition and need to win a primary; this is the rhetoric that works.

I visited Walter Reed Hospital this week and sat down to talk with a few of the soldiers (officers) who were wounded while on duty in Iraq. A Captain who lost his foot when his humvee was hit by an IED gave me an interesting perspective on the situation on the ground. He said, "Watching the grass grow isn't sexy- but after awhile it grows." In the era of 24 hour news and year round elections it seems that the left-based media and democrats like Mr. Murtha, Mr. Klein and Mr. Kerry want the grass to grow overnight - this isn't going to happen. For the sake of Mr. Kerry's campaign - I guess this is a good thing.

Mr. Klein argument that "no discernible progress on the ground has been made" is laughable. Progress has been made, one of the most deceiving and brutal regimes in the history of mankind has been removed. A country that once had zero infrastructure, save Sadaam's plush Palaces, is now developing a steady stream of commerce and industry through oil and petroleum. The Iraqi's held free elections for the first time in over a century this past year, and last week named a cabinet made up Sunni's, Shiite’s and Kurds. Freedom of the Press exists in Iraq for the first time since 1931. Progress has been made, even you know that Matt. It might not be the type of progress that is worth the fight, but it is progress nonetheless.

I would garner that you and I would differ on was it necessary to go to war? I think the Dems would loose on this argument as well. Saddam deceived the U.S. and the U.N. purposefully... and for your precious UN to hold any clout; its sanctions have to be backed up (especially after tens of violations). Sadaam attacked his neighbors, used weapons on his own people, hid the truth, and was a proven murderous tyrant. You agree that the world is safer w/out him.

I know that your argument here is likely to be- If human rights are your concern why start with him as opposed to Iran or North Korea? The answer is simple- the Bush Doctrine was all about taking the threat to the next enemy. No longer waiting to be hit and then reacting. Was Iraq the next threat is debatable, I'd agree. But removing Sadaam was the right move for America, especially at the time.

If the Democrats want to capitalize on Iraq there best bet is to attack the manner in which the war is being handled. We rushed in and we weren’t prepared. We went in under false pretenses, etc.,etc.

However a democrat candidate can’t win the primary on this rhetoric (as opposed to send our boys home now), and herein lies the problem. Is MoveOn or the Cindy Sheehan Coalition going to elect anyone who isn't vehemently opposed to the War? Absolutely not. So Senators like Mr. Kerry have to run as far to the left as possible to be successful in Iowa and New Hampshire in an appeal to the bases that vote in these primaries. (Thus Mr. Kerry’s ridiculous bill this week.) The anti-war position serves as a double edged sword in my opinion. What it takes to win the primary, will fail in the general election. I don't think the majority of Americans support a full scale pull out of the war. It will be much easier to run on the “mistakes made” platform as opposed to the Mr. Murtha platform.

I digress.... my point is that Democrats are in quite the pickle; and sticking to lines like, no progress or nothing accomplished only polarizes the nation and probably makes them further unelectable in 08'.

My solution for the Dems is to run a strong leader with a vision... who doesn't have to appeal to the far left in the primary. Motivate the moderates and swing voters. Attack the mistakes made and not the war in its entirety. If we've learned anything from Russia's intervention in Afghanistan, or the U.S. in the first Gulf War or in Somalia, it's that coming home early doesn't work - you stay until the job is done or you create a worse situation than what you started with. A Dem that says this is one I just may listen too – nahhh.

1:54 PM  

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