D.C. Democrats and the Damnable Details on Iraq
Short version: if someone has an explanation
for why Democrats aren't running on withdrawal when they themselves support
it, when it is extremely popular nationwide, when it draws a contrast between
congressional Democrats and congressional Republicans, when it creates a wedge
in the Republican voter base, and when it is the number one issue nationwide,
let me know, because I can't think of one.
Withdrawal: The Real Issue That Divides Republicans and Unites Democrats, by Chris Bowers
Earlier today, I participated in the same conference call with Rahm Emanuel
and Chuck Schumer to which Chris Bowers refers in this
post. Both Emanuel and Schumer believe it's important to focus on what unites
Democrats and divides Republicans. It's why Schumer, especially, loved the port
deal and hates censure. With his usual flair and accuracy, Chris goes on to
talk about the polls on Iraq, which show that the American people want out.
Ah, finally, agreement.
So what's the problem? Polls say Americans want out. Democrats
want out in large majority. Republicans can't buck Bush, whose ineptitude has
lost Iraq, so we're in, right?
This is where I hear the voice of Michael
Ware and Lara
Logan, two of the few journalists still over in Iraq. Neither individual
has anything good to say about what's going on in Iraq, but when it comes to
redeploying right now, Ware, in particular, is very skeptical.
Therein lies the rub and why Schumer and Emanuel, as well as other
Democrats, are staying as far away from an exact timetable on Iraq as they can.
How to get out of Iraq is where unity and Dem division enter in,
thus it's where Emanuel and Schumer walk away. For instance, the Strategic
Redeployment plan I link to all the time has been all but forgotten, so
that today's Real
Security proposal didn't even mention the time table put forth last October.
They tried it and it didn't go anywhere, just ask John Murtha.
It's one thing for people to want out. It's quite another for
Democrats to insist on a timetable tied to an election season and run on it,
especially when in the interim you have the likes of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld
implementing whatever plan you've got going.
Iraq is now long gone because of Bush's weak leadership and the
inability of Republicans to make him change course. Democrats can't undo that
without having the power to influence policy. Today Democrats offered a change
of course. That's what they offer in November. Schumer and Emanuel think it's
enough, without getting into withdrawal specifics, on which no one can agree.
Let's see if the Iraqis come up with a government and cabinet.
They've got another month or so to do something. Everything relies on that reality.
Democrats are on record as saying they want redeployment to begin
in 2006, with power being handed to the Iraqis this year. By the time November
comes around, withdrawal could be a distinction without a difference when it
comes to the Dems Real Security plan. Democrats have left themselves room to
maneuver, whereas Bush has none. He's blown it. It's up to Dems to make the
case as the weeks go by, pushing Bush and the Iraqis as things develop. It's
my belief that we will.