Friday, June 17, 2005

Out front

It is simply not enough to support the status quo in Iraq. If you're a pro-war Republican than you need to be either agitating for an increase in troops there to get the job done or you need to be advocating for withdrawal. If you're a Democrat and if you have plans on running for President, you need to be out front on this issue, now.

Hope is not a policy, nor does it make for compelling campaign rhetoric. The Bush administration clearly has no plan, but the Democrats have yet to capitalize on the public's dissatisfaction for how the war is going. People want to hear a plan - any plan - for how we make the situation better. Furthermore, it's not enough for the "national security" dems to simply decry what is going on and blame the administration. They voted for this war, they need to take a courageous stand and help get us out of it.

As an admittedly very amateur observer, here are my suggestions for at least reaching consensus on the issue among Democrats heading into the midterm elections:

Democrats and whatever Republicans they can pick-off should come together behind: a) Calls for a speedy withdrawal and/or support for the budding bi-partisan amendment in the House. b) Use the Downing Street Memo to criticize the administration for deceiving the public and the Congress and going into Iraq under false pretenses (this effort is already under way in the House as well and also helps provide a cover argument for those like Biden, Hillary and Kerry who voted for the Iraq War Resolution). c) Atrios also has a good suggestion: Demand that the administration explain whether or not it plans on a permanent presence in Iraq.

Everyone knows an increase in troops there is not going to happen. Everyone knows no one is going to re-institute the draft. So, given all this, at some point, the only possibility is a Vietnam style, let's just get the fuck out approach. There is simply no excuse for continuing to hope things will get better. But, if Democrats can rally around calls to get out now they will look like they have a plan, or at least a desire to end this nightmare, where as Republicans will be left looking like they don't care or aren't concerned enough to do anything about it.

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