Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 23, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

DEMS ON IRAQ....I have to admit that the latest spin about Democratic disagreements over Iraq we're the only party with the guts to have a debate! strikes me as awfully precious. I'm not sure anyone is going to buy this.

On the other hand, Democrats voted in favor of the Levin-Reed proposal yesterday by a whopping 38-6 majority. Sure, Joe Lieberman and a few southern Dems voted against it, but the majority included everyone from John Kerry and Russ Feingold to Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton.

No minority party is ever going to have 100% consensus on something like this. But the vast majority of Democrats support the proposition that we shouldn't stay in Iraq forever and that we need to formulate a prudent plan for eventually getting out. All things considered, I don't think that really counts as "disarray."

Kevin Drum 3:32 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (65)

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Comments

What is wonderful is that the Dems will never ever have the balls to stand up to Bush. Rather, they will just wimp over and over, and let the Republicans run over them over and over. That and Diebold will keep the Manly Men in power!

Posted by: Freedom Phukher on June 23, 2006 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Go Diebold!

Posted by: Ken Black on June 23, 2006 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Phukher Yoyr name says more than you realize, troll. You fuck freedop. What Kevin said was " the only party ready to have a debate."
Better trolls !

Posted by: opit on June 23, 2006 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Oops - Freudian slip.

Posted by: Ken Blackwell on June 23, 2006 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think the MSM is capable of reporting it as anything other than "Dems are confused" but Joe and Jane Average might be receptive to a policy along the lines of "Democrats see we need to do something different in Iraq and want to figure it out, Republicans see nothing wrong and want to keep doing the same".

Many people are opposed to "cut and run", but a hell of a lot of people think Iraq is screwed up and we need to do something about it.

If I was a top DNC consultant, I would advise my clients that if they want to hit the GOP hard I would repeat "Win or Get Out" early and often. What's the response to that? We are winning? Few people think that. It's 'Cut and Run'? Fine, you just admitted we are losing, which is all your fault.

Win or Get Out.

Posted by: Alderaan on June 23, 2006 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

GWB has signed a secret executive order which mandates that the only entities that are allowed to characterize the actions of of 'Democrat' Party are those who are members of the GOP.

If Repubs say that Dems are in a disarray, and NYTimes and Washington Post concur, what Kevin Drum says is totally irrelevant and beside the point.

Posted by: nut on June 23, 2006 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

opit,

The actual Kevin Drum quote is " we're the only party with the guts to have a debate!" Don't make me laugh.

Posted by: Ken Blackwell on June 23, 2006 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

The Democrats don't disagree with the Republicans on this. The only question is whether we give our troops the time to do their job (REpublicans) or pull out and make all the work to date meaningless (Democrats).

The choice is clear.

Posted by: American Hawk on June 23, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Better trolls !
Posted by: opit

FYI, opit, Freedom Phukher is a parody troll.

Speaking of Iraq, where all the debate is that the dems don't have a plan, where is the rightards' plan? Stay the course is not a plan.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 23, 2006 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Per London Times, IRAQ GOVERNMENT HAS ADOPTED DEMOCRATS' POSITION ON US TROOP WITHDRAWAL:

...the 28-point package for national reconciliation will offer Iraqi resistance groups inclusion in the political process and an amnesty for their prisoners if they renounce violence and lay down their arms, The Times can reveal.

The Government will promise a finite, UN-approved timeline for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq; a halt to US operations against insurgent strongholds; an end to human rights violations, including those by coalition troops; and compensation for victims of attacks by terrorists or Iraqi and coalition forces.

snip

The draft marks the first time the Iraqi Government has endorsed a fixed timeline for the withdrawal of coalition forces from Iraq, a key demand of the Sunni insurgency.

"We must agree on a timed schedule to pull out the troops from Iraq, while at the same time building up the Iraqi forces that will guarantee Iraqi security and this must be supported by a United Nations Security Council decision," the document reads.

One insurgent group involved in the discussions told The Times that the timetable for withdrawing foreign troops was key. "We are not against the formation of the new Iraqi goverment, but with certain conditions, which are to put a timetable for the pullout of US Troops," Abu Fatma, from the Islamic National Front for Liberation of Iraq, said.

Posted by: peony on June 23, 2006 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

No minority party is ever going to have 100% consensus on something like this.

But the Rupublican Party has a 99% consensus on the subject while the Democrats are fragmented and lack unity. The American people are going to see this as the Republican Party being strong and united on the War on Terrorism while the democrats are fragmented and weak. This perception will lead to the destruction of the Democratic Party as the GOP gains a fillibuster proof majority in November.

Posted by: Al on June 23, 2006 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

The choice is clear.
Posted by: American Hawk

It sure is Chickenshit, the rightard plan is to punt it to the next president. Isn't that what your boy Dumbya said?

But Dick(head) Cheney said we'll never rid the world of terrorists, so our troops will be there forever. Nice plan.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 23, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Al,

Hillary Clinton told reporters recently that the Democrats' public disagreements were a better alternative than the GOP's unified front. "I think we come out more united," said Clinton. "We're not blindly united like the other side is, where they are like the three monkeys, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak no Evil."

You mean like this: http://www.communistsforkerry.com/images/Seenoevil_large.jpg

Posted by: Ken Blackwell on June 23, 2006 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

So much for framing the debate.

There are so many areas of attack:

1) The present course is a disaster. The question is what to do now? Anyone really think that doing it the same, GOP way, is a good idea?

2) Fire Rumsfeld and all his managers. Nothing's going to work until the incompetents are sent packing.

3) Stop building permanent bases. You know why the Iraqis think we're occupiers - because we act like occupiers.

The whole idea of resolution based on a calendar is nuts. A proposal to fire Rumsfeld and stop building bases might be a better start. Or actually debate pouring more money in there.

Incredibly sad - our political culture is defined by a party of nutcases against a party of addled pols with few discernible principles.

Posted by: Samuel Knight on June 23, 2006 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Good grief, here I am trusting Democrats. I go along.

Posted by: Matt on June 23, 2006 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

The problem I see is the endless hammering by the pundits about Dem indecision. After all, aWol's appeal supposedly is his determination; he's the "take haver", as Jon Stewart said.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on June 23, 2006 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

If we were to pull out now, the Al Qaeda jerkoffs would be on Al Jazeera the very next day celebrating their victory, cheering and laughing and bragging about how they defeated the great America, and sent us running home with our tail between our legs.

And my fragile ego can't handle that.

Posted by: American Fuck on June 23, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Ike cut and ran from Korea.
Nixon cut and ran from Vietnam.
Why doesn't Bush cut and run from Iraq?
It's a G.O.P. tradition.

Posted by: buddy66 on June 23, 2006 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

Here's the link to the Timesonline article.

"THE Iraqi Government will announce a sweeping peace plan as early as Sunday in a last-ditch effort to end the Sunni insurgency that has taken the country to the brink of civil war.

The 28-point package for national reconciliation will offer Iraqi resistance groups inclusion in the political process and an amnesty for their prisoners if they renounce violence and lay down their arms, The Times can reveal.

The Government will promise a finite, UN-approved timeline for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Iraq; a halt to US operations against insurgent strongholds; an end to human rights violations, including those by coalition troops; and compensation for victims of attacks by terrorists or Iraqi and coalition forces."

If this is true, if it happens, then Bushco and the Republicans can only win by standing firm against a phased withdrawal now. After the demand is made, you can just imagine Bush doing his swagger before an audience, claiming that Bushco is resolute and would never, ever desert Iraq, but, look!--a sign of how well things have gone in Iraq--now the democratically elected government in Iraq is now sufficiently strong and stable to take over. We can wrap it up, and the troops can come home to ticker-tape parades.

The MSM will spin it as a victory and, even if Iraq continues to be a bloody mess, the MSM won't notice. The Democrats, meanwhile, will look like "cut & run" losers who lack fortitude to see tough situations through. Only their loved ones will see them as leaders.

Posted by: PTate in MN on June 23, 2006 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

What debate? What discussion? You've got various people with presidential ambitions trying to guess what position will poll best in the future.

As for "formulate a prudent plan for getting out." Bleh. State it more forcefully: we'll stay in Iraq long enough to clean up George's mess, and no longer.

Most people agree that it's a mess, and most agree that it's George's mess, and most agree that leaving in a way that makes things even worse is a bad idea. It's not cutting and running. It's cleaning up George's mess.

Posted by: asdf on June 23, 2006 at 4:14 PM | PERMALINK

The Dems certainly do not need a plan on Iraq, beacause nobody listens to what Dems have to say anyway. The fact you have John Kerry even taliking about Iraq is a joke, there could be no more irrelavant person in the history of the congress.


The Dems should stick to killing babies and raising taxes, thats what they are good at.

Posted by: BlaBlaBla on June 23, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

buddy66, don't forget that Reagan cut and ran from Beirut. And then, of course, you've got Dubya cutting and running from Montgomery, Alabama, in the 1970s. So there's plenty of precedent here.

Posted by: Doug on June 23, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

And didn't Poppy (Bush Pere) already cut and run from Iraq once?

Posted by: Cal Gal on June 23, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Ike cut and ran from Korea.
Nixon cut and ran from Vietnam.
Why doesn't Bush cut and run from Iraq?
It's a G.O.P. tradition.

Don't forget Reagan cutting and running from Lebanon.

Posted by: Stefan on June 23, 2006 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

buddy66, don't forget that Reagan cut and ran from Beirut. And then, of course, you've got Dubya cutting and running from Montgomery, Alabama, in the 1970s. So there's plenty of precedent here.
Posted by: Doug on June 23, 2006 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

And didn't Poppy (Bush Pere) already cut and run from Iraq once?
Posted by: Cal Gal on June 23, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

SWEET!

You guys just made my Friday. :)

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 23, 2006 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Wasn't "cut and run" once an honorable naval maneuver? To stay in a futile battle, lose your men, and let the enemy take your ship sounds like treasonously bad leadership.

Posted by: wsm on June 23, 2006 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

"All things considered, I don't think that really counts as "disarray.""

But...but...but...What about the narrative?

Posted by: Farinata X on June 23, 2006 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

American Hawk absolutely does not understand the concept of sunk costs. In pure economic terms, the sacrifices made so far are, technically, meaningless, whether we win or lose.

2500 Americans and countless Iraqis have already died, and whether we stay or go will not change that fact. Their sacrifices are no more "meaningful" or "meaningless" either way; they are dead.

The question becomes how best to use our resources going forward. We can continue to pour billions into sticking our American finger in the dyke of Iraqi civil war in perpetuity as small leaks spring all around it (extended metaphor), or we can recognize that civil war is happening, this war was a bad idea from the start, it has been prosecuted ineptly, and we will do more good by getting out, or at least by setting benchmarks that will guide our withdrawal.

Doing just enough to look like maybe our presence is good vs. placing our military and infrastructural support somewhere where they will contribute to effective foreign policy: that's the debate, not whether foregone deaths have "meaning" or not.

But if you're hung up on meaning, try this meaning on for size: the Americans and Iraqis who have already died have sacrificed for something important, even if we leave: they have taught us that inept command sent after a bad war on false intelligence will yield real losses. And we should never do it again.

Posted by: jhupp on June 23, 2006 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

How could things have possibly gone worse in Iraq than they actually have?

Posted by: Jose Padilla on June 23, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

The Democrats shouldn't focus on how to fix the problems of Iraq.

They should focus on making those who got us into this mess PAY FOR IT.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 23, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

A note to peony and ptate:

the contents of the London Times article you rely on are inaccurate, if more recent AP reports are to be trusted. For example, no timetable independent of progress on the ground is part of Maliki's plan.

Posted by: JohnFH on June 23, 2006 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

How could things have possibly gone worse in Iraq than they actually have?
Posted by: Jose Padilla on June 23, 2006 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Iran and Syria could have coordinated an invasion, and used chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons against US troops, or Saudi oil facilities. And/Or wahhabists could have revolted in Saudi Arabia, unseating the royals, and cutting off the oil supplies.

There was some real danger of major fuckage. When you consider those possibilities, I think that the Iraqi invasion whent stunningly well.

Too bad we so terribly screwed up the occupation. It's okay though, they're just wogs, right? No problem for us if their country becomes another Beruit.

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on June 23, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Win or get out" is a polite way of saying "shit or get off the pot."

I think the people understand what this means, and I think it's exactly their feeling on Iraq.

Posted by: theorajones on June 23, 2006 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

If Bush wants to say "We won, and now we can leave" the MSM will simply show pictures of Switzerland or somesuch on TV, call it Baghdad, and the reality it will become. The idea that Americans will ever be able to judge what has been done in Iraq by an objective yardstick, and thus judge the sucess of failure of the policy which produced these results, is a fond hope.
The media will make whatever charade they wish the reality.

Posted by: Mooser on June 23, 2006 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

I agree, Mooser. Never over-estimate the attention span of our American public - especially here in Ohio.

wsm,

The phrase indeeds originates in nautical usage. The OED quotes Elements and Practice of Rigging and Seamanship (1794) which defines the phrase to mean "to cut the cable and make sail instantly, without waiting to weigh anchor." Here cable refers to the anchor line, hence the anchor is lost. Run is used in the sense of to sail downwind. During that time period, it was not considered cowardly to do anything possible to avoid capture, but when trapped and outgunned, to strike your colors and allow the victor to board -- here's an interesting link: http://tmg110.tripod.com/usn5.htm

According to William Safire, the phrase now -- suggesting panic -- is always pejorative, and I tend to agree: "Nobody, not even those who urge leaders to 'bring the troops home,' will say, 'I think we ought to cut and run.'"

Congresswoman Jean Schmidt famously used the phrase on November 18, 2005: "A few minutes ago, I received a call from Colonel Danny Bubp, Ohio representative from the 88th District in the House of Representatives. He asked me to send Congress a message: Stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha's a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."

Posted by: Ken Blackwell on June 23, 2006 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK
The Democrats shouldn't focus on how to fix the problems of Iraq.

True. And I agree that accountability needs to be a focus—though pragmatically I think that's more of an electoral focus than something that can be handled in Congress prior to November.

But also, I think its time the Dems in Congress started getting more pragmatic. Dueling non-binding resolutions is fun, I suppose, but I think its time to start proposing real solutions to the problems facing America because of the Iraq war, problems that Congress needs to address whether or not troops remain in Iraq, and whether or not Bush, et al. are impeached, bounced from office, dragged before a criminal court here or abroad, and imprisoned for the remainder of their natural lives for their crimes against peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and even just the more mundane crimes.

We're hollowing out our military in Iraq because there has been no considered policy to deal with the recruiting needs—so we get declining standards, looser age restrictions, less consequences for discipline problems, etc., because those are things the Army has the authority to adjust on its own.

But Congress has the responsibility to deal with this problem, and it ought to—by increasing military pay and benefits, and by working to find other ways to deal with the recruiting problem without hollowing out the quality of the force.

And they need to deal with the problem that our treasury is being hollowed out, too; we need to bite the bullet and pay for this war.

The Democrats need to as well as doing what can be done to hold wrongdoers accountable, in addition to working to end the war, show the resposibility to take leadership in dealing with the consequences of the war that the Republicans keep wanting to ignore.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 23, 2006 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

I think Begala is right on this one.

The American people still want to believe the war was not for nothing, but the broad center I think is at a place of uncertainty, and welcomes debate about how to proceed.

I suspect few would support a unilateral pullout, but many are open to a partial pullout (especially of some of these long-suffering National Guard troops, whose deployment contracts require that any number of them be allowed to return home in the coming months), and partial retreat to bases in the desert.

I think the emerging, mainstream CW is still kind of wait-and-see, but beginning to lean toward the proposition that Iraqis need to figure this thing out themselves, and that if they need to have their civil war they need to have their civil war. If that is the case, I think they'll roundly support getting Americans out of harm's way, providing humanitarian assistance as they can, helping to negotiate truces between different factions, but keeping some forces and officials in the green zone and at remote bases.

Posted by: Linus on June 23, 2006 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Did you guys see yhe latest poll Bush 23% repigs (drum roll) 17%.Wow that won't win you stuffed animal at the fair.HA HA HA HA HA.And that was with there good week!

Posted by: Very Rich on June 23, 2006 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

HEY! WE WON ALREADY.NO WMD, SADDAM GONE, SONS GONE,NEW GOVERMENT, OODLES OF NEW IRAQI TROOPS.WE WON LETS GO HOME,OUR GUYS HAVE PAINTED ENOUGH SCHOOLS.

Posted by: Consevative and Ugly on June 23, 2006 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

It is late Friday afternoon, where is the cat blog?

Posted by: Cal State Disneyland on June 23, 2006 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

R-Ds, LEARN SOME HISTORY TO UNDERSTAND COMPETENT U.S. FOREIGN POLICY:

No we shouldn't stay forever; while we are winning, as we are, we should stay until we've won. For Democrats, U.S. soldier's dying equals we should leave. That is 'TOOPID.

By the way, if Iraq is not important, why are Al-Qaeda even there? They think it's more important than R-Ds do?

By the way, with R-D foreign policy, Saddam would be in power 3 years hence and we still would be in a blind fog about his WMDs (which he was striving to attain) and his connections with Al-Qaeda (which he had); and he'd be that much richer and more in league with his corrupt agents at the UN thanks to oil-for-food.

By the way, incompetence? FDR letting Hitler re-arm thereby contravening Germany's treaty with the U.S. (which, as Iraq II shows, George W. Bush would not have done); FDR letting the Japanese wipeout over 1/2 the U.S. Pacific Fleet despite warnings; FDR clinking glasses with Stalin as his jackboots stepped on the necks of Eastern Europeans . . . that is incompetence. The great R-D hero, FDR; while a real hero like George W. Bush is vilified . . . oh, the humanity.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on June 23, 2006 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

All things considered, I don't think that really counts as "disarray."

Talk about damning with faint praise! At least Drum's framing is better than the Today show which was unfrigginbelievable. O'Donnell and Laurer just adopted Whitehouse spin and ran with it! I don't even bother to send them a complaining email anymore because it's like you're encouraging them.

Posted by: ExBrit on June 23, 2006 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

First off "objective" change the nickname, you are anything but ^.... If winning is declaring martial law on Baghdad as we did today, then I guess we've "turned the corner"...and we're winning....again...

Posted by: JP on June 23, 2006 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, sure; and we should have surrendered to Hitler after the Battle of the Bulge . . . like I said, 'TOOPID.

TOH

Posted by: The Objective Historian on June 23, 2006 at 7:24 PM | PERMALINK

The Levin-Reen proposal is meaningless political blather by a bunch of politicians unwilling to take a stand. Kevin described it at "the proposition that we shouldn't stay in Iraq forever and that we need to formulate a prudent plan for eventually getting out."

He thinks that is a serious approach? By all means, let's have a prudent plan, but democrats don't get around to saying don't need to say what it is. The resolution was simply political cover.

Posted by: brian on June 23, 2006 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

According to my latest ABC poll, only 65% of Americans are opposed to the Bush Administration's conduct of the Iraq War, and only 55% think that toppling Saddam was not worth the resultant cost in American lives and capital.

Republicans may well be proven wrong in their assessment of the Iraq War, but at least their choir is uniformely ballsy, and singing offkey in unison.

Posted by: John Stossel, ABC News on June 23, 2006 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

No Plan, No End, No Victory

Posted by: Richard on June 23, 2006 at 10:06 PM | PERMALINK

"He thinks that is a serious approach? By all means, let's have a prudent plan, but democrats don't get around to saying don't need to say what it is. The resolution was simply political cover."

And what is Bush's plan again, asshole? The whole point is here is your beloved Commander-In-Chief is content to let policy in Iraq just drift along, spending dozens of American lives and 10 billion American dollars a month, all because doesn't have the brains or the balls to make a change in the conduct of this war that might make a difference.

Compared to that, the Levin-Reed resolution is the height of political courage.

Posted by: brewmn on June 23, 2006 at 11:04 PM | PERMALINK

The Democrats don't need a plan for Iraq. What they need is a countdown to 2009, which is the first opportunity Dems will have to bring the big kids back to the table so they can:

Repair foreign policy

Figure out some way to pay for Iraq

Restore the balance between the Administrative, Legislative and Judiciary arms of Government

Balance the budget

plus a bunch of other stuff that the Republicans have neglected over the past 6 years.

Democrats need to say the serenity prayer every time they think about Iraq, resist the temptation to try to fix something that the C in C controls, and make it clear to America that what the NeoCons broke is going to be really, really hard to fix.

In 2009.

Posted by: erica on June 23, 2006 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

It speaks volumes about the depths this Republic has sunk to when disagreement and dissent over the use of the American military in a foreign intervention is considered a sign of weakness. The Founding Fathers must be spinning wildly in their graves.

We have become an upside down society, where in order to "spread democracy" abroad, you have to squelch it at home. Bizarre. Use your heads, people...

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on June 23, 2006 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

But the vast majority of Democrats support the proposition that we shouldn't stay in Iraq forever and that we need to formulate a prudent plan for eventually getting out.

This is indistinguishable from the president's plan. It's just a political ploy to emphasize disagreement, and to sound different. Kerry's plan was unambigusoulsy different from Bush's plan, and it was defeated.


The whole point is here is your beloved Commander-In-Chief is content to let policy in Iraq just drift along, spending dozens of American lives and 10 billion American dollars a month, all because doesn't have the brains or the balls to make a change in the conduct of this war that might make a difference. There have been lots of particular changes in particualr policies. The overarching theme is to improvise as the situation changes, as the Iraqi government grows, as the army and police are trained, as the hot spots move around and as more and more Sunnis attempt to join the government.

Posted by: republicrat on June 24, 2006 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

4 years later they're still trying to debate what's already been decided. Not only that, but they slow down our progress.

Nothing left now but sit and wait, they don't even realize it's a non-issue.

Posted by: aaron on June 24, 2006 at 12:38 AM | PERMALINK

The vote was stupid, stupid, stupid. Kerry etc are idiots; as for the others voting for the resolution they had no choice - if they didn't vote yes it would leave the democrats looking pathetic, which is what they're becoming anyway. Oddly enough Gore, who's in a postion to play to the left wing rabble, instead plays it right: criticise without getting all huffy - but don't get specific. What choice did Clinton have but to vote yes on this stupid resolution? The left wing wackos have become just as dangerous and absurd as the right wing wackos.

And how on earth Kevin does this idiocy amount to a 'prudent plan' - hell, it's not even a plan, never mind prudence. It's dumbass rhetoric, devoid of clear thinking and tone deaf to the strategic elements, both political and military, at play here. If the democracts succeed in 2006 it will only be because Bush is more screwed than they are - neither party is fit to govern.

Posted by: saintsimon on June 24, 2006 at 7:33 AM | PERMALINK

Air pollution causes 70,000 deaths annually in the United States. Automobile accidents claim over 20,000 lives annually. In the past four years, terrorists have killed exactly zero people in the United States. Statistically, you are more likely to die from bee stings or falling off a ladder than being killed by a terrorist.

Yet, Bush and his cronies cut the EPAs budget, sneer at efforts to reduce pollution and fight every effort to require car manufacturers to make safer cars and force people to wear seat belts and shoulder harnesses. Instead, they pump $320 billion into a futile and pointless war in Iraq that creates more terrorists than it eliminates. If Bushs #1 priority is, as he claims, protecting the American people, I would assert that he is failing miserably at that task.

Posted by: Stephen Kriz on June 24, 2006 at 7:37 AM | PERMALINK

Time for another reminder that it isn't the Democrats who owe the American public "a plan" (and one that works well enough) in Iraq anyway, it's those running the war - the Republican-controlled Congress and the Misadministration. Yes, it looks good to have some ideas, but keep reminding people whose *responsibility* it is!

Posted by: Neil' on June 24, 2006 at 8:36 AM | PERMALINK

TOH: By the way, incompetence?


We never had enough troops on the ground to keep order in Iraq, and both George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld knew it. - Paul Bremer 1/8/06


(and is your point further up thread that because fdr is dead and can't be held responsible for your claim of incompetency...that gwb should get a pass for his ongoing incompetency? that sounds toopid)

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 24, 2006 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

TSA,

You are getting well past the point. Kevin asserts that Democrats are united in believing we should not stay in iraq forever. As if that has some sort of meaning. Are you kidding me? I take it your all for apple pie too!

At least he admits the party needs to formulate a plan for getting out. Now that's the rub isn't it? The 1st and most obvious point there is the Dems have never had a plan. Give that man a Ph'd in stating the obvious. Now they have to agree on one. After more than a week of debate in the Senate and 3 inept attempts are resolutions by Democrats the only one that passes supports GWB totally and in equally total fashion repudiated the cut and run crowd cloistered in your leadership positions.

We already knew what the moonbat left thought. Unlike Kerry they were for cut and run before we went into Iraq.

Now we find out the Senate Democrats, in their boldest and most decisive move of the year, failed to pass a resolution saying they don't want to stay in Iraq forever. Wow! Now that's leadership! I know I feel better. Put those people in charge of the world.

You can attack GWB all day and all night. It did not work in 2002 and most definitely did not work in 2004. His 23% increase in votes is the most ever. At some point the Democrats have to stand somewhere for something and that's where you lose. You were a parody even before John 'Okinawa' Murtha became the voice of the party.

Posted by: rdw on June 24, 2006 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

The overarching theme is to improvise as the situation changes,

good strategery there, patton. i'm sure your progeny in the war zone are reassured.

Posted by: benjoya on June 24, 2006 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Certainly Josh Marshall has it right about the Dems needing to hammering the point home.

This war is sounding EXACTLY like Vietnam, the same ole echo chamber, all over again and again with Dick Cheney saying, "what message would this send other countries" and "this would make the nation look weak", if the US pulls out of Iraq - talk about "been there, done that", it's just sooooooo stupid not to hammer this time table thing over and over again - the cost factors, the death numbers, the waste.

Iraq has gone on longer than WWII and another in another few years the war will add up to Vietnam - 10 years of wasted human life on another unwinnable war simply trying to keep Bushie and Cheney from being embarrassed. Does this war make the nation look weak or does it make Cheney and Bush look like the losers that both of them really are?

Posted by: Cheryl on June 24, 2006 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

This war is sounding EXACTLY like Vietnam


It's NOTHING like Vietnam. The attempts by the left to make it into Vietnam have been politically disasterous. You've got the boomer anti-war protestors, legends in their own minds, trying to relive their salad days still despite the fail campaign of the ultimate protestor, John Kerry.

Think of the absurdity yesterday of one of the Boston Globe's columnist calling for the reinstatement of the draft. Her logic is that Iraq ISN'T like Vietnam but a draft will help it become more like Vietnam and only then can we get an anti-war movement going.

Why is it only liberals want a draft?

Sorry Joan from Boston, but no go. Our military is the most professional force ever created. Part of what makes them the best in the history of civilization is they are volunteer. They are professionals in the best sense of the word.

Kerry makes a speech demanding a pullout by 12/31/06 and the following resolution gets 6 votes. He makes another speech calling for a 6/31/07 pullout and gets a pathetic 13 votes. They propose a 3rd resolution saying we souldn't be there in another 1,000 years and they STILL can't get it passed. That's not good enough to be called inept.

This is NOTHING like Vietnam.

Posted by: rdw on June 24, 2006 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

And I remind you that anything with Levin's name on it is guarenteed to be wrong.

Posted by: aaron on June 25, 2006 at 4:23 AM | PERMALINK


rdw: repudiated the cut and run crowd


After Criticism Of Dems For Pushing Timeline, Bush Admin Now Has Adjustable' Troop Withdrawal Schedule... - NYT 6/25/06


a rose by any other name....

Posted by: thisspaceavailable on June 25, 2006 at 7:33 AM | PERMALINK

a rose by any other name....


Except this policy has been spelled out for 3 years. As the Iraqi stand up the USA will stand down. The Iraqi military is expected to reach it designed size by late summer. A very substantial portion is well trained, increasingly well experienced and taking over large portions of the fight.

There will never be a timed withdrawal under Busha as we learned watching the Senate Democrats chase their tails. Just the same schedule as presented 3 years ago.

If you have any questions about this plan just do a search for General Casey and you'll see he's been discussing it ever since he's been there.

BTW: this is the problem liberals will have with the legacy thing. The NYTs can produce 1,000 headlines a day. No credible historian will be able to use any of them. Fact checkers would destroy their reputations before any books hit the shelves.

Posted by: rdw on June 25, 2006 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

precious
1. Of high cost or worth; valuable.
2. Highly esteemed; cherished.
3. Dear; beloved.
4. Affectedly dainty or overrefined: precious mannerisms.
5. Informal. Thoroughgoing; unmitigated: a precious mess.

I assume you mean point 4? Because I think it's pretty damn precious myself, I intend to beat the wingers over the head with it until they scream. That's how valuable and esteemed it is to me.

Posted by: MNPundit on June 25, 2006 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Top 10 Iraqi War Slogans

1. Deny and Die
2. Stay and Pay
3. Muse and Lose
4. Prey and Decay
5. Divide and Hide
6. Depose and Impose
7. Fight and Incite
8. Blame and Inflame
9. Thunder and Plunder
10.Oppress and Regress

Posted by: curveball on June 25, 2006 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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