August 22, 2005


Political Leaders' Silence on Iraq War Is a Dereliction of Duty (Ronald Brownstein, August 22, 2005, LA Times)

Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a slain soldier who has been camping outside President Bush's Texas ranch, is an impassioned witness but an imperfect messenger. Her leftist foreign policy agenda is as unlikely to draw majority support as the militant unilateralism of the hard-core neoconservatives.

But Sheehan will have done the nation a service if she inspires, or shames, both parties to resume debate over the direction of the Iraq war.

Few mainstream analysts in either party believe Sheehan's solution — withdrawing all U.S. troops immediately — is the right answer.

But no one should expect a grieving mother camping in a field to "solve" the Iraq war. She's not a military strategist. She is a citizen with an inherent right to demand answers from her government. And she is doing so at a time when too many others have stopped asking questions.

The problem for Democrats is that she's an almost perfect example of those who oppose the war--anti-Bush, anti-American, anti-Zionist, etc.. That's why they can't afford to discuss the war publicly.

Democrats Split Over Position on Iraq War: Activists More Vocal As Leaders Decline To Challenge Bush (Peter Baker and Shailagh Murray, August 22, 2005, Washington Post)

Democrats say a long-standing rift in the party over the Iraq war has grown increasingly raw in recent days, as stay-the-course elected leaders who voted for the war three years ago confront rising impatience from activists and strategists who want to challenge President Bush aggressively to withdraw troops.

Amid rising casualties and falling public support for the war, Democrats of all stripes have grown more vocal this summer in criticizing Bush's handling of the war. A growing chorus of Democrats, however, has said this criticism should be harnessed to a consistent message and alternative policy -- something most Democratic lawmakers have refused to offer.

The wariness, congressional aides and outside strategists said in interviews last week, reflects a belief among some in the opposition that proposals to force troop drawdowns or otherwise limit Bush's options would be perceived by many voters as defeatist. Some operatives fear such moves would exacerbate the party's traditional vulnerability on national security issues.

As the neocons found out a generation ago, if you're serious about liberating folks from an ism and about spreading American values you don't have a home in the Democratic Party.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 22, 2005 12:00 AM

I am shocked that GMA today actually played the clip of Sheehan's "two little party animals" quote.

Posted by: Rick T. at August 22, 2005 10:59 AM

Rick, do have a link to the clip?

Posted by: erp at August 22, 2005 11:30 AM


Sorry, no. I heard the clip just as I was walking out the door and it stopped my in my tracks. I don't have anything to do with the morning shows except when my wife wants me to track down one of Emeril's demo recipes.

Posted by: Rick T. at August 22, 2005 1:11 PM

The Democrats are going to have a new Chicago conference soon, thus ending their existence with a good example of assisted suicide (assisted by MoveOn that is). After that, the GOP can toss out RINOs like McCain and Hagel so that they can form a more decent left.

Posted by: Peter at August 22, 2005 2:33 PM

That's President McCain to you.

Posted by: oj at August 22, 2005 2:38 PM

oj. Please no. Right now I'm fully occupied worrying about sharia in Iraq (okay you don't agree and I am hoping I will have to make an abject apology for doubting you), but no more President McCain.

Posted by: erp at August 22, 2005 3:22 PM

Ron Brownstein is a horse's rump. Imagine it's 1944 - "Too many people have stopped asking questions about the decision to fight".

Congress voted, the people voted (twice), but the press doesn't like the result. Well, time to move on.

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 22, 2005 4:19 PM

If you're really worried about general Islamic extremism, no one is more likely to take the region nuclear than the Senator.

Posted by: oj at August 22, 2005 4:52 PM

Intersting that McCain should come up in a thread about a Ron Brownstein article, because Brownstein's wife is a major McCain staffer.

Posted by: ratbert at August 23, 2005 12:20 AM