Such an attitude just confirms the old Republican adage that Democrats are weak on defense. First, such a tactic assumes that Iraq will simply continue on in its current state, causing political pain to the GOP but no lasting damage to the United States. Beyond the obvious lack of regard for the 2,100 troops who have died and those continuing to fight and bleed, the situation in Iraq is precariously close to civil war.Doherty is referring to a Rahm Emanuel's claim that Democrats don't need a national position on Iraq:
But [Rahm] Emanuel, [D-Ill.] and other party leaders are reluctant to give in to such pressure and come up with a party plan. ÂAt the right time, we will have a position,Â Emanuel said.Doherty goes on:
Sophisticated tactics cannot compensate for strategic ignorance. By refusing to seriously engage the Iraq issue, indeed to educate themselves on the basics of national security and peacemaking, some Democratic leaders are confirming our worst suspicions.Doherty makes two great points here, both of which I agree with. Democrats need a policy on Iraq because America needs a policy on Iraq for our national safety and because the voting public wants to see coherent opposition to the choices the Bush administration is making for them.It's time for Democratic politics to be based on sound policy. That's what America wants from Congress.
The simple reality is that the time has past for Democrats to not have fully formulated, coherent, thoughtful, principled positions on what we are doing in Iraq. The Lieberman, Hillary, Kerry, Biden wing of the Democratic senate cannot continue to straddle the fence between an idiotic non-policy (Bush) and no policy (the Democratic establishment). I've written before on my Andrew Duck and Barry Kissin -- the primary candidates in the MD-06 race. A primary race in one of the smallest states in the country (as dear as it is to my heart).
Enough is enough. We're almost 11 months away from the 2006 mid-term elections. That's not a lot of time for Democrats to create a clear presentation of their policy on Iraq. Now we're a true big tent party and though I may go back on these words I don't think we necessarily have to have every Democrat in every race pushing for withdrawal. It's not feasible. But we need to be presenting either (a) concrete plan for safe, timely, sensible withdrawal or (b) a concrete plan for safe, timely, sensible change of course for success.
This is even more important because 11 months is still a lot of time. Bush's poll numbers could rebound. No other Bush officials may be indicted for Plamegate. DeLay's indictment by Ronnie Earle might get tossed. Democrats might be tied to the Abramoff scandals. The economy could turn around and oil prices could continue to drop. Democrats may look like they're ready to roll the GOP in the mid-terms, but we have a long way to go. No matter what else happens, though, Democrats will not win in 2006 without a solid plan for Iraq. Without a plan, as Doherty says, we'll be forever confronted with "confirming [their] worst suspicions" that we are weak on defense.