<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: Democrats at war over how to end the war

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Democrats at war over how to end the war

Karl Rove knew that Iraq was Bush's biggest problem, so he decided to showcase the war, frame the choice between victory and defeatism, and put the Democrats on the defensive. It's called reverse accountability - shifting the blame to those not in charge. And the Democrats, true to form, fell right into Rove's trap. Now they're fighting over how to end the war - which makes them look foolish and divided.

As Eleanor Clift says, "It’s appalling that an administration led by chicken hawks dares to build an election strategy based on lecturing combat veterans, but it is devilishly clever, and it might work."

Getting the Democrats to fight among themselves highlights their inability to offer a credible alternative - or, as Bush said in a recent press conference, "There’s an interesting debate in the Democratic Party about how quick to pull out of Iraq."

"The idea" says Clift, "is to corner Democrats into taking a stand that could hurt them in November. A yes vote angers the Democratic base, which is increasingly antiwar; a no vote invites charges of cut and run."

John Kerry, apparently trying to resurrect his presidential campaign, played right into the Republicans' hands when he proposed that we pull out of Iraq by year's end. "The GOP is gleefully framing Kerry's amendment to bring the troops home by the end of this year as a choice between victory and a treasonous running away," Clift says. "None of the other big-name Democrats want to get behind Kerry’s plan because they’re also running for president, and they’ve got their own half-baked ideas. An honest reckoning on Iraq means choosing among bad and less-bad options, which don’t stir voter enthusiasm. There are no good options."

If that's true, then the Democrats need to cut and run from the futile debate over Iraq and start focusing on other important issues, such as health care, global warming, gas prices, alternative energy sources, support for public education, and the economy.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13367209/site/newsweek/?rf=nwnewsletter

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