Foreign Policy

Why Won't the Dems Show Some Leadership on Iraq?

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Terry Michael, current head of the Washington Center for Politics & Journalism, former spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, and quite possibly the original self-described "libertarian Democrat," has a must-read op-ed on the Dems and the Iraq War in today Washington Times.

His piece starts with an attack Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), the tonsorially challenged plagiarist, who told viewers on last Sunday's yakfest shows that "there's not much" he could do about a troop surge in Iraq. To the contrary, says Michael, who writes a script for Biden and the Dems–and everyone fed up with the war:

You certainly can do something about it, Senator. It's called leadership. You rise on the Senate floor. You say you were out of your mind to write a blank check for this hideous misprojection of American military power. And then you propose immediate withdrawal, just slow enough to maximize the safety of the 135,000 mostly young men and women you helped put in harm's way by your collusion with this elective war. You do what Republican Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon had the guts to do last month, stopping just short of accurately labeling this public policy obscenity a criminal enterprise.

Michael continues, directing his ire at an opposition party scarcely worthy of the term:

Like millions of other Americans, I can no longer contain the primal scream I want to direct at the members of my party who declined to engage a real debate in the run-up to this completely avoidable misjudgment of old men and women, willing to send boys and girls to die for their ideological hallucinations and political cowardice….

Democrats like Mr. Biden had an opportunity to stop this madness before it started. Some of them actually shared the neoconservative pretensions of a new American imperialism. But most just quaked in their permanent campaign boots, fearing being labeled Cold War-style liberal wimps. They averted their eyes and closed their mouths instead of acting like a responsible opposition party four years ago.

So, trying to finesse their way out of their Faustian bargain, Democrats now engage in a transparent antiwar vamp, with limp proposals to implement the September 11 commission report and half-measures opposing escalation. And they receive aid and comfort from misguided and timid editorial pages, like those of The Washington Post and The New York Times, which also colluded with power in the run-up to Iraq instead of challenging it, and which now circumscribe discourse with the narrow frame of how best to muddle on through rather than promote an honest debate about whether to stay or go.

Where are the Gordon Smith's in the Democratic Party?

God bless Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Oregon), but when someone is asking where your party's version of him is, you suck.

Read all of Michael's "primal scream" here.