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D Is For Disappointment
Terry Michael, former press secretary for the Democratic National Committee, writes in The Washington Times and the March print edition of Reason on the extreme ball-lessness of the Democrats:

It's hard to get out of a deal with the devil.

That's the congressional Democrats' dilemma, as they continue to treat the Iraq war as a speed bump on their pathway to the perks of restored power, rather than as a moral question to which voters loudly demanded a moral answer two months ago.

Take Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware. "There's not much I can do about it," responded the Democratic "leader" on foreign policy, when asked on one of the Sunday venues for pompous pontificators how he would respond to any attempt by President Bush to escalate the war in Iraq (or "surge," if you prefer it in Orwellian newspeak).

This is a man who sees a future president during his morning look in the mirror. Sadly, the glass reflects an empty suit who embodies the congressional Democrats' decision to reduce action on Iraq to a political calculus appropriate for the highway appropriations bill, rather than as a moral imperative to challenge a policy that has sent thousands of twenty-somethings to their deaths in the desert.

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.

Who, these days, "speaks truth to power"? The only place Michael can find it is...

...on a cable TV comedy channel, not in the chambers of what used to be called the greatest deliberative body in the world. Is anybody out there willing to lead?

Posted by aalkon at February 10, 2007 10:04 AM


Americans don't want to be lead, thank you very much. We're ready to be served.

Posted by: Crid at February 10, 2007 8:18 AM

They serve by leading. By growing some balls and speaking up. It's like Schwarzenegger, who said he screwed up in the past on inauguration night. I like a guy who admits he made a mistake. The day Biden does that? Well, maybe if somebody else admits they made a mistake he can plagiarize their speech.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 10, 2007 8:35 AM

Blech. They'll do as they're told and like it, or we'll hire someone else.

After all these years, it's still fun to make fun of Biden or plagiarizing.

Posted by: Crid at February 10, 2007 9:36 AM

"The day Biden does that? Well, maybe if somebody else admits they made a mistake he can plagiarize their speech."

Amy, I know it's still early but this is going to be the best comment that I read today. And I can assure you that I will provide proper attribution each time I repeat it.

Posted by: Robert at February 10, 2007 9:55 AM

Biden's 08 slogan: "If you liked John Kerry, you're gonna love Joe Biden. And he's going to be the best darn Joe Biden he can be."

Posted by: justin case at February 10, 2007 10:19 AM

"And then you propose immediate withdrawal"
If they felt this was a winning political stategy I'm sure they would do just that. The polls I have seen do not indicate a majority of the American voting public is in favor of an immediate withdrawl, however unpopular the war is. Judging from their behaviour it appears the Dems are reading the same polls.

"It's called leadership"
It's only called that when one agrees with the position being taken. When one disagrees it's usually called "arrogance" Bush's supporters consider his continuing the war in spite of its unpopularity as a sign of "leadership".

Elected officials can't refrain from "playing politics". If they do they don't remain elected officials for very long. I often get angry at politicians for doing what is popular instead of what's "right", but I can't really blame them.

Posted by: winston at February 11, 2007 8:33 AM

The courtiers and dukes must watch their tongues, but the jesting fool says what he will.

Posted by: beansworth at February 12, 2007 7:00 AM

My girl friend called for immediate withdrawal and it was a wise decision. Now neither of us is contemplating long term commitments, logistical support, etc.

Posted by: Roger at February 13, 2007 11:04 AM

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