Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Re-run of the 2004 election

The 2006 Congressional elections are shaping up to be a re-run of the 2004 Presidential and Congressional elections. At first it appears that the Republicans face disaster at the polls due to the unpopularity of the Iraq war. But then the Democrat presidential candidate offers up gems like, "I voted for the 87 billion before I voted against it." Michael Goodwin writes in his column Give Dem '08 hopefuls a 'D' --- for defeatism that
Of the many Democrats running for President, there is not yet a commander in chief among them. No one who imagines personally shouldering the terrible burdens of wartime leadership could possibly vote for either of those awful resolutions.

Yet the five Dem Senators aiming for the Oval Office - Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, Joe Biden, Christopher Dodd and Russ Feingold - raised their hands to demand troops begin leaving Iraq this year and that President Bush submit a plan for total withdrawal. Kerry and Feingold went a sorry step further by sponsoring a resolution calling for a complete withdrawal in a year.

The efforts got only a single GOP vote and not even all the Democratic ones, a sign of Dem disarray and GOP decisions not to run from the war. One result is that the momentum is changing. Less than five months before midterm elections, a Democratic sweep looks less likely. Once again, Bush's flaws, which are huge, seem less dangerous than unprincipled ambition and fecklessness.
It's not surprising that the Iraq war, having dragged on longer than the Grenada and Panama "wars" combined, is unpopular. But trying to run for political office on a platform of "Let's withdraw and give the terrorists a high-profile victory in Iraq" isn't likely to sell very well outside Manhattanten and San Francisco.