Wednesday, December 07, 2005

WaPo: Democrats dither about the war

Heartbreaking that the Democrats can't get their act together on the war: "Strong antiwar comments in recent days by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean have opened anew a party rift over Iraq, with some lawmakers warning that the leaders' rhetorical blasts could harm efforts to win control of Congress next year.

Several Democrats joined President Bush yesterday in rebuking Dean's declaration to a San Antonio radio station Monday that 'the idea that we're going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong.'

The critics said that comment could reinforce popular perceptions that the party is weak on military matters and divert attention from the president's growing political problems on the war and other issues. 'Dean's take on Iraq makes even less sense than the scream in Iowa: Both are uninformed and unhelpful,' said Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.), recalling Dean's famous election-night roar after stumbling in Iowa during his 2004 presidential bid.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) and Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (Md.), the second-ranking House Democratic leader, have told colleagues that Pelosi's recent endorsement of a speedy withdrawal, combined with her claim that more than half of House Democrats support her position, could backfire on the party, congressional sources said.

These sources said the two leaders have expressed worry that Pelosi is playing into Bush's hands by suggesting Democrats are the party of a quick pullout -- an unpopular position in many of the most competitive House races.

'What I want Democrats to be discussing is what the president's policies have led to,' Emanuel said. He added that once discussion turns to a formal timeline for troop withdrawals, 'the how and when gets buried' and many voters take away only an impression that Democrats favor retreat."


Post a Comment

<< Home