Monday, December 12, 2005

Yes yes yes

E.J. Dionne gets it exactly right when he writes that, like many a beaten-down partner, Democrats are now complicit in their own mistreatment.
Attacks of this sort on Democrats are effective because Democrats help make them so. Democrats are so obsessed with not looking "weak" on defense that they end up making themselves look weak, period, by the way they respond to Republican attacks on their alleged weakness. Oh my gosh, many Democrats say, we can't associate ourselves with the likes of Howard Dean or Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader who recently called for a troop withdrawal within six months. Let's knife them before Karl Rove gets around to knifing us. Talk about a recipe for retreat and defeat.
He goes on to say that Democrats really are divided and that's a problem, but America isn't exactly falling in line behind Republicans either.

As for the political "problem" of division over Iraq, I say quit treating it like a problem. I honestly think that a joint Democratic conference should be held publicly with senators and representatives making their cases for their points of view. Instead of being ashamed of internal conflict, we should be embracing it, pointing out that our party is a party of thoughts and ideas, while theirs is the party of marching in lockstep to consolidate power.

Invite Clark. Invite Shinseki. Invite Franks. Invite all kinds of military advisors and thinkers and historians. Do this not because it's a good political move, but because it's what America needs right now. The American people are justifiably torn over the war and they need to see that someone is taking this war seriously enough to put their own thoughts and values above the short-term goals of their party.


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