Dems on Iraq

DEMS ON IRAQ….Matt Yglesias chides Democrats for being unwilling to get serious about taking on Republicans over Iraq:

Democrats need to be prepared to fight this battle. They need to figure out what they think about Iraq and then they need to put in whatever time is necessary to craft a compelling message out of that policy. And they need to do it before they get ambushed by congressional Republicans, and before something or other forces them to talk about the war.

Disagreeing with this is sort of like disagreeing about the yumminess of apple pie, but I think it misses the real issue. The problem isn’t that Democrats are unwilling to craft a compelling message, the problem is that there are deep and genuine divisions among Democrats that are simply not going to go away. Even if there were a compelling message just waiting to be crafted ? about which I have my doubts ? what possible message would satisfy Joe Biden, John Murtha, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Howard Dean, and Joe Lieberman? It doesn’t exist. At the very top levels, senior Democrats disagree strongly and deeply about what we should do in Iraq.

This is why 42 Democrats supported today’s Republican-sponsored war resolution. It’s why the DLC’s book With All Our Might doesn’t even have a single chapter about Iraq. It’s why the “Real Security” plan offered up by Democrats a couple of months ago could only come up with a feeble suggestion that we should make sure 2006 is “a year of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty.”

There’s no question that Democrats ought to get their act together and put up a united front on Iraq. But how can they do that when no one agrees on what that front should be?