SO HOW ARE THINGS GOING ON THE CENTRAL FRONT IN THE WAR ON TERROR?…. The head of the Defense Intelligence Agency told Congress on Tuesday that “insurgents now represent a greater threat to the expansion of Afghan government authority than at any point since late 2001.” Sounds like we could use some more troops there.

Oh wait. We don’t have any. They’re all busy in Iraq, where, according to the Washington Post, “Salim Rashid, 34, a Shiite laborer in an overwhelmingly Sunni Arab village 20 miles north of Baghdad, received his eviction notice Friday from a man at the door with a rocket launcher.” Sectarian attacks “surged” Tuesday, the story says.

In undoubtedly unrelated news, the Post also reports that Republicans are busily abandoning George Bush on national security issues. Or maybe it’s not unrelated after all: “The repetition of the news coming out of Iraq is wearing folks down,” says Scott Reed, who managed Bob Dole’s 1996 campaign. “It started with women and it’s spreading. It’s just bad news after bad news after bad news, without any light at the end of the tunnel.”

Tis the winter of their discontent. But if I were them I wouldn’t count on a glorious summer to follow. This has been their show for the past five years, and it’s their show now. Jumping ship now just makes them look like cowards.