REVENGE OF THE STRAW MEN….Via Steve Benen, the Washington Post’s Peter Baker and Jim VandeHei get it right in a front page story today about the desperate fever swamp rhetoric emanating from conservative quarters lately:

Bush suggested last week that Democrats are promising voters to block additional money for continuing the war. Vice President Cheney this week said critics “claim retreat from Iraq would satisfy the appetite of the terrorists and get them to leave us alone.” And Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, citing passivity toward Nazi Germany before World War II, said that “many have still not learned history’s lessons” and “believe that somehow vicious extremists can be appeased.”

Pressed to support these allegations, the White House yesterday could cite no major Democrat who has proposed cutting off funds or suggested that withdrawing from Iraq would persuade terrorists to leave Americans alone. But White House and Republican officials said those are logical interpretations of the most common Democratic position favoring a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq.

Italics mine. This ought to be standard procedure when quoting any of the absurd “some say” or “many believe” lines coming out of the White House. It’s about time the straw men started fighting back.