DEMS AND THE WAR….Over at Tapped, a conversation about the war:
Ackerman: If Democrats press too hard on withdrawal from Iraq, the end result will probably be a rerun of the Vietnam myth: we could have won in Iraq, but feckless liberals snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and precipitated a national humiliation. “Over the next fifteen years, this becomes accepted wisdom. A younger generation of liberals, tired of being bludgeoned with the charge, more or less accepts it themselves. Another Republican gets elected, and sets to work combating Iraq Fatigue. We get another war.”
Farley: Word. Things might turn out a little better this time since Iraq is a purely Republican war, but maybe not. After all, “Millions of moderate to conservative Americans who had come to support a withdrawal from Vietnam by 1972 found it very easy to convince themselves, by 1980, that the war had been a noble struggle undermined by the malfeasance of counter-culture activists and Congressional Democrats.”
Lemieux: Bollocks. “The problem is, the blame-the-war’s-opponents narrative will be trotted out and may hold no matter what the Democrats do.” Besides, Congress isn’t going to defund the war anyway, so this is all just a round of wankerism.
I’m in a quandary. I find all three of these gentlemen compelling.
UPDATE: Just for the record, I’m in favor of withdrawing our troops from Iraq on a fairly aggressive schedule. However, I assume I don’t have to repeat this in every single post I write about the war, since I’ve written it about a hundred times already.
The question here isn’t so much about withdrawal, which I believe Ackerman, Farley, and Lemieux all support, but about how to handle withdrawal politically in order to minimize damage to the Democratic Party. My read is that Ackerman says we should be concerned about this, Farley agrees but thinks there are ways to handle it, and Lemieux says it doesn’t matter because Republicans are going to smear us no matter what we do. It’s on this issue that I’m in a quandary.