This same headline could have been written over a year ago. And it will be just as valid a year from now when the midterms come and go with the Republicans still in power because Democrats did not present a coherent plan to save our military and by extension our nation itself from ruin.
Almost all of the bloggers on the Post, including myself, have written in these pages over and over that Democrats across the spectrum need to check their egos and coalesce around a central theme to get us out of Iraq. Yet every time a bold proposal comes from a fighting hero like Jack Murtha or Russ Feingold, Republicans and their propaganda machine reduce, distort and reframe the message and all the other Democrats rush in to smother the newborn idea as if it were a two-headed calf. Despite the great news in poll after poll, Democrats have been so trained to wither in the face of Republican disapproval that all Republicans have to do now is raise an eyebrow and other Democrats pile on and kill the Democratic idea.
The timetable for an Iraq pullout is just such a baby.
We have allowed Republicans to reframe the debate instead of boldly saying,
"All Americans want the same thing: our troops home safe and sound. Bush's folly is destroying two nations, ours and theirs. No Democrat has ever talked about cutting and running. That is only some of the same infantile Republican thinking that bungled us into this useless war in the first place. Instead, we are calling to pull our troops out of the daily line of fire immediately, while keeping enough of them close by for selective operations. This is what the Bush administration is ineffectively trying to do already with their creation of permanent megabases inside Iraq. Inside the walls are Taco Bells and movie theaters. Outside burns the fires of hell. Yes that has lessened the daily rate of young American lives thrown away because of Bush's incompetence.
Yet the very existence of these permanent bases ensures that the grandchildren of the troops currently holed up in these homes-away-from-home will be fighting the grandchildren of the current insurgents.
We Democrats pledge to stop this madness. A president is not a king. We the people do not want his war and when we take control of the government in November we will give it back to him."