In the 2006 election the American people made it clear that they wanted out of Iraq. They replaced 36 Republicans with Democrats in the House and the Senate, and they didn't remove a single Democrat. Yes, there were other factors, but overall, the message was a resounding 36-0 drubbing. The Democrats are right, let's get out of Iraq. It's not working.
So, what did President Bush do? He decided to put more troops in. Genius. I'll tell you why.
Because we're no longer discussing withdrawal, instead we're debating escalation. The Bush people changed the playing field by coming over the top of the Democrats. They moved the discussion from one where they were playing defense to one where they are playing offense.
So, now the Democrats have introduced legislation to discuss, debate and challenge the escalation - and have done absolutely nothing about withdrawal.
Then, the Republicans went on the offense again -as they always do - and charged that the Democrats weren't supporting the troops since they were considering the only thing they could do to stop the war - cut off funding. And for the one billionth time in a row, the suckers fell for it again.
Has it ever occurred to them to say that we support the troops in a different way - by keeping them alive and out of a useless, ego-driven war done purely for the sake of George Bush and Dick Cheney's vanity? Why do they always have to play on the Republican's ground?
The minute they accepted the premise that cutting off funding to the war would hurt the troops, they lost the whole ballgame. Is there a single person on the Democratic side that knows anything about strategy? Aren't these guys supposed to be politicians? Can't they find one clever guy to lead them? They are consistently outplayed, outmaneuvered and overpowered.
It's a good thing the Republicans are nearly always so wrong, because God forbid if they were right even a quarter of the time they would manhandle these Democrats.
Finally, the Republicans come in for the crowning blow and say that the Democratic proposals are useless and weak because they are nonbinding. Genius. Now the Democrats have painted themselves into a corner. If they rest on their laurels, they have passed a toothless, irrelevant piece of legislation that by definition does nothing. If they proceed further, they are harming the troops.
The Republicans can now depict them as both feckless and traitorous. They don't support our troops, our mission or our beloved country. And they have done nothing with their power because they are miserably weak and ineffectual. Game, set and match.
God, they are so much better at politics. It's a shame for them that they have used up all of their talents in that field. Because they are just as bad in policy as they are in politics.
People like Chris Shays, the so-called moderate Republican from Connecticut, who promised his constituents that he was fed up with the war and would look for a way out, instead voted for the escalation. You can be a grand wizard of politics and still have your ass handed to you by your voters if you're that wrong and that deceitful. I hope he enjoyed his Congressional career and he has some nice lobbying job lined up because his work for the good people Connecticut is done in 2008.
If some of the strong people within the progressive movement ever gain power in the Democratic Party, God help these Republicans because nothing else will. They are so wrong on the issues that if they ever lose their stranglehold on politic gamesmanship, they are going to be wiped off the board.
But for the moment being, we have hopeless and clueless Democratic leaders like this:
"We are going to keep at this. We are going to keep ratcheting up the pressure so that public opinion and congressional opinion is so strong that the president will have no choice but to change strategy."
When I read this, I laughed so hard out loud that I might have woken the neighbors. I looked around and was glad that no one was there to notice how awkward the belly laugh was. It was a genuine guffaw. I swear I even slapped my knee. Oh, you're going to pressure the president until he changes strategy, are you?
There I did it again. I laughed out loud as I wrote that sentence. Chuck Schumer thinks he is going to pressure Bush and Cheney into changing their minds. On which planet?
Wow, these Democratic Senators (with the exception of a bright few led by the great Russ Feingold (actually who is he leading; it might just be him)) have no idea what they're doing or who they're up against. They think it's politics as usual. Have you been awake the last six years?
Senator Carl Levin is a guy I like. I respect his views on foreign policy and I feel bad making fun of him. So, I won't. I'll just let you know that he says he is not ready to tie the president's hands and give you his quote:
"I have at least a little hope we can turn the president in a different direction."
At least he said "a little hope." Senator Levin, with all due respect, you ain't turning the president in any way, shape or direction. He's turned you guys into pretzels. Granted those are pretzels he'll eventually choke on because he's so historically wrong, but the idea that these timid Democratic senators could turn the president in a new direction is nothing short of laughable.
I used to like being a Republican. Now I remember why. Because we were strong and we didn't sit around playing patty-cakes. We kicked ass and took names. In case the Democrats still haven't figured it out, Americans love that in their leaders. Strength sells. Patty-cakes is for losers.
It's a shame I had to leave the party because they are wrong on 98% of the issues. If the Democratic Party was ever led by a man like Senator Feingold or maybe Jim Webb or a rejuvenated Al Gore, then I might actually be proud to call myself a Democrat. But until then, I am quite content to call myself an independent.
Since the majority of Democratic politicians still don't get it, let me break it down in the simplest possible way for you: 1. Grow some balls. 2. Take charge of the conversation. 3. Don't ever accept any of their premises. 4. Change the playing field into one that is to your advantage, not your opponents. 5. Pressure the media into covering the issues from your perspective. 6. Don't wait for the president to do anything - he will always do the wrong thing. He doesn't care about you or the country, or even his own party. He only cares about his own ego. Make him bend to your will. 7. Take credit for everything.
That's not how you play nice. That's how you crush your opponents and get your way. That is the genius of strength. You are right on the policy, will you for the love of God, press your advantage?
Here is a sample of what you might have said on the floor of Congress this week:
This president is a fool. And he is trying to send our good men and women on a fool's errand. And we are not going to let him!
He has had four long years to get it right in Iraq - and he never has! Now, he begs for another chance and offers nothing but more of the same. If you were so convinced this was the right strategy, Mr. Commander-in-Chief, then why didn't you do it four years ago, three years ago, two years ago, one year ago?
How many of your pathetic excuses do we have to put up with? How many more escalations must we endure? How many of our troops must be killed to assuage your gigantic ego? How many more will it take before you admit your mistakes and own up to the fact that you don't know what you're doing?
The people didn't send me here to be your babysitter. You are done. You're foolish policies are done. This historic mistake is done. This disastrous war is done. The American people have spoken. I have heard from them and soon you will hear from them.
You have six months to redeploy those troops home and elsewhere in the Middle East, where they will actually do some good and concentrate on going after the people who hit this country on 9/11. Yes, that's al Qaeda. Yes, we are tired of your lies that they were in Iraq when in fact they sat comfortably in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
It is time to redirect our great forces in the direction they should have been going all along. To the people who attacked us, rather than on some ideological flight of fancy fight that the Bush administration wanted to take on. Your silly war games and delusions of grandeur are over. We are going after our real enemies and we are unconcerned with how history sees you. That is your problem, not America's.
And don't you dare hide behind the troops to excuse your actions. They are here to protect our homeland, our constitution and our people. They are not here to protect your vanity. Their bravery, their blood and their souls are too precious to sacrifice in your honor.
Mr. President, with all due respect, step aside. If you do not, we will make you.