Three Things You Should Shut Up About: The Lazy Politician's Guide to Winning the Gratitude of Your Nation Forever

Are you a Democratic politician? An ambitious one? Do you want to be president, maybe? Or at least just hold onto your blessed seat in Congress? Are you waaaaaay to busy to figure out how to end the war that the country wants you to end?

Let me help.

Here are three simple things you should shut up about. When you feel yourself wanting to say any of these three things? Shut. It. Shut up. Honestly. Enough's enough.

(1) Who Knew the Iraqi Government Would Suck So Bad?

Stop saying that the Iraqi government is a big disappointment. We bombed them, toppled their government, disbanded all their institutions, let looters have the run of the place ("stuff happens!"), and we're now occupying their streets with tens of thousands of foreign troops, and with armed contractors who aren't subject to the laws of any country. Obviously, the "government" nominally in charge of a country in those circumstances is going to suck. Actually, they'll Suck, with a capital S. You supposedly antiwar politicians talking about how shocked you are that the Iraqi government Sucks, makes it seem like maybe you think this whole invasion-dismantling-looting-occupation thing would have worked out OK, if it only weren't for that Sucky Sucky government Iraq mysteriously ended up with. Shut it.

(2) We Couldn't Possibly End the War

Stop saying that Congress ending the war will hurt the troops. Bush will veto anything the Congress passes that tells him to bring the troops home, so the only way that Congress can end the war is to cut off the funds for continuing it. (Bush can't veto something Congress doesn't do.) If American troops are in a combat zone, and the money that pays for their bullets and gas and MREs is drying up, they must be withdrawn from the battlefield. What kind of psychopath would keep American troops in a war zone without the funding to supply them? No one's that evil, and if they are, we'll deal with them when they do it. Ending funding for the war ends the war, period. Stop doing Sean Hannity's job for him by hawking that claptrap about endangering the troops.

(3) Couldn't We Just Change the Slogan?

Stop saying that U.S. troops in Iraq should stay there, but they should just do different stuff. What's their mission now, pray tell? Propping up the Shiite government, while we also fund Sunni militias to fight the government? Peacekeeping? While we dump billions of dollars worth of weapons into the country? Training and equipping Iraqi forces? Who turn around and kill the American troops who just trained and equipped them? If the goal now is for Iraq to be sovereign and relatively free and not a failed-state, then how 'bout we help them along that path by getting this foreign army off their streets. The U.S. military can accomplish any military mission assigned them -- but what our country wants for Iraq now is not a military mission. The U.S. can and should fund a hell of a lot of help for Iraq, but not in the form of troops and military contractors.

Ambitious Democratic politicians, hear ye hear ye: yankle yerselves out of these three traps you keep falling into when you talk about the war. Don't blame the Iraqis, don't denigrate the only hope you've got to end the war, don't confuse shrinking the war or changing the war's so-called mission with actually ending it. Repeat after me: "This is a Republican war and I will not own it, I will end it. This is a Republican war and I will not own it, I will end it."

A ready-to-be-grateful nation, awaits your next move.