The Moose weighs in on the re-litigation of the war.
Yesterday's Senate action demonstrated that the Democratic minority can stage creative political theater. It is good for the Republican majority to be hornswaggled once and a while. The Democrats also forced the Republicans to move on the delayed intelligence report. And the dramatic maneuver brightened the spirits of the frustrated Democratic base.
But, alas, the Senate action raises the question - does the Democratic Party really want to re-litigate the arguments to go to war? Maybe so, but keep in mind that many Democrats voted to grant authority to the President to go to war. And most still stand by that vote.
This author argues that while the Bushies went to war with insufficient troop levels and mishandled the post war situation, it was inevitable and just that Saddam was removed. In the post-9/11 environment any American Administration would have erred on the side of vigilance concerning Saddam's threat. That may not have been wise, but it wasn't a case of lying and massive deceit.
The Moose does not have to trust George W. Bush to hold that view. He believes Tony Blair. For that matter, most of the Clinton national security team was convinced that Saddam posed a threat to American interests and security. It was hardly a vast neo-con conspiracy that brought us to war.
Will the American people have faith in and trust a party that claims that it was gullibly duped, or as George Romney claimed about another war - that it was "brainwashed."? Moreover, should the objective be re-fighting the reasons to go to war and making the Democrats the official anti-war party or should the goal be achieving reasonable success in Iraq? If you believe in the former then you would encourage more efforts like the one Senate Democrats undertook yesterday. If you believe in the latter, you want the opposition party to present a better plan for winning this war.
While the war is increasingly unpopular, the Democrats should be careful that they are positioning themselves as a party that is gullible, feckless and indecisive on national security. It may provide immense partisan satisfaction to flummox the Republicans on a procedural maneuver, but beware of the long-term impact on the party which already suffers from a perception of being weak on national security.
During the late 90's the Moose was appalled by the behavior of many of his fellow Republicans who ascribed the worst motives to President Clinton for attacking Saddam and going to war in Kosovo. Clinton drove the Republicans to lose all judgement. Although it involves different different players, the Moose is feeling deja vu all over again. --