Since Russ Feingold made his leap to announce a time frame to pull out of Iraq, there has been some considerable clamor from liberals for other Senate Democrats to step up to the plate and follow suit.
With Iraq heating up and Cindy Sheehan is out in front as the Poster Mom for the anti-war movement, the tension has been mounting between factions of the Democratic Party. Kevin Drum of The Washington Monthly offers some solid advice to all concerned, in the L.A. Times:
Needless to say, an internecine war between its hawks and doves is the last thing the beleaguered Democratic Party needs. You can be sure that Karl Rove would do his best to hammer such a wedge straight through the heart of the party come election time. So both Democratic factions would be well-advised to do some serious thinking before their disagreements get out of hand.
Drum suggests that “members of the antiwar left” should “continue to push establishment Democrats to support withdrawal from Iraq, but they should also make it clear that no one will be punished for doing so, regardless of their past support for the war.”
However angry they are, doves can best serve their cause by not demanding tortured explanations and tearful apologies. A change in position should be enough.
Well said, I hope it is heeded.
On the other hand, the mainstream Democrats, Drum says need to “have the courage to break ranks and advocate the course that’s probably the most sensible anyway: a gradual, phased withdrawal based on specified interim goals and a hard end-date two years from now.”
After all, in December 2007 we will have been in Iraq for nearly five years, and the plain reality is that by then we’ll either leave because we’ve won or we’ll leave because it’s clear that we can’t. So why not say so?
Finally, Kevin Drum offers three solid reasons why “such a public stance makes sense.” Read them here.
For any Democrat who has been on the record for the last two years as supporting the war in Iraq, advocating withdrawal will take guts. But being the first liberal hawk to seriously propose such a solution would also carry some rewards: The antiwar left would finally have someone to rally around, and the Bush administration would finally have some serious competition.
Who will be the first to do it?
My question is: Who amongst the party anti-wars will step up and agree with Drum’s assertion, and be willing to solidly embrace the mainstream Dems who come forward with a solution?