Catch Twenty (Aught) Six
The Democrats are in the process of putting themselves into a nearly impossible position for next year's elections. Like Heller's famous "Catch Twenty-Two" (in which a soldier could get out of combat by claiming he was crazy; yet expressing a desire to get out of combat was considered prima facie evidence of sanity) they are placing themselves into a box with both ends closed electorally for Twenty Aught-Six. Their near-obsessive focus on pre-war intelligence and their near obsessive hatred of George Bush (BDS, or Bush Derangement Syndrome as it's known) have joined with the insistence of the moonbat wing of the party to lead them to this self-destructive positioning.
In the first place, focusing on what happened three years ago gives zero answers about what to do now. And so far the Democrats have no plan for what happens next...at least none that they're willing to admit to in public. On NBC's Meet the Conflict-of-Interest-Challenged Libby Trial Witness this morning, DNC Chairman Howard Dean said they'd lay out specifics next year...and does anybody want to buy a really nice bridge? It's real cheap!
Second, this focus on the past ignores the reality that things are going to be very different in Iraq by election day 2006 than they are now. Next month's Iraqi elections will finally give Iraq a permanent government, and whatever that government looks like, the current incentive for all Iraqi parties to sit back and let the Americans do the work is going to diminish. I suspect the message is already being delivered to the leaders of all parties that the free ride is just about over. If a significant number of troops have come home and the drumbeat of negative news stories declines, the Democrat's focus loses a lot of its electoral punch.
Third, the argument that the "administration mislead us into voting for the war" is an incredibly weak position to take. The statements of prominent Democrats, dating all the way back to the Clinton Administration, seriously undercut the effort to place all the blame on Bush's shoulders. It's hard to see how Bush was manipulating intelligence in 1998 when he was governor of Texas and the Democrats were in charge of the White House and the CIA (well, they're apparently still in charge of the CIA, but you take my point). We're too dumb to see through George Bush, who we've been deriding as stupid for years is hardly a winning campaign slogan.
Finally, taking the position that Saddam Hussein wasn't a serious threat, and therefore wasn't really all that bad may not be that great an idea either. His trial is slated to resume next month (assuming all the lawyers haven't been killed off first), and the details that come of out that trial on a daily basis will be undercutting the Democrat's main talking points. And while the mainstream media will probably downplay them, the development of the Internet as a news source ensures that those details will be placed into the public consciousness.
However, the race isn't run in a vacuum. And if the Republicans in Congress and in the White House continue their stupid, spineless, spendthrift, short-sighted and self-destructive ways...well, somebody has to win, and it doesn't have to be them.