They Refuse To Give Up Their Precious Defeat
Democrats and their liberal brethren are facing a very big problem this week. Having staked a large portion of their political capital on U.S. defeat in Iraq they must now come to grips with the possibility that we might actually win this war. This would be – if not actual disaster, at least a serious setback to their future plans. They rode anti-war sentiment into the Congress with real hopes that the Republicans would continue their losing streak right up to the White House next year. However, Bush and the G.O.P. unexpectedly doubled down and began to win a few. The house odds (never bet against the US Military) reasserted themselves.
With most of their chips set firmly on black it would not be surprising if the Democrats prudently sought to scatter a few out to red, just to hedge their bets. Unfortunately, they can’t. Their base will not let them. The Netroots and Moveon.org hold too many party markers to be ignored. Primaries are won by the base, and the Democrat base wants to lose this war pronto. Unfortunately, General Elections are won in the political middle. If the Dems force a loss in a war that the electorate eventually comes to see as winnable, they will pay a hefty political price in an area of political weakness where they can ill-afford to lose any more ground; National Security.
Hence the dilemma: Democratic candidates need to play to their the antiwar base to get the nod to run nationally, but they do at peril of making themselves unelectable. The millions of Americans who initially supported the invasion of Iraq, presumably because they thought we could win (a reasonable assumption at the time), and who changed their minds when they decided we were not, could well change their minds back again if they see that we now are. Nutroot-pandering candidates will get a hundred percent of the Moveon.org vote, but (as private citizen Ned Lamont can attest) how far will that get them, really?
Of course the Dems could get lucky and America could still lose in Iraq. But after watching General Petraeus’ performance in front of Congress this week thats seems less and less likely. Efforts to paint this man as an administration shill not only failed, but boomeranged as it became apparent that the Dems and their Moveon.org succubi were desperately trying to hang on to their precious defeat by slandering a capable and honorable man. The Dems were not helped when Moveon.org hermeneutically displayed their political tin ear on a heavily discounted full page of the New York Times. One has to wonder who the “us” in “Betray-us” really turned out to be?
So the chips are placed and the wheel spins. Sometimes the ball bounces into black, sometimes red. Lately its been more red than black. Democrats chose (willingly and unwillingly) black, for defeat. Frankly, it was a sucker bet from the beginning.