Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Ruben Navarrette: Demo tactics on war wrong - is he right?

Mr. Navarrette makes a few points about Democrats and the Iraq war:
Demo Tactics Wrong

"Democrats, especially those with presidential ambitions, think they're being so clever. They have devised a line of argument they believe will help them benefit politically from President Bush's troubles in Iraq.

But it turns out they aren't so clever. What they've come up with stands a good chance of backfiring and doing Democratic candidates more harm than good. Even though Iraq seems to be a huge liability for the president and the Republicans, it's possible that the war will eventually hurt the Democrats as much as anyone."

"If a debate comes, it'll be no thanks to Democrats. The best they could dream up goes something like this: "We were hustled. Sure, we voted to authorize President Bush to use military force to invade Iraq, but we were misled. Not that we regret toppling Saddam Hussein. We only regret that we weren't given all the necessary information to make a more informed decision."

The "we were hustled" approach offers something for everyone. If you support the war, you can applaud Democrats for backing the president. If you oppose the war, you sympathize with them for being conned by what you've probably already decided is a devious bunch.

But Democrats are forgetting one crucial detail: Americans hate politicians who duck responsibility for their actions by relying on parsed phrasing and other word games.

I agree with the notion that "we were hustled" can't possibly work if it's the only argument Democrats make. But, it is true, we were hustled. Democrats have to get out there and point out that Bush fed Congress a line, and it wasn't just Democrats that "were hustled", it was Republicans too. And that's a crime.

Bush is on the defensive now; Democrats need to keep him there. I mean really, just now - 2 years and 9 months after we invaded Iraq - Bush has come up with a plan? That's not just stupid, it's criminal.

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