Hogan's Alley

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Democrats, May Be Shut Out Of Power In The Long Term By Their Opposition To The War

Lawrence Haas, a former communications director for VP Al Gore, draws a parallel between the current scramble among Democrats to be the most anti-war partisans and the post-Vietnam collapse of their power after Carter's single term.

Key quote:

Will history repeat itself? To be sure, the White House seems an achievable target for Democrats in 2008, just as it was in 1976. Public disenchantment with President Bush in general, and with the war in Iraq in particular, should give Democrats a good head start.

Leading Democrats, none more so than their presidential candidates, are disavowing their previous votes or statements for the war and competing for anti-Bush purity. They are demanding that Bush end the war in Iraq before the next (presumably Democratic) president takes office in 2009. Momentum is building to block funding later this year.

But, in playing to their anti-war political base, congressional Democrats are pushing party orthodoxy on foreign policy further to the left. After a two-year campaign, any successful Democratic candidate for president may wind up with little leeway to project U.S. power abroad.

Unfortunately, the world will not likely cooperate with a hemmed-in president. Just as Soviet expansionism in the late 1970s reminded America that the Cold War was still on, so may the aftermath of Iraq remind Americans of the larger struggle at hand. Just as our withdrawal from Vietnam emboldened the Soviets, a withdrawal from Iraq may do likewise for today’s enemies.

Clearly, a failure in Iraq will create a haven for terrorists, including those from al-Qaida whom we are fighting there today. It will create a regional power vacuum to be filled by an increasingly emboldened Iran, which is stoking the fires in Iraq while ignoring international efforts to stop its nuclear program.

The world will grow more dangerous, not less. Failure in Iraq, leading to an exodus of U.S. forces, will provide merely the illusion of peace. The terrorists will challenge the United States in more places around the world while plotting to bring more turmoil to our homeland.

At some point, the nation will recapture its spirit. Taunted by our enemies or attacked directly, Americans will look to the party that is ready to respond in kind. Will Democrats once more be on the losing end?

Just the kind of sentiment that will drive the boys and girls over at Daily Kos right up the wall. Heh.

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