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Dems: War Be Bad, We Be Good

Hillary ClintonSen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) told the DNC winter meeting this weekend that she would not have attacked Iraq in 2002, despite having given The Decider her imprimatur to do so, and that if she’s elected President, she’ll end the war. That’s certainly good news, even if major hostilities last six or seven years longer than promised.

“Believe me, I understand the frustration and the outrage,” she told the DNC. It’s likely she’s even more frustrated and outraged than those of us who thought the war was an ass-hatted idea in the first place. Had I been sitting in Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s seat, I wouldn’t have given Bush permission to roll on Saddam. He’s untrustworthy, always has been, and most people could see that – which is why he lost the popular vote in 2000. But a life in politics dulls one’s senses when it comes to honesty. As Sen. Clinton’s husband and Otto von Bismarck were fond of saying, “Politics is the art of the possible.” And so cleverness is the coin of the realm – lacking that, and most of them do, loyalty is highly prized. It’s certainly possible that Clinton will take the oath of office in two years. But it remains to be seen if she’s clever enough to devise a plan to get us out of Iraq, or loyal enough to follow through with it.

John-EdwardsFormer Sen. John Edwards (D-NC), the erstwhile 2004 VP candidate, also voted to give Bush carte blanche to waste America’s blood and treasure, as if it were his to piss away. Edwards defended his Iraq war vote all through the 2004 election, which could be why he’s a private citizen these days instead of ensconced at the Naval Observatory in Washington DC. He now characterizes the war as “a betrayal” – said it eleven times in an eighteen-minute speech. And he’s right, I feel betrayed, many of us do. But those of us who have been against the war from the start are well past hurt feelings. Admissions of guilt and promises to do better may be refreshing in this age of Bush, but they’re not particularly reassuring.

Barack ObamaSen. Barack Obama (D-Il) gave the DNC another dose of his iron grasp of the obvious. “Whether you were for or against it then, we all have a responsibility now to put forth a plan to that offers the best chance of ending the bloodshed and bringing the troops home.” He’s called for them all to come home by March 2008, which is the most definitive position taken thus far aside from Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) who, I think, wants to go back in time and convince Poppy to wear a rubber the night W was conceived. Which I’m all for.

I try to be optimistic – they’re all pretty much on the same side now, and for Democrats, that’s real progress.

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~Jack McEnany

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