In a political showdown, stupidity can be even more crippling than timidity. Unfortunately, congressional Democrats have displayed both as they backed down from their confrontation with the Bush White House over the war in Iraq.
Had the Democrats endorsed the Iraq Study Group report immediately, and linked future funding of the war to the president's full acceptance of its recommendations, they would find themselves in a different position today. Rather than being perceived as weak and divided, they would at least have identified themselves with a plausible alternative to administration policy -- and isolated the White House even further.
Now the Bush administration can turn around -- as Washington Post defense expert William Arkin predicts -- and accept the Iraq Study Group recommendation to begin withdrawing troops. After all the carnage and waste, the Republicans may yet escape responsibility for the most significant strategic failure in decades, because the Democrats hesitated and dithered.
Sunday, May 27, 2007