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Sunday, August 21, 2005

Democrats 2006: SSP in the News

Posted by Bob Brigham

The Swing State Project in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Bob Brigham, who runs Swingstateproject.com, said: "We as a party can't run from this issue any longer. Some people need to admit being wrong about the war. And we all need to show some political courage. That's what voters respect. If you have core convictions, and aggressively demonstrate that, voters will respect you, regardless of whether they agree with you on individual issues."

Brigham and Sirota, among others, cite the results of an Ohio congressional race on Aug. 2. In a die-hard Republican district where Democrats routinely lose by 40 points, Democrat Paul Hackett, an Iraq veteran who contended that Bush has been "incredibly stupid" on the war, lost by only two. Yet the Washington Democrats seemed not to notice; when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee analyzed Hackett's strong showing in a memo, it never cited the war as a factor.

Bill Burton, the campaign committee's spokesman, was asked about this the other day. He said that although the war will be important in the 2006 elections, he didn't foresee "one set of talking points" for everybody, because while "inflammatory language" against the war might work in one district, it might be preferable somewhere else to talk about "waging the best possible fight that we can for our troops and our soldiers and our interests."

A Democratic strategist working with 2006 Senate candidates argued privately that an openly antiwar stance is too risky: "The theme should be, 'We're in Iraq, so we gotta win.' Let's not refight the origins of the war, who was right or wrong. That discussion has run its course. Let's talk about how we can strengthen the troops, accelerate the Iraqi training, and let's keep hitting Bush when he's not being straight with the people."

Ed Kilgore, policy maven at the centrist Democratic Leadership Council (which recently accused war critics of "anti-American bias"), urged caution: "At this sensitive moment in Iraq, there's no position unifying Democrats about what to do next. We need to give it a little bit more time. Troop withdrawal doesn't represent the full range of our party. It doesn't make any political sense."

The headline was, A split over war, the wimp thing, and how to win. I was shocked -- SHOCKED -- to see Kilgore's name under a headline with the word 'wimp'. While the DCCC has no clue and Kilgore waits, our soldiers and marines and airmen and seamen are dying.

Listening to these DC Losers is what got us in this mess in the first place. In 2002, they said to hide from the war and Democrats lost. In 2004, they told us to hide from the war and Democrats lost. In 2006, tell them to STFU. They were wrong then, they are wrong now and even the press realizes they are wimps. Enough talk about talking tougher. It is time to act tough and lead!

But prominent liberal activists such as David Sirota aren't going to knock it off. Sirota looks at the latest Gallup poll and finds that 33 percent of Americans now favor full withdrawal from Iraq - which beats partial withdrawal (23 percent), status quo (28 percent), and sending more troops (13 percent). And he notes that a majority now believes the war has made Americans less safe at home.

"This sentiment gives Democrats an opening," he said recently. "We can now make the case that an exit strategy from Iraq will actually strengthen our national security. We have to stand up for our principles. There is strength in national-security prudence. There is weakness in national-security impulsiveness, as Bush has demonstrated. People will believe us. They have the evidence in front of their eyes every night on the evening news."

I don't know if the DC losers are illiterate or blind, but they can't seem to read the writing on the fucking wall.

Posted at 12:46 PM in 2006 Elections, Democrats, Netroots, Site News | Technorati