The Democrats' Solution to Iraq
by CA Pol Junkie
Iraq is a problem. That we know. Our military presence both causes and prevents chaos. Atrios introduces it as a Democratic Party problem. In particular, we don't know what to do about it because there are no good options. Yglesias thinks we should say we have no solution, but that it's not our fault. Gilliard thinks we should get the heck out of there and at least end our involvement on our own terms. The Democratic Party's problem is that we need a solution which is good both in policy and politics. Here is that solution.
Democrats have a problem in proposing policy in Iraq. We can't implement it right now since we have no power, and it has to be attractive enough to get us control of either the House or Senate in 2006. Beyond the political issues, we also need our policy to make sense. Yglesias' approach doesn't work on either level: it passes off the policy buck to the GOP, who have thus far failed miserably, but it gives voters no reason to put us in power, since we are proposing no leadership. Gilliard's policy may turn out to be as good as any other, but the politics are horrible: we would be running in 2006 saying America is a loser.
So what's the answer? Elect us in 2006 and we'll be out of Iraq within two years. Given control of either the Senate or the House, we could force Bush's hand by denying him funds to continue the war. It is that simple. This approach offers several advantages:
- it tells the Iraqis America will not want a permanent presence there, something Bush won't say (for obvious reasons)
- it gives Iraq a firm timeline within which they must take responsibility for security in their own country
- gradually removing our troops will remove a source of conflict in Iraq
- it gives us a strategic goal in the war
- it lets us offer a tough love victory scenario to the voters
- it gives voters a chance to get rid of the headache they get every time they watch the nightly news
No more hand-wringing over what will happen if we stay or if we go - it's a gamble either way. No more intra-party sniping over who kissed Bush's butt to get us into this mess - we know who the fools are, but it just doesn't matter anymore. It's time for some grownups in Washington, and it's time for the Democratic Party to show some leadership. There's the solution, now let's run with it so you can thank me when we take back the House in 2006.