This week, William Kristol of The Weekly Standard fell back on the old manliness refrain, calling most of the Democrats and some of the Republicans weaklings for their opposition to a troop surge.
"Today, Boneless Wonders sit on the benches of both parties in Congress," Kristol writes, "More are to be found on the Democratic side of the aisle than the Republican. But the herd of Boneless Wonders these days is a bipartisan one."
Nobody agree with you anymore Bill? Must be that ALL of THEM are wrong. Couldn't be the other way around.
The truth is that the voters are thirsty to see big victories from the Democrats. Voters want the Democrats rise up and crush this new effort to put more troops in Iraq. Last November, they swelled the tide of popular opinion back against the right-wing cult of would-be policy makers, whose great ideas are as complex as a rifle.
No matter the outcome in Iraq, if Democrats successfully beat back this attempt to send more troops to Iraq, they will have won for America a victory. Even if the state of Iraq fails, Democrats cannot be held responsible for the outcome of a war that President Bush started.
Blame for any failure in Iraq will always lie squarely at the feet of right-wing neocons and President Bush himself. The more aggressively Democrats charge against the latest hail of condemnations and name-calling from the executive branch, the more excited and aroused the people will become. The swifter they fly, the sooner Dems will gain an upper hand against the Republicans. The loftier they dare aspire to control and set sound policy in a government that thieves have co-opted, they bolder and surer they will act in that aim.
The Bush administration seeks to mute Democratic opposition to a troop surge by yoking them to equal ownership in the war's outcome. In his weekly radio address, President Bush called on Democrats to propose an alternative to the 20,000-soldier escalation he has proposed for Iraq.
"[T]hose," Bush said, "who refuse to give this plan a chance to work have an obligation to offer an alternative that has a better chance for success."
Wrong. Where is that the rule written? This is your war, Mr. President. Democrats have no obligation but to their voters and to the world by staying the ruthless hand of war, which you would swing ever more violently in your monomaniacal quest for Middle East domination.
The right-wing attacks against Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Joe Biden are simply symptoms of an administration unaccustomed to being out of imperial power and in desperate throes.
Nonetheless, other administration officials have sounded the same refrain. On "Fox News Sunday," Vice President Dick Cheney said, "I have yet to hear a coherent policy out of the Democratic side with respect to an alternative." He added that any Congressional intervention would be a betrayal to the troops--ironic since any "alternative" would fit into this category.
Deep down inside, the Democratic Party wants to unite on Iraq. The time is at hand for them to seize from Republicans the perception of perpetual unity and solidarity.
The choices are simple: two more years of bloodshed, budgetary loss and disgrace for America's international reputation; or an end to daily obits for the young, the proud, the dead.
Why is Congress worried that their actions would be a betrayal to the troops? There would be nothing but a collective sigh of relief from America's armed men and women and their families. If Bush presses ahead without any funding, it is by far an uglier reflection of his imperialistic bull-headedness than a knock against Democrats.
The Republican Party has wronged this country in many ways. Our constitution is almost laughable. Our integrity abroad is shattered. Our destruction of the environment has put rosebuds on New York City trees in January.
There are too many wrongs to recount here. The wrongs are too complicated for the average Joe to digest, but the Iraq War is one wrong that can singly atone for all the others. It's simple enough to understand and to loath.
Democrats now have Republicans cornered. They cannot, like Marc Antony, choose to fight by the sea of domestic issues when their strength stands on the bedrock land of foreign policy in Iraq. If there is one issue that unites families, soldiers, young and old, it is Iraq.
America stands behind the Democrats in this hour. Their sole antagonist is the Bush Administration and a handful of loyalists in the House and Senate.
Time cannot be wasted. John McCain is threatening to gain the upper hand by "calling the Democrats' bluff." Once Republicans start advancing on the Democrats by "calling their bluff" and setting their own agendas, it's over. Kiss 2008 goodbye.
In chess, the winner always moves aggressively, putting his or her rival in squeamish positions again and again. Sometimes the Democrats forget that politics is a game that must be won. We live in the most powerful country in the world. Do Democrats think that controlling all that power is tantamount to blowing bubbles? Is it supposed to just feel good? No.
Senators like Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy, and Teddy Kennedy govern with admirable passion and backbone, yet they are also decent men.
Fortune prods you out of the nest, Democrats. Dare--on the day after MLK's birthday--to dream big dreams.