Monday, August 14, 2006

The Democrats' Dilemma

So the Democratic voters of the Nutmeg State have sent a message to Washington: We don't want no war no more. (From some of what I've read in the press, the message may also have been We don't want no self-serving guy who backs his party only when it's convenient no more, but that dilutes the clarity of the message.)

I'd love to be able to endorse this message. But I can't. That's because our President, may buzzards pick at his innards and those of his Vice President and Defense Secretary, has gotten us into a trap that we can only fight our way out of.

The problem is that, unlike Vietnam, if we simply take our guns and bombs and go home, we won't be free of the messy war or the threat of a future attack. For one thing, the enemy--which wasn't in Iraq to begin with--is still with us, stateless and constantly shifting--and thanks to our invasion of Iraq, he is there now too.

We have also enabled the mullahs in Iran to spread their influence further than it had gone before--and soon it may be at the point where we can no longer expect Israel to pull our fat out of the fire. (Indeed, the current stalemate in southern Lebanon suggests that we may already have reached that point.)

Unfortunately, this leaves us with several bad choices. The worst one is the one the Democratic voters of Connecticut endorsed: Just leave. If we do that, this time, they'll follow us.

The next one is worse politically, but possibly the only way out militarily: Send more troops over to the Middle East. And here's where the Democratic voters of Connecticut have mucked things up: It shouldn't be a Republican President doing the sending. The current one has shown his contempt for both reality and the Constitution often enough to poison the well for his successor. But as long as the Democratic base won't tolerate a Presidential candidate who is willing to prosecute this war, however reluctantly, the general electorate will rightly shy away from trusting whichever Democrat gets nominated to wrap this botched job up properly.