On Iraq: Ineffective Pundits, Ineffective Activists
In 2005, the Democratic Party wanted to avoid taking a strong stand on Iraq. The Democratic base and the Netroots strongly criticized people like Rahm Emanuel for not standing strongly on Iraq, particularly on ending the Iraq Debacle. In 2006, the Democratic Party got religion, brushed off Karl Rove's summer 2006 "cut and run" nonsense and went on to a smashing victory in the 2006 elections, because of the contrast on Iraq.
Now in 2007, Matt Stoller writes:
As Glenn Greenwald has noted, the Iraq war debate is lost until Bush leaves office.
On Meet the Press this morning, Bob Shrum and James Carville sounded very much like Stoller and Greenwald. If the Democratic Party listens to Shrum, Carville, Stoller and Greenwald on Iraq, and runs on the idea that nothing can be done about Iraq until 2009, Democrats will suffer politically. Shrum, Carville, Glenn and Matt are wrong. Iraq will not go away until 2009. It will be the leading issue from now until November 2008. And Democrats need to fight as hard as they can on Iraq NOW.
This is poor punditry and poor activism and implicit bad advice from Carville, Shrum, Matt and Glenn. If the Democratic Party, the Democratic Presidential candidates and the Democratic base and the Netroots follow the views espoused by Matt and Glenn, the Dmeocratic Party will suffer. Moreover, for folks who do not care about ending the war in Iraq as soo as possible, acting as if nothing can be done about Iraq except as a political issue in 2008 (as Move On seems intent on doing), then the political issue will be blunted. Their approach is self defeating, even when viewed cynically.
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