Take Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware. "There's not much I can do about it," responded the Democratic "leader" on foreign policy, when asked on one of the Sunday venues for pompous pontificators how he would respond to any attempt by President Bush to escalate the war in Iraq (or "surge," if you prefer it in Orwellian newspeak).
... You certainly can do something about it, Senator. It's called leadership. You rise on the Senate floor. You say you were out of your mind to write a blank check for this hideous misprojection of American military power. And then you propose immediate withdrawal, just slow enough to maximize the safety of the 135,000 mostly young men and women you helped put in harm's way by your collusion with this elective war. You do what Republican Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon had the guts to do last month, stopping just short of accurately labeling this public policy obscenity a criminal enterprise.(h/t to Hit & Run)
... So, trying to finesse their way out of their Faustian bargain, Democrats now engage in a transparent antiwar vamp, with limp proposals to implement the September 11 commission report and half-measures opposing escalation. And they receive aid and comfort from misguided and timid editorial pages, like those of The Washington Post and The New York Times, which also colluded with power in the run-up to Iraq instead of challenging it, and which now circumscribe discourse with the narrow frame of how best to muddle on through rather than promote an honest debate about whether to stay or go.
Where are the Gordon Smith's in the Democratic Party? Where are the conviction politicians willing to spend political capital to lead a citizenry which has decided overwhelmingly that this war is crazy? Where are the institutions of media power with the courage to say the emperor has no cowboy boots, no jeans, no garments at all — just a hideous, stubborn smirk that is literally making this country ill and squandering our reputation around the globe?