Dems once again fail to find unified message on Iraq

Afraid of looking soft on terror, some Dems are expressing concerns that the loud chorus of antiwar remarks by top Dems like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Howard Scream, er, Dean, will hurt the party going into next year’s elections:

Strong antiwar comments in recent days by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean have opened anew a party rift over Iraq, with some lawmakers warning that the leaders’ rhetorical blasts could harm efforts to win control of Congress next year.

Several Democrats joined President Bush yesterday in rebuking Dean’s declaration to a San Antonio radio station Monday that “the idea that we’re going to win the war in Iraq is an idea which is just plain wrong.”

The critics said that comment could reinforce popular perceptions that the party is weak on military matters and divert attention from the president’s growing political problems on the war and other issues. “Dean’s take on Iraq makes even less sense than the scream in Iowa: Both are uninformed and unhelpful,” said Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Ga.), recalling Dean’s famous election-night roar after stumbling in Iowa during his 2004 presidential bid.

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) and Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (Md.), the second-ranking House Democratic leader, have told colleagues that Pelosi’s recent endorsement of a speedy withdrawal, combined with her claim that more than half of House Democrats support her position, could backfire on the party, congressional sources said.

These sources said the two leaders have expressed worry that Pelosi is playing into Bush’s hands by suggesting Democrats are the party of a quick pullout — an unpopular position in many of the most competitive House races.

“What I want Democrats to be discussing is what the president’s policies have led to,” Emanuel said. He added that once discussion turns to a formal timeline for troop withdrawals, “the how and when gets buried” and many voters take away only an impression that Democrats favor retreat.

Perhaps because some of them, namely the party ‘leader’, do indeed favor retreat.

And some of ’em – like Senator John Kerry (see update in that post) just want to emphasize how much terror US troops are allegedly causing in Iraq (old habits die hard, I guess).

Scary to think that both of these guys wanted to become president. Thank God neither of them saw that dream fulfulled. The war in Iraq hasn’t gone perfectly by far (no war, in fact, ever has) but the man who vowed (and continues to vow) to stay the course thankfully got re-elected, which is reassuring to those of us who want us to WIN this war, but unfortunately not reassuring to those who think we can’t – aka the “Defeaticrats” in DC. Perhaps that (D) stands for “Defeat” eh?

I can’t imagine a US President who has troops in harms way talking about how the men and women in his military “terrorize” Iraqi women and children or even worse, how we “can’t win” there. Sounds to me like a few Dems in DC are starting to realize that message doesn’t play well with the American people, either.

BTW, the President’s numbers are up – in a NYTimes poll of all things. Dems: the Prez appears to be on the comeback trail (click here for more). Ya’ll better get it together or what’s happened to you guys since 1994 will continue to happen.

(Cross-posted at California Conservative)

More: Jeff Goldstein weighs in on the defeatist Dems.

Even more via Tom Maguire and Rick Moran at Rightwing Nuthouse.

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