The administration’s defenders have enjoyed short-term political success by turning attention away from President Bush’s Iraq policies and toward divisions in the Democratic Party on the subject. The Republicans particularly enjoy assailing Democrats who have called for the rapid withdrawal of American troops. …
… Attacks of this sort on Democrats are effective because Democrats help make them so. Democrats are so obsessed with not looking “weak” on defense that they end up making themselves look weak, period, by the way they respond to Republican attacks on their alleged weakness. Oh my gosh, many Democrats say, we can’t associate ourselves with the likes of Howard Dean or Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader who recently called for a troop withdrawal within six months. Let’s knife them before Karl Rove gets around to knifing us. Talk about a recipe for retreat and defeat.
Especially pathetic when a majority of Americans disapprove of the way Bush is conducted the war.
See also Stephen Pizzo, “Run Away! Run Away!“