The President has the ability to set the agenda and they are obviously going to spend the next two months inflaming these warmonger fires (while hyping every terrorist threat with Malkian-like hysteria) so that the discussion is on this ground and no other.That sounds familiar, eh?
Democrats ought to be happy about this and should engage this debate eagerly and aggressively. That does not mean defensively trying to assure everyone that they care about terrorism, too, and petulantly insisting that they really are patriots also (which is what we've heard so far in response to this escalated rhetoric). It means jumping on this debate in as straightforward and unambiguous a manner as possible -- offensively.
The President is saying the same things about Iran and Syria as he said when he induced the country to follow him into the disastrous war in Iraq. When he did so regarding Iraq, he said Iraq was a "unique" threat in order to assure Americans that there would not be a series of similar wars. But a series of more wars exactly like Iraq -- but more difficult, more dangerous, more draining -- is exactly what the President is now making clear he intends to bring to this country. It is reckless, destructive war mongering that is going to drag the country into more inflammable, interminable conflicts, and drain America even further of its resources, weaken it immeasurably, and make us more vulnerable on every level.
Do Americans really want to start more wars in the short-term future against more countries -- in Iran, Syria and beyond -- all while we stay, as the President vowed we would, stuck in Iraq until at least the end of his presidency? Why would Democrats possibly fear that debate? The administration sounds like a bunch of madmen who are literally impervious to reality -- like hubristic leaders who learned nothing from Iraq -- and Democrats ought to be using the President's words (and those of Cheney's and Rumsfeld's) to point that out over and over. They don't need to worry; it isn't the hippy-netroots that oppose the war in Iraq and still more wars. It's the vast bulk of the country.
The great thing about Glenn is that he does the research to back up his posts. He's got verbiage straight from Bush's mouth that is essentially identical, showing a pattern of how the President marches us to war. The similarities between the lead-up to the Iraq War and the current rhetoric are striking, and can be used as part of the Democratic attack message against these crazy-ass Republicans. Tack on some dour Iraq quotations from Will and Buckley and you've got the makings of a message that casts the Democrats as strong through attack, while also being the non-partisan voice of reason, rising above politics to do what is best for the country.