Sunday, July 23, 2006

Denenberg: In Its Own Words, The Democratic Party's Position On Iraq

By: Herb Denenberg, Special To The Evening Bulletin

I have just received an official document from the Democratic National Committee in which the party finally reveals its position on the war in Iraq and the other major issues facing the country. When you analyze the document, you will understand why the Democratic Party often doesn't take a stand on the most important issues of our time; if the voters understood the real position of the Democratic Party they would understand that it has melted down and that the party is clearly politically, intellectually, and morally bankrupt.
Recall that Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), leader of the Democrats in the House, told the National Law Journal, "We [the Democratic Party] don't even have a party position on the war." Now I reveal its real position on the war against terror, which I would describe as one borrowed from the French -negotiate, pacify, appease, retreat, cut-and-run, and surrender.
In a document called the "2006 Survey of Democratic Leaders," just sent out by the Democratic National Committee, there are 14 questions on national policy.
Now read the questions on the War in Iraq:
* "Do you support an immediate withdrawal of the U.S. troops from Iraq? Yes or No.
* If you don't support an immediate withdrawal of the U.S. troops from Iraq, what do you believe the time frame should be: By the end of 2006? Sometimes in 2007? By the end of 2007? Don't know?"
Can you believe it? The Democratic Party can see only one alternative in Iraq - cut-and-run immediately, by the end of the year, or by sometime in 2007.
This reveals the pathetic mindset of a once great party. Its leaders have only one plan for the war in Iraq and the war against global terrorism: Get out sometime before the end of 2007.
The great national leaders of the Democratic party, with Howard Dean sitting at the top of its brain trust, can only see one approach to the war in Iraq - get out. It did not occur to the Democratic National Committee that an answer might be: Get out when the Iraqis are able to take over their military and security needs? Or get out when we have defeated the murderous terrorists that now attack the Iraqis and us? Or get out when the Iraqis ask us to?
There is something more shocking than the fact that the Democratic Party can conceive of only one thing in Iraq - some version of cut-and-run, retreat or surrender. What is even more shocking is that the Democrats have descended so deeply into the pesthole of looney leftwing liberalism that they don't even realize their statement of the problem clearly reveals their position.
They also reveal their view of the war in Iraq and the war against terrorism in another way. They ask 14 questions, most of them involving domestic issues such as Social Security's future, tax cuts and the minimum wage. They do not get to the overarching foreign policy issues until question 11, which is whether "You support increased defense spending." Then questions 12 and 13 are the ones on Iraq noted above. How is that for priorities? I would think most rational observers would place the war against terrorism including the war in Iraq as the number one issue. Yet that issue comes in almost at the end, preceded by many questions of greater importance such as whether we should import drugs from Canada.
Others have found the position of the Democratic Party in other ways. For example, one expert from the American Enterprise Institute looked at its position on the war, and concluded it was intent on simply making a political issue of it and in effect it was forced to be rooting for bad news from Iraq. Another critic has pointed out the alliance between the looney left, including much of the Democratic Party, and the global terrorists. See David Horowitz's book, The Evil Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left, for more details. You may argue with those views. But you can't argue with what is in effect the position of the Democratic Party in its own questionnaire and its own words.
One other sidelight on the Democrats' view of the global war. Hugh Hewitt, the superb talk show host, has pointed out that the liberal blogs, which set the main outlines of the Democratic party's platform, such as The Huffington Post, have been virtually silent on the new conflict in the Middle East, except for a little of "the blame Israel for everything approach." I checked the Web site of the Democratic National Committee, and found virtually nothing on the new conflict or even the war in Iraq. So when the looney left and the Democrats aren't taking the wrong positions, they are just silent. Of course there are occasions when the Democratic Party is not silent on the war in Iraq and the sacrifice of our heroes in the military. For example, the Democrats recently ran a fund-raising add featuring the coffins draped with flags of America servicemen.
After being a Democrat all of my life, and after being appointed insurance commissioner and public utility commission by a Democratic governor, and after running for the U.S. Senate as a Democrat, I recently became a Republican because the Democratic Party can't be trusted to fight the war against Islamic terrorism. It can only be expected to surrender. If you don't get it right on that global war, everything else doesn't make much difference. If your head is being cut off or if your brains are being blown up, it really doesn't make much difference what the minimum wage is or whether we're importing drugs from Canada.

Herb Denenberg, a former Pennsylvania insurance commissioner and professor at the Wharton School, is a longtime Philadelphia journalist and consumer advocate. He is also a member of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences. His column appears daily in The Evening Bulletin. You can reach him at

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