Specifically, Democrats who had been in a position to take the offensive found themselves defending "funding cuts" when the GOP should have been defending an immoral war of aggression. The GOP had merely to characterize Democratic efforts as a Democratic failure to "support the troop" and the Democrats go from offense to defense.
As Glenn Greenwald argued in Salon, "cutting off funding" never meant US soldiers would suddenly find themselves without guns, ammo or food. Congress would have done what it usually does. The leadership would have worked to determine a date for a safe withdrawal and fund the war through that date. The GOP changed the subject, misrepresented the Democratic position and went on offense.
Democrats have no excuse. They should have caught on by now. Once again, they allowed the GOP to re-position them and change the parameters of debate. It was no longer about ending the war, opposed by some 70 percent of the US voting public. It became about "withdrawing support for the troops", opposed by almost as many.
The new premise was simply not true. The GOP had done it again - and again gotten away with it. Another GOP myth goes mainstream. Why is this allowed to happen repeatedly? Are Democrats not aware that the GOP hires highly paid consultants whose job it is to lie and make it sound like truth? The tactics were spelled out long ago by Joseph Goebbels and more recently by Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals", an activists handbook written originally for a left leaning audience.
Democrats should be on offense. They should attack GOP lies and crimes. Democrats have probably never had a better opportunity to seize the initiative. Typically, they appear to have blown it again -- the result is that the US is stuck in Iraq where troops are NOT supported. They are targeted.
The Democrats should hammer home the point that Bush's position in Iraq is immoral and un-American even as the war bankrupts the nation. Democrats should ridicule Bush's ludicrous defense of the war. For example, at a White House Rose Garden news conference of May 24, 2007, Bush got away with making contradictory statements. First, he said if we leave Iraq before al Qaeda is defeated the "terrorists will follow us home". Then, he followed up with a promise already broken. He said that if the Iraqi government asks us to leave, we will. Haven't they done precisely that?
GOP propagandists depend on the gullibility of the American people and the numbing drone of a mindless MSM to get across contradictory and ludicrous statements. For example, Bin Laden is still "on the loose" because "we haven't got 'em yet".
Bush's statements are nonsensical and contradictory because they are lies. Representative Dennis Kucinich takes Bush apart on this issue. But, at the same time, he points out that 'this is a moment of truth' for the Democratic party. Kucinich claims that Bush is laying down the ground work for continuing the Iraq war throughout his term. It will take that time, presumably, to guarantee the "privatization" of Iraqi oil --an act Kucinich says is nothing less than "theft"!
A pattern of recklessness, indifference, callousness - the implications are deadly for the people of the United States.
- Representative Dennis Kucinich
The Existentialist Cowboy
Why Conservatives Hate America