This week, Democrats broke out the cots and the S'mores, and held a big ol' Senate sleepover for surrender. By pushing an all-night Senate session purportedly designed to debate the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, Democrats hoped to show their sincerity and moral indignation. "How many sleepless nights have our soldiers and their families had?" asked oily Senator Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, who only two years ago compared U.S. soldiers at Guantanamo Bay to "Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime -- Pol Pot or others -- that had no concern for human beings."
If politics is the art of painting a sincere face on blatant political manipulation, today's Democrats are masters of the craft. Democrats have hedged their bets on the Iraq war since its inception. They have voted for it before voting against it, funded it before denying funding, supported it before undermining it.
Democrats defend their war policy as a sort of principled waffling: Once we found out the truth about Iraq, we reversed field. Despite their political vacillations, Democrats maintain that they have been consistent on the major underlying issues in Iraq: first, the need for more international input; second, the protection of human rights.
Until now, Democrats have steadfastly and incessantly hooted for more international involvement. Though Senate Democrats voted 29-21 in favor of the 2002 resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq (Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, John Kerry and Harry Reid all voted for the resolution), they called for more international input throughout the process.
That focus on international involvement has not abated of late. Clinton excoriated Bush on July 10, 2007, for his "unilateral decision to rush to a preemptive war." Just three weeks after his vote in favor of the authorization of military force, Edwards slammed Bush's "gratuitous unilateralism, a determination to act alone for the sake of acting alone." Kerry routinely blasted Bush's "unilateral preemption" on the 2004 presidential campaign trail. According to CNN, Reid "painted the president's war policy as unilateral" in April.
Yes, the Democrats have been absolutely consistent with regard to international involvement.
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