The way I see it, politically speaking, Democrats better hope we don't withdraw our troops from Iraq before the 2008 presidential and congressional elections. Not only would they be damaged by the inevitably catastrophic consequences our premature withdrawal would cause, but voters would also begin to see their obstruction in the prosecution of the war is not limited to Iraq.
Think about it. Right now they are basking in every bit of bad news the mainstream media selectively ensures comes out of Iraq, and they are daily ratcheting up the pressure on President Bush to set "benchmarks" and "timetables." Given the war's apparent unpopularity, Democrats can't help but profit in the short term as they appear to be advocating a position that aligns them with the majority of Americans.
Indeed, the more they hear themselves rant, the more emboldened they become toward extremism and to attempt legislation outside their constitutional authority.
A telltale sign of their increasing cockiness is their announcement that they are about to introduce a bill to cut funding for the Iraq war. Up until now, they've lacked the courage to go that far and have just danced around the issue.
But just off the presses, we read that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Russ Feingold are co-sponsoring a bill that will "bring our involvement in the Iraq war to an end."
The relevant part of the bill states: (c) Prohibition on Use of Funds -- No funds appropriated or otherwise made available under any provision of law may be obligated or expended to continue the deployment in Iraq of members of the United States Armed Forces after March 31, 2008."
Be aware that as recently as Nov. 30, 2006, Sen. Reid said something quite different. He said, "We're not going to do anything to limit funding or cut off funds."
What has changed since then that would warrant such an about face? How about the fact that the troop surge is showing signs of success? No, that would cut the other way now, wouldn't it? More likely it's the increasing pressure from the antiwar base and the reportedly solid poll numbers against the war.
But, as I said, the Democrats better be wary of what they wish for. If we do end our significant military involvement in Iraq before the Iraqi forces can protect themselves and their new government as a result of Democratic pressure, Democrats will have to answer for the mayhem and instability that will ensue.
Even if we have relatively secured the situation there enough to withdraw before the 2008 election, which is doubtful, it's unlikely that Democrats will benefit politically from that development.