The Democrats' long-entrenched position, partisan interests and ideological inclinations militate against them changing their mind on Iraq, regardless of the facts on the ground.
First, please consider honestly what the Democrats' reaction will be if in September, Gen. David Petraeus reports that our troop surge in Iraq is yielding unambiguously successful results against the enemy and in training Iraqi security forces?
Do you believe there is any realistic possibility Democrats will rejoice at the news, applaud the efforts of our troops and retreat from their demands that we begin immediate troop withdrawal? (Their reaction to the surge's success so far give us some clues, does it not?)
If I am correct that they will not -- and I would be most happy to be wrong -- why do you think that is?
One major reason, of course, is that they cannot stand President Bush nor bear the prospect of history vindicating his stubborn determination. They have staked the last four years on discrediting him on Iraq and know that history cannot vindicate him without repudiating them.
Their repudiation would decrease their chances of electoral victory in 2008. Can you imagine all the capital they will have wasted on their efforts to destroy President Bush and undermine our mission in Iraq?
They shouldn't have the economy as an issue, including the deficit, since Bush's tax cuts are leading to fulfillment of his promise to cut the deficit in half. They'll still trot out class and race warfare and push national health care. But a consistently strong economy, apparent success in Iraq and an earned reputation for softness on national defense and security during time of war will be formidable hurdles.
But I submit that their unremitting hostility toward Bush and their partisan interests are not the only reasons for their intractable opposition to the war in Iraq. The Democrats want us out of Iraq, not necessarily because they don't think we can win, but perhaps because they fear we can, because they don't believe our cause there is just.
Not that I need further proof for these suppositions beyond my observations, but I received an e-mail recently from an articulate, passionate liberal saying he had no desire to wave the American flag because of his contempt for our policies in Iraq, which has resulted in the unnecessary and unjust waste of lives and resources. The e-mailer's sentiments were nothing exceptional, but fairly typical of the antiwar position.