Debra J. Saunders

Except in time of elections in time of war, when politicians do talk about pulling out. Some Democrats argue that Bush should end the war to show that he has heard the message voters sent in November 2006. Never mind that, now in power, the Democrats remain afraid to cut off war funding lest they be blamed if events in Iraq blow up in their faces. So they stick to nonbinding resolutions.

On the campaign trail, Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., distanced herself from her vote in favor of the war resolution, when she said, "Knowing what we know now, I would never have voted for it."

Clinton's plan for Iraq seems poll tested and poll approved: She wants to put a cap on the number of U.S. troops in Iraq (the Gallup poll shows 57 percent approve), but she does not want the Senate to cut off funding for the war (58 percent of those polled are with her).

Among other Democratic candidates, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., says he never would have voted for the war; former Sen. John Edwards now says that his vote for the war was a mistake and he wants to bring all American troops home within 18 months.

Who will win in 2008? The Republicans clearly could lose even more in 2008 than they lost in 2006. But if it were certain that supporting the Iraq war is the political kiss of death, Democrats and antiwar Republicans would move to cut off funding, instead of debating nonbinding resolutions.

When Giuliani addressed Republicans, he had a message of hope. Giuliani showed that he was willing to stick to an unpopular position, which suggests there are some things he would not do to win an election.

If either Clinton or Edwards is the Democratic presidential nominee, what are they going to say? That they are really smart Democrats who somehow were gulled by the lightweight Bush? Please.

Debra J. Saunders

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