Lost in the furor over the Democratic leadership caving in to President Bush on the Iraq funding bill, is that the recent Democratic debate showed a similar lack of spine. Whether it is Hillary Clinton, who voted for the war and has never apologized for that vote, or John Edwards who voted for the war but has, or Barack Obama, who called Edwards out for his war vote after Edwards lectured him at the debate the other night for timidly casting his vote against the war funding bill without really leading on the war, they seem to be all over each other to straddle the fence.
I'm not sure why. To begin with, Democratic primary voters are overwhelmingly against the war, and have made it abundantly clear that it is our main issue.
But it isn't just Democrats who believe the time has come to get out of Iraq. Though the debate on the Republican side is often dominated by neo-conservatives with loud voices and a lot of control over conservative media, ordinary Americans who happen to be Republicans paint a different picture:
A recent Iowa poll by strategic vision showed (question 5) that among Republicans only, those polled favored getting U.S. military forces out of Iraq within six months, by a 53-37% margin (only five percent of Democrats in the poll think we should remain in Iraq.)
What this shows is that even the President's own party is turning against the war and believes it is time to get out.
I believe that if one of the Democratic candidates would just step up and say that his or her one and only objective is to extracate the U.S. from Iraq, he or she would rise quickly in the polls.
The public is way ahead of the politicians on this one.