Iraq and Iran
As the U.S. House moves inexorably towards a non-binding resolution rejecting the Bush escalation plan for Iraq, I hope the widespread progressive mockery of this step will subside. It's the first step towards a strategic withdrawal from combat operations in Iraq, not the last.
And speaking of next steps, some bloggers who are citing the latest Gallup numbers showing tepid 51% support for a non-binding resolution against the Bush "surge"' aren't exactly playing up the same poll's 58% opposition to cutting off funds for the escalation. The big anti-Bush majority (63%) is for setting a deadline for withdrawal of U.S. troops by the end of 2008, which, given the poll's options, probably means "as soon as possible without disaster."
The simplest way to interpret this and other recent polls is to say that serious majorities of Americans want Congress rather than the Bush administration to take control of Iraq policy, but not, if possible, by cutting off funds. And that probably means that the Democratic Congressional leadership's strategy of gradually marginalizing Bush on Iraq makes sense.
On another but related front, Democrats are beginning to make serious noises about the administration's saber-rattling towards Iran. Over at TPMCafe, I've responded and dissented from my good friend and fellow Clintonian Kenny Baer's post suggesting that the netroots are putting too much pressure on Dems to go pacifist with respect to Iran. For those of you who think such issues are cut and dried and follow the predictable patterns of the usual intra-Democratic debate on Iraq: give it all a look. --