Tuesday, August 21, 2007

An interesting WaPo story on the changing Democratic approach to the "surge" in Iraq--especially after a number of prominent Democrats (including Obama and Clinton) have asserted military progress in Iraq (though they're still doubtful about political progress in Iraq). While there are some claims of uncertainty amongst Democrats, some Democratic leaders still assert a fair level of unity in the party's approach to the war. As an example of some of the political maneuvering on this issue (e.a.):

Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-Calif.), who made waves when he returned from Iraq by saying he was willing to be more flexible on troop withdrawal timelines, issued a statement to constituents "setting the record straight."

"I am firmly in favor of withdrawing troops on a timeline that includes both a definite start date and a definite end date," he wrote on his Web site.

But in an interview yesterday, McNerney made clear his views have shifted since returning from Iraq. He said Democrats should be willing to negotiate with the generals in Iraq over just how much more time they might need. And, he said, Democrats should move beyond their confrontational approach, away from tough-minded, partisan withdrawal resolutions, to be more conciliatory with Republicans who might also be looking for a way out of the war.

So it seems like he's showing some increased skepticism about the current leadership's approach to a hard-and-fast deadline with no middle ground, maybe? Where will the "narrative" lead us next?