Taking a page from Uncle Karl…
...Kate Zernike offers up some pure Rovian spin in a NYT piece with the provocative headline On Iraq, Kerry Again Leaves Democrats Fuming.
Well, maybe, but there's no evidence in the article that supports the idea.
In fact, Zernike admits that "Senate Democrats have been loath to express their opinions publicly, determined to emphasize a united front." That can't be so, though because "interviews suggest a frustration with Mr. Kerry."
"…suggest a frustration." That's barely a brief whisp passing in the breeze, let alone fumes.
It's true that Democrats are having an open and healthy debate on a redeployment plan for Iraq. That's because there are some things about the occupation that Democrats needn't debate any longer. Democratic Leader Harry Reid puts it succinclty…
"One thing the Democrats agree on is that this war has taken too long, is too expensive and has cost too many lives."The message is clear and there are stark differences. Those stark differences, though, aren't between Democrats. The clear message from the Senate Democrats is that they are looking for a way out of Iraq while the Republicans offer nothing but the same old stay and spend, lie and die policy, apparently forever.
The Democratic message, though, doesn't quite fit the Rovian re-election script. Whenever you read a piece like Zernike's, remember this sound counsel from Chuck Todd (emphasis mine)...
What the Republicans have to fear going into the midterms is the casual voter, aka "independents." And the midterm elections are where the power of these casual voters are most evident. A successful candidate running in a non-presidential year is the one that recruits the most casual voters to his or her side. In this case, the Republicans are banking on depressing casual Democratic voters to the point that they won't vote, or that they believe their vote in 2006 won't matter, because the party they think they side with seems disorganized or lacking a voice.
It's been too long.
It's too expensive.
Too many have died.
We have a position.
We're working on a plan.
And the Republicans haven't got a clue.