Not, alas, the end of the war. But at least Dems seem to have gotten the message that they need to get their act together on Iraq.
Twelve Democratic leaders of the House and Senate have urged President Bush in a strongly worded letter to begin withdrawing the 130,000 U.S. troops from Iraq by year's end, a sign that Democrats may be uniting on a key election-year issue that has divided the party...
Bush's "open-ended commitment" to Iraq should be abandoned, the letter asserted, in the interest of "American national security, our troops, and our taxpayers."...
The letter suggests that Democratic leaders have overcome divisions in how to respond to the growing cost of military operations in Iraq.
Leaders like Biden and Murtha and the others were able to find common ground and sign the letter.
We believe that a phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq should begin before the end of 2006. U.S. forces in Iraq should transition to a more limited mission focused on counterterrorism, training and logistical support of Iraqi security forces, and force protection of U.S. personnel.
It's not just a key election-year issue, it's THE key election year issue. Ignoring it was the dumbest thing Democrats could have done, sending a message they couldn't deal with tough problems. That charge may not be taken off the table completely with moves like this, but I like the idea of communicating the idea that 'I voted not the cut the President's feet from under him - unfortunately, despite this bipartisan support, Bush screwed up. And now we have to clean up.' That doesn't automatically translate to pull out immediately. that's a discussion to come. But it sure as hell means not 'staying the course'.
Of course, if you really want something other than 'stay the course', we'll need more than letters. We'll need a Democratic 110th Congress .