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Hoisted on Its Own Petard

08.24.2006 06:15 | DISPATCHES

Except for a handful like John Kerry, John Edwards, and Russ Feingold, it's as if most Democratic senators don't believe the polls that lay bare public disaffection with our occupation of Iraq. They refuse to call for a timetable for withdrawal.

However, they have just been handed the keys to the kingdom -- they're dangling in front of them, anyway. Afraid the public has heretofore been unable to separate Iraq from the war on terror, most Democrats have been unwilling to embrace the argument that the war in Iraq has siphoned off funds and energy from the war on terror. But lately progressive commentators have stumbled on the talking point to end all talking points.

Sidney Blumenthal sums it up:

"Having told the public that Iraq is central to a war on terror, the worse things go in Iraq, the more the public thinks the war on terror goes badly."

Just like the administration, he and others are now capitalizing on the public's inability to separate the two. Thus hoisting the administration on its own petard.*

That's your cue, Democrats -- go for the jugular. You've heard of the jugular, haven't you? This is no time to be squeamish. Just dig your fingers in there and rip it out. Trust me, the hard right will admire you for it.

*If you've always wondered what a petard was, here's the etymology: Origin: 1590-1600, from the Middle French, pet(er) to break wind. You've probably heard of Frenchman Le Petomane, who, blessed with unusual control of his recturm, turned it into a stage act at the turn of the century.

Those who follow Washington minutiae can see where we're going with this. In his "Washington Whispers" column for US News & World Report, Paul Bedard reports: "But he's still a funny, earthy guy who, for example, can't get enough of fart jokes. He's also known to cut a few for laughs, especially when greeting new young aides."

For those who hadn't heard this, he's referring to who you think he is.


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