Leaving now or later?
Earlier this week, Democrat Jack Murtha (described by the AP as "one of Congress' most hawkish Democrats") made big news when he "called Thursday for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq."
Note that carefully: according to the AP (and other major media outlets), he called for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. And there was no correction of that description from Murtha or anyone else.
Yesterday, the Republicans said, "fine. You Democrats want a withdrawal? Let's put it to a vote." So they offered a resolution virtually identical to Murtha's and put it to a vote.
Guess what how the vote went: 403-3 in opposition.
Now, Democrats were up in arms because the resolution called for an immediate withdrawal, while Murtha apparently wanted a withdrawal when practicable.
So tell me: what's the difference between the latter view and the President's view? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Yet Murtha made it clear that things aren't going right, and that we need to change direction and "redeploy now. This was (rightly) interpreted to mean that he was calling for an immediate withdrawal, because the only other possible interpretation of his words is virtually identical to the President's position.
In the end, the Democrats' bluff was called, and they voted against an immediate withdrawal, despite their unending pressers for weeks, it seems, calling for an immediate withdrawal.
So, what do the Democrats stand for when it comes to the war?