Friday, December 16, 2005

Brains. . . .Brains. . . . .

I'm no fan of the Botox Zombie, but this move shows she's got some sense left.

Pelosi said Democrats will produce an issue agenda for the 2006 elections but it will not include a position on Iraq. There is consensus within the party that President Bush has mismanaged the war and that a new course is needed, but House Democrats should be free to take individual positions, she sad.

"There is no one Democratic voice . . . and there is no one Democratic position," Pelosi said in an interview with Washington Post reporters and editors.

Pelosi recently endorsed the proposal by Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) for a swift redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq over a period of six months, but no other party leader followed, and House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) publicly opposed her.

She said her support for Murtha was not intended to forge a Democratic position on the war, adding that she blocked an effort by some of her colleagues to put the Democrats on record backing Murtha.

Pelosi has made some extraordinarily idiotic moves this year, but this is one of two that makes a great deal of sense. First, her jumping on board the Porkbusters boat first and offering a 70 million dollar transit project to the chopping block before any other Republicans could do so was very foresighted. Second, keeping the Democrats from turning into an on-record anti-war party is smart. The Republicans, while mostly supporting the war, have had a lot of the rank and file make a lot of criticisms of its conduct lately. That's because the leadership has wisely loosened things up enough to let people express dissent. Democrats, in a lockstep anti-war position, become much more vulnerable as a whole by going in the opposite direction. Already the party is careening towards Doveageddon (a Russ Feingold nomination in 2008), and when she backed Murtha it looked like the Democrats were going to adopt a kool-aid position on Iraq. Iraq is a difficult situation, and locking an entire party in support or against it is foolish. Despite pressure to do so, Pelosi resisted the call, and that shows she has more leadership quality than I imagined, but that's still not saying much.