Sunday, August 07, 2005

Admit Mistake or Apologize?

Yesterday, I wrote a diary titled "Just Admit You Fucked Up." Whether this meant Democrats should apologize for their vote on the Iraq War resolution, taking responsibility for their role in Bush's war or just admit the vote was a mistake, laying the blame squarly on the Bush administration, became the debate in the comments.

I updated the diary noting I was not after an apology, just an on the record admission that Democrats felt their vote was an error. After I updated the diary, I got heat from some for "changing my mind" or my favorite:
It's as if you spoke from your heart this morning and then Hillary and Al From took you out to lunch and removed it you changed your mind.

Let's get something straight: This is the reality based community. The odds of Democrats apologizing for their vote, and thereby their role in this war, are slim to none. The only way Democrats are going to take control of this issue is by laying the blame for this war at the feet of the Republicans where it belongs. This is not going to happen by the reality based community demanding Democrats apologize.

The outrage, the sense of betrayal, the feeling of political gainsmanship that arose from the Democrats voting with the GOP to give Bush the green light to use force in Iraq is painfully evident to everyone here. With a president with astronomically high approval ratings, in the patriotic hysteria following 9-11, and with elections looming, it seems obvious that many Democrats voted for this war to look tough on terror and position themselves for the 2004 election.

This is despicable. It is terrible. It is shameful. It shows a gross lack of character. But those with the intestinal fortitude needed to accept responsibility for their vote already voted against the resolution in the first place. Those politically motivated to ignore the wild claims and trumped up evidence lacked the guts needed now to apologize in the first place.

So why do so many here still demand they apologize? I feel people are so blinded by their hatred of this war that they want to punish those who voted for it. Especially those on our side who "betrayed" us by siding with the Republicans. This seems to be the area where we as a party get into the circular firing squad mode.

The reality is that the Bush administration and the Republicans are responsible for this war, not the Democrats. It was the Bush administration manipulated intelligence. Bush made up his mind to use military force. Cheney waxed eloquent about Sadaam's ties to al Quaeda. Rusmfeld knew where the WMDs were. Powell detailed their mobile weapons labs at the UN. Rice warned of the smoking gun in the form of a mushroom cloud.

We can argue all day about the culpability of the Democrats for their vote. The reality is few if any will apologize for their role in this war. The reality of the situation is that as long as Democrats are on the record as voting "for the war" the party will have to defend their voting record instead of laying the blame for the deception, manipulation of the American people, and death associated with Bush's war of choice at the feet of the Republicans.

Those who voted for this war will have to answer to a higher authority than those of us in the Democratic party. Karma is a bitch. They will eventually arrive at their day of judgment. This is not my concern.

My concern, and my reality, is we need to beat the SOB's who engineered this war - the Bush administration and the Republicans in the majority of both houses of congress. The only way we do this is to stop letting our hatred and pain over this war blind us to who the real enemy is.