Some would cast the Democrats as cowards at the poker table of politics. This is the conventional analysis, but I am afraid it does not accord with the facts. As an example, in the case of the war on Iraq, fully 60% of the American people want the U.S. to pull out some or all of the troops. That is one heck of a base on which to build a movement and a party. And yet the Dems, in the person of John Kerry, Howard Dean, Hillary Clinton and others, are calling for "staying the course" and even sending more troops.
This cannot be accounted for by "cowardice" but rather by the fact that the Dems are beholden to the same special interests as the Republicans: the oil tycoons, the barons of the military-industrial complex and those that thrive on empire, from the major banks to Bechtel and Halliburton. Take, for example, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who is for "staying the course." Antiwar sentiment is solid in California, yet she refuses to embrace it even though it would strengthen, not weaken, her. No, the Democrats are simply the other war party. And in defying their constituencies that are overwhelmingly antiwar, they are in fact quite courageous.
JOHN V. WALSH