With all the recent Democratic posturing on how Pres. Bush "manipulated" intelligence data to get them to vote for the resolution to go to war in Iraq, I thought it might be aprapo to exmine the issue, only to find that Odysseus had already done a far better job of it than I ever could. Oddysseus is an O-4 recently returned from the T.o.O. in Iraq, and he never seems to fail in clarifying "complex" situations to their core facts. He posts on Journalspace, so it's nigh impossible to link directly to any one post, so I copied/pasted this one in it's entirety. You should go and read all of his other posts too, every one of them is a real gem of clearheaded and logical thinking.
Without furthur blather on my part, Heeeer's Odysseus!:
Okay, let me see if I get this... Democrats argue that George W. Bush is, on the one hand, the dumbest president that we've ever had, but on the other hand, that he lied about the intelligence that got us into Iraq, deceiving all of the members of their party who voted for the war, including everyone from the much brighter John Kerry and Hillary Clinton to the much drunker Teddy Kennedy and Christopher Dodd. In other words, the Democrats' defense of their pro-war votes is that they were bamboozled by someone that they consider a moron. Just how did this happen? I mean, it's not like they were won over by his personality. They hated Bush for winning the 2000 election and he entered the White House to the most rancorous reception since Lincoln's election triggered secession in eleven states. His tax cuts enfuriated Democrats, even as they worked (the economy's been humming for the last five years, despite 9/11, two hurricanes and Paul Krugman's predictions). So, how exactly were these guys, who hated and despised the president, suddenly willing to follow his lead on the Iraq war? There are two explanations, neither of them complimentary.
The first, is that they saw the poll numbers, which showed that a massive majority of Americans wanted Saddam's bottom kicked up and down the Tigris and decided that popularity was the better part of valor. Besides, not knowing anything about combat operations, they figured that since the first war lasted roughly two weeks, the second one should be no tougher, and they'd have cast a vote that showed that they were tough on terrorism, too. Of course, they were the only ones who thought that it was going to be easy. "Why, this was supposed to be a cake-walk," they harumphed. Meanwhile, the president was telling anyone who'd listen that it was going to be a long, hard war. This allowed them to have their cake an eat it, too. They'd voted for the war, then they did everything that they could to make sure that it wasn't fought effectively and carped at every minor error. If a troopie missed qualifying with his weapon and had to re-shoot, it was evidence of a quagmire. Abu Ghraib was brought up every thirty seconds, with Teddy Kennedy and Dick Durbin comparing us to Saddam's henchmen and Hilter's, respectively. There was even a phony Judiciary Committee hearing designed to impeach President Bush, conducted by John Conyers (D-MI), with several prominent house Democrats in attendance and no comment at all from the party leadership. After several years of constant nay-saying, repeated by a credulous and sympathetic media, the Democratic Party had managed to erode public support for the war. But, having done that, they now have to explain why they supported it in the first place, which means that either they, too, believed that Saddam was a threat, or they were hapless dupes. Of course, the one problem with this is that they are claiming to be hapless dupes of someone that they never listened to in the first place, and who they consider their mental inferior in all ways. It's bad enough to claim that you were fooled into giving up your lunch money, but to be fooled by one of the kids on the "special" school bus? Not exactly something to be proud of.
The other choice, and it's a fairly obvious one, is that they're, well... idiots.
I think that this is not only more likely, but far easier to defend. Why? Well, first of all, there's precedent. Remember when they tried to argue that their voters in Florida were too dumb to figure out the ballot? This was a tacit admission of the stupidity of their electorate. How far is that from a tacit admission of the stupidity of their leadership? And it's not like there aren't other examples. John Kerry was touted as one of the brainier members of the party, until his grades were made public and he was shown to have had the same "C" average that he derided in Bush (and lower ACT scores), and that was after he couldn't figure out if he'd voted for the war or against it and decided that he'd done both. How about Al Gore's flunking out of divinity school? Bill Clinton's dalliance with an intern after his policies had cost his party the house and senate, when he knew that he his leadership was going to be under intense scrutiny? Not just dumb, but dumb.
I could go on, of course. Letting Michael Moore have a prominent seat next to Jimmy Carter at the Democratic National Convention, or even letting Jimmy Carter have a seat at the Democratic National Convention (if there's anyone's Middle East policies that the Democrats had better hope that we forget about, it's Carter's)... Dumb!
Face it. Either the leadership knew what they were voting for when they authorized the use of force in Iraq, or they didn't. If they did, then they're doing everything that they can to spin it so that they don't have to take responsibility for a war that they never believed in and have done everything in their power to undermine, but were too politically savvy to vote against. This makes them craven opportunists. If they didn't know what they were voting for, then they're idiots.
I can't wait to see which one they cop to.