|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
the number of Americans who say the war is going badly has reached a new high, rising 10 percent this month to 76 percent.
Nearly half of all Americans (47 percent) say the war is going very badly, while just 20 percent say the recent U.S. troop increase is making a positive difference.
Even a majority of Republicans, 52 percent, now say the war is going at least somewhat badly – a 16-point increase from the middle of April. Nine in 10 Democrats and eight in 10 Independents agree.
Although Congress has backed down from attaching a timetable for a U.S. troop withdrawal to the war funding bill, six in 10 Americans would like one. The public also favors setting benchmarks the Iraqi government must meet as a condition for future funding of the war – something that Congress will include in the pending legislation.
The poll also finds a record number of Americans say getting involved in Iraq in the first place was a mistake. Only 35 percent say the U.S. did the right thing by invading Iraq, while 61 percent say the U.S. should have stayed out.
But there is something else going on here besides a bizarre fear of continuing to oppose the least popular president in thirty years on the least popular war in fifty-five years, and a fear of prolonging a debate that was causing Democrats to win over voters in frontline House districts. Keep in mind that while a demoralized progressive activist base has negative repercussions for Democratic electoral fortunes in general elections, in terms of intra-party power struggles, a demoralized, progressive, grassroots activist base actually strengthens the position of neoliberals, LieberDems, and the DLC-nexus within the Democratic Party power structure. If progressive grassroots activists are too demoralized to make small donations, the party becomes more reliant on large donors. If we are too demoralized to run for party office or challenge sitting Democrats in primaries, the establishment Democratic power structure are never held accountable for running ineffective campaigns or selling out the base. If we don't use the strength of the progressive movement in the 2008 presidential primaries, then the influence the DLC-nexus, neoliberals, and LieberDems have in determining the direction of the Democratic Party increases. And on and on. In other words, there are those who benefit internally from a demoralized, inactive, progressive grassroots base, even if the party as a whole is damaged. We all saw this from 1994-2002, when the Democratic Party was regularly defeated in general elections on a scale not seen since the 1920s, and while the DLC-nexus simultaneously solidified a unprecedented level of control over the Democratic Party establishment.