The Democrats' Real Iraq Problem

It isn't Fordization or the stab-in-the-back narrative. It's this:

Can I just point out that if Hillary Clinton—or really, anyone—wins the Presidency and then tries to "end the war and bring our troops home" without, you know, completely ending the war or bringing all of our troops home (or at least reducing US casualties to zero), The Left isn't going to take it any more. As Kevin Drum points out, Clinton leads Democrats on the question of who is "best at ending the Iraq war", which means that if she doesn't, she will disappoint a lot of her fans by the time 2010 or 2012 rolls around.

The Dirty Fucking Hippies—and I'm not talking about Code Pink, but the 25% of the public that's always been against the Iraq War without marching in the streets about it, plus the 30-35% of us who have become convinced there's nothing more that the US military presence can accomplish in Iraq—will have put up with a Kerry/Edwards ticket that sold itself as "Bush with better management" on Iraq, sat patiently as a Congress caved after the withdrawal veto, and endured serious dissembling from Clinton on the question of the US mission in Iraq. If Iraq continues to be a quagmire with no signs of progress or intent to withdraw, anti-war voters (and again, not just scruffy college kids but Midwesterners who don't see what we're accomplishing) will stay home in 2010 and find a primary challenger in 2012. Hell, I'd get on the Russ Feingold bandwagon at that point.

Since I think there's about a two percent chance that Hillary Clinton will have all U.S. troops out of Iraq - or U.S. casualties down to zero - by 2010, you can expect to hear a lot more of this in the days and years ahead.