Just because they’re right about Iraq, and about this escalation, it doesn’t mean they won’t be blamed by the public if the result of an American withdrawal is lethal chaos in the region and $200 per barrel oil.
Let me try to think this through: You think polling about things like the war is “notoriously unreliable,” but you’re asking anti-war Dems to, what, reconsider their position (or research their position further) … based, presumably, on how the public will poll after an American withdrawal? One of the reasons that John McCain’s articulation of the surge/escalation option appeals to me is that he seems not to care if he gets “blamed by the public.” He clearly believes that escalation is simply the right thing to do. Perhaps pulling out is the right thing to do. Shouldn’t that be enough? Yes, Democrats might get blamed for the ensuing chaos (which suggests that pulling out is NOT the “right thing to do”), but shouldn’t they have faith in their convictions and not worry about whether or not it seems as though they’ve done their homework?
You say that you’d hate to see the results of a poll that asks, “Should we withdraw our troops immediately and bomb those damn Arabs back to the stone age?” But what’s striking to me about the USA Today poll is that the American public at large (at least those reached by USA Today) has a more mature view of this conflict than our political leaders do. Few people in the governing class — other than John McCain and maybe Feingold and Hagel — seem willing to admit that the question here is not how “win” in Iraq, but how to get out without actually losing.
Back to Obama-in-swimsuit jokes…