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I was beginning to conclude that she was doing a pretty good job as minority leader, at least in terms of enforcing party discipline, then she made this extraordinary unforced error on Iraq. Not only did she adopt the cut-and-run Murtha position, she outed the rest of her caucus as supporting the same. Now that cooler heads are prevailing in light of the potential political damage, Pelosi is trying to back off. The Washington Post reported today: “Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said that while Pelosi estimates more than half of House Democrats favor a speedy withdrawal, she will lobby members in today’s meeting against adopting this as a caucus position.” Got that? So Pelosi is going to lobby her caucus not to take the position that she supports and that they support too. In other words, she’ll effectively tell them, “Please, whatever you do, don’t make my mistake and say what you really believe about Iraq.” This is more evidence for the proposition that Democrats always get hurt when the topic is national security–almost no matter what the context–because they have dovishly out-of-touch convictions that they never can quite conceal, try though they might.


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