Jonah, I do not agree. Kerry drew the Dems into a blind alley by making respect for the troops the central issue of the Iraq war, and I remain convinced that we should open up with both barrels.
Every Democratic candidate should now be asked whether they think the troops are in Iraq because (a) they are committed to the mission and want to win or (b) because of their lack of economic and social opportunity back home. The latter is plainly Kerry’s position — and that of the Democratic left — and it has now been revealed as a position for which one has to apologize. Therefore, most Democrats now will contradict Kerry, and answer (a) the troops are devoted to their mission.
Then the upper-cut. “Well do you still want them to win, or do you want them to withdraw in defeat?” Then, they either have to take their GOP opponent’s position on the war, or advocate surrender.
This Kerry business is important, because once again the fool fell into the fissure in the Democratic base over the Iraq war, and haplessly drew media attention to it. If were still on a campaign staff, I would urge attacking on this this issue all along the front.