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Why Isn't Iraq Topic One Among Democrats?

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Howard Dean was leaving the stage after speaking to 2,000 progressives at the Take Back America conference this morning and I was going on next. As we crossed paths, I asked him if he could always be my warm up act.

His speech was vintage Dean: passionate, energetic, unscripted. With one glaring difference: He never mentioned Iraq. I don’t get it. Is the thinking over at the DNC really, seriously that they can “take back America” without taking on Bush on Iraq?

With front-page stories today in the Washington Post about mutilated Iraqis and in the LA Times about the “staggering” increase in suicide bombings, shouldn’t the administration’s vulnerability on its horrific mishandling of the war be Topic One among Democrats?

This is what I talked about at the conference -- including taking on Nancy Pelosi for not voting for the resolution asking the White House to offer an exit strategy (I know how hard it is for members of Congress to exercise their oversight responsibility, but come on), and Hillary Clinton for regurgitating the White House’s talking points on Iraq.

After my speech, at my meeting with the editors of the American Prospect (in their plush office on L Street), Matthew Yglesias had a great idea: the next Democratic nominee should be somebody who has said nothing about Iraq so that he doesn’t have to spend his every waking moment reconciling his past weasely statements with the current bloody reality. Harold Meyerson suggested that a governor who’d lost his voice for the last two years would be perfect

As I’m about to board my plane back to LA, my take-away from the TBA conference is that the Democratic faithful are like parched earth, desperate for some drops of truth about Iraq from their elected representatives.

I promised those at the conference that we at the Huffington Post (“delivering news and opinion since May 9, 2005”) are never going to take Iraq off our home page. We are going to tell the stories others aren’t telling, publish the pictures no one else is publishing and showing the video no one else will show. So please send us anything like this you have or connect us to the people you know who have it -- including any modern day Deep Throats out there who are ready to start sleeping better at night...