11/18/2005 09:19 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A Policy For All Democrats

The Republicans are seizing the moment to force a vote on whether the US should immediately pull out of Iraq. This is the wrong question, and Democrats need to press home a different point.

The Democrats need to demand that new people be brought in to make decisions. People who are not invested in our past mistakes and who have some credibility. With the present leadership, we cannot have confidence in any Iraq policy. Moreover, no one in the world is going to trust anything the present administration says. What is needed, and should be realistically obtainable, is a change of leadership.

Whatever one might think about the wisdom of this war, and I for one think it was a colossal blunder, it is undeniably true that the administration has refused to discuss or admit its egregious errors in the conduct of the war and the occupation. We need new people at the top who are not invested in these past mistakes and can see things in a new light.

Obviously, Bush and Cheney are not going, yet, but Rumsfeld and Rice have to go, along with enough policy makers beneath them to really create a new team. I don't know enough about the military people involved, but if there are yes men in the Pentagon, they should be replaced also. I suspect that there are probably people there who know better.

I imagine that an immediate pullout is not such a hot idea, but that a staged pull-out over a specified time period is. But, the fact is that we are not getting accurate information, so we cannot be expected to make these decisions. Consistent with an age old American tradition, we need to fire the manager.

Just to be clear, I know this is not an original idea. My point is that this is something the Democrats should harp on. Among other things it emphasizes the competence point and avoids having to decide an exact strategy, which is a trap IMHO.

(Thank you to RothBard for the polite spelling advice)