The Democrats will have their asses handed to them in the 2008 elections; and they will have deserved it. My prediction is that the Dems will lose the House, the Senate, and the White House by fairly substantial margins, and the Repugs will not even have to cheat to accomplish this result.
The reason? Look around.
The Bush administration was just delivered an unequivocal message from the general electorate about the disastrous and criminal war in Iraq. That message was co-delivered to the Democratic Party.
Now Bush has conducted his own Night of the Long Knives against Generals and bureaucrats, placed John Negroponte in a position to tell Condi Rice what to do, killed 27 Somali civilians with an airstrike ostensibly intended for a terrorist, and let it me known that he is about to "surge" in Iraq. "Surge" is some Bushist euphemism for "escalate troop levels"... include your own psychoanalysis of word choice -- Bush is a blueblood frat-boy, after all.
The Democrats have one weapon in their arsenal to do the People's bidding: the power of the purse. But here is their... "logic."
The war they co-signed has slaughtered around 700,000 Iraqis and over 3,000 Americans. It has not yet politically secured permanent bases in the region (the real goal of the war, which many Democrats shared). It has not reinforced the myth of American military supremacy... al contrario. It has not reduced the precarious US dependence on oil imports to ensure business as usual for criminal conspiracies like Lockheed-Martin and Archer-Daniels-Midland. It has not created the desired outcome of putting the imperial hand on the oil tap to control China and Russia. It has not sown democracy in Iraq. It hasn't even managed to implant a puppet regime that can leave the Green Zone without gunship escorts. The war has turned Iran into the regional power broker and set the stage for the destabilization of Saudi Arabia (I don't object to either of these outcomes, but they were definintely not the outcomes desired by Cheney's Raiders.) It has isolated pro-US political forces in Turkey (also not a bad thing, in my view, but...).
At any rate, the conduct of the war so far has been equivalent to the administration throwing itself (actually, it throws other people... like soldiers) out of a tree and into a blackberry thicket. And since that has worked so well, the new plan is to send 20,000 more worn-out, whacked-out, divorced, and disgruntled troops in to do exactly the same thing.. only more of it.
Red-meat rightists like Joe Scarborough are calling for withdrawal. The Buchananite wing of the Republican Party is about to experience a growth spurt -- fertilized in the ashes of neoconservatism, and shifting the focus of their animosity onto undocumented workers. Good news and bad news: the war is unpopular, and xenophobia is popular as hell (thanks to fascist twits like Lou Dobbs); so this faction will win the 2008 elections by posing as "populists" opposing the war.
But the Democrats? Well, they are "opposed to the surge," but they certainly won't vote to de-fund the administration's war. They have pushed through a minium wage increase, a very good thing. But the economy will tank around Summer 2008, and the Republicans will successfully blame that on the Democrats, even as the Democrats continue to vacillate about the war while the corpses continue to accumulate.
The excuse is that the Iraqis will tumble headlong into a mass Rwanda scenario when the US leaves. This is, of course, bullshit, and they know it. The so-called sectarian violence is dierectly traceable to the US occupation there, and whatever violence happens after the US leaves will quickly lead to an Iraqi solution (the real fear of R's and D's, who are slavishly attached to the big money that doesn't want Iraq or anyplace else to determine its own future apart from the Washington Consensus... that is, unlimited access to national economies by Wall Street).
I voted for Dems in the last election, just to help throw a speedbump in the road to ruin. And they will make problems for the Bush administration... just not on the war. Why, aside from who pays for their campaigns? Well, because, with a few exceptions, that party has more gutless cowards in residence than a pack of possums has lice. People don't vote for vacillators. They'll vote for a crazy person before they vote for someone who can't seem to make up his or her mind.
That's not smart, but it's how things are. Democrats need to say, hey, we fucked up supporting this war. Let's get out, and do it right now. That would win the 2008 elections. But instead, they are setting themselves up to do what they do best: snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.