Democrats used to suggest Iraq was the bad war, but Afghanistan was the war worth winning. Now Congressional reporter Carl Hulse devoted an entire story to liberal Democratstrembling in anxiety over whether to stay the course in Afghanistan. But the word "liberal" never appeared in the story, even when Hulse was quoting anti-war pessimists from Massachusetts:
"I've got the sinking feeling we are getting sucked into something we will never get out of," said Representative Jim McGovern, Democrat of Massachusetts.
The sentiment is increasingly echoed in both the House and the Senate. While it hardly signals that Congress is about to pull the plug on the war - leaders there are confident of a bipartisan vote to approve the administration's request - it shows that even with a Democrat as commander in chief, his party's longstanding qualms over the course of the war remain.
No Republicans are quoted in the story, but six Democrats speak, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and at the end, Kentucky's John Yarmuth. Their vantage point is discussed, but they don't speak. Liberals get all the ink, but no idelogical link:
Even Representative David R. Obey, a Wisconsin Democrat who as chairman of the Appropriations Committee will have to shepherd the money through the House, said Thursday that he was uncertain what his ultimate position would be.
"I frankly don't know what I'm going to do on your supplemental request," Mr. Obey told Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at a hearing. "I'm very concerned that it is going to wind up with us stuck in a problem that nobody knows how to get out of."
Lawmakers cannot blame President Obama for seeking midyear supplemental money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which were not fully paid for before he took office, but they are worried about what lies ahead.
Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, a senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said he was worried that the administration's "strategy regarding Afghanistan and Pakistan does not adequately address the problems we face in Pakistan and instead has the potential to escalate, rather than diminish, this threat."
Hulse also left out any notion that this anti-war anxiety could be pleasing to the Democratic base, from MoveOn.org to Code Pink.