"Any time our government takes us to war, there is bound to be strong disagreement, but Iraq has been particularly divisive. At times it seems as if some Americans -- certain liberal Democrats in particular -- are eager to declare or even hasten our defeat. Our missteps in Iraq have been numerous enough to discourage any patriot. Yet leading Democrats are beyond the point of discouragement. They are pessimistic; even hopeless. They have been this way for a long time. At the first sign of difficulty, they deemed the war a mistake and victory impossible. They quickly adopted the language of defeat and surrender. Some declared the surge a failure before it began and General Petraus [sic] a liar before he uttered a public word about its effects. Others are quick to believe reports of alleged atrocities by our own troops, as if seeking an American disgrace. Now, leading Democrats seem to believe that recovery from past mistakes is impossible, and that any hint of success can be only illusory. … So they feel duty-bound to say or do whatever is necessary to truncate the violence by accelerating our inevitable failure. In their hearts, they believe they are acting out of humanity, to stop the pointless suffering of a futile struggle. They must bring low all successes, and they must amplify all failures. If enough Americans would only reach the conclusion that Iraq is beyond hope, they will call more vigorously for withdrawal."-- Commentator Adam G. Mersereau, December 31, 2007.
"As the good news continues to come in from the front lines, Democratic Party antiwar talking points have become increasingly creative in spinning arguments to paint the war as an unmitigated disaster. … [Jeff] Jacoby's right: The hard-line left forces will practically kill for a U.S. defeat in Iraq."-- Commentator Donald Douglas, August 29, 2007.
"For most Americans, positive developments in Iraq are very welcome. But good news is bad news for the Democratic left, where opposition to the war has become an emotional investment in defeat. House majority whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina was asked by the Washington Post what Democrats would think if Petraeus reports next month that the war is going well. "That would be a real big problem for us," Clyburn candidly replied. The intensity of the left's determination to abandon Iraq was reflected in the reaction to a single line in Hillary Clinton's speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars last week. "We've begun to change tactics in Iraq," she said, referring to the surge, "and in some areas, particularly al-Anbar province, it's working." That mild comment instantly drew fire from Clinton's Democratic rivals. John Edwards's campaign manager, David Bonior, warned her against "undermining the effort in the Congress to end this war." New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, another presidential hopeful, piled on: "The surge is not working. I do not give President Bush the same credit on Iraq that Hillary does." When Barack Obama addressed the VFW one day later, he stuck to the defeatists' script. "Obama Sees a 'Complete Failure' in Iraq," The New York Times headlined its report on Aug. 22. Within 48 hours, Clinton was scurrying to toe the all-is-lost line once again: "The surge was designed to give the Iraqi government time to take steps to ensure a political solution. It has failed. . . . We need to . . . start getting out now." … Today the left insists on defeat in Iraq. It beats up any Democrat who strays off-message. It treats good news from the front as "a real big problem." Is that any way to win an election?"-- Columnist Jeff Jacoby, August 29, 2007.
Comment: This is a great illustration of how that "failed policies" and "rooting for failure" rhetoric bounce off each other.
"We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war."-- Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), April 14, 2007.
Comment: Some people have taken this as Reid rooting for failure. But it amounts to no more than him saying that the Iraq War is unpopular, and that since Democrats oppose the war while Republicans support it, Democrats will likely pick up seats in the election as a result.
"It is hard to overstate the arrogance and bellicosity of the congressional Democratic leadership. When they're not playing footsie with our enemies, they're savaging President Bush, gleefully naysaying every aspect of the Iraq war and harming the troops they pretend to protect. Everywhere you turn, Democrats are working their partisan destruction. Turn to the Washington Post and read about Sen. Joe Biden contradicting the administration and the military's claims that the "surge" in Iraq is producing dividends. Don't be misled, chides Biden. Don't dare focus on any good news coming out of Iraq that doesn't fit into our anti-Bush, anti-war template. Talk all you want about increased security in Baghdad, but the chaos on the city's periphery more than outweighs any gains we've made. The surge, says Biden, is doomed to fail. Is it too harsh to infer that Biden and his ilk are rooting for failure in Iraq? If bad news doesn't immediately jump out at them, they redouble their efforts to find it, because bad news is their currency. It is their ticket to political power."-- Commentator David Limbaugh, April 13, 2007.