As the anti-war movement arrives in Washington this weekend, many top Democrats are leaving.
Nationally known Democratic war critics, including Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Russell Feingold of Wisconsin and John Kerry of Massachusetts, won't attend what sponsors say will be a big anti-war rally Saturday in Washington....
"There are a lot of people here who are wondering, where are the Democrats?" said Tom Andrews, a former Democratic House member from Maine who's now the national director of Win Without War, one of several groups that are organizing three days of protests against the war in Washington starting Saturday.
"The Democratic Party has an identity crisis on this issue. We need voices. We need leadership," Andrews said. "But fear is driving them...."
Sixty-six members of Congress have formed an "Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus" that wants either immediate withdrawal or a timetable to withdraw. None of the party's congressional leadership and none of the likely candidates for president are members.
Anti-war organizers said they expected 100,000 people Saturday.
UPDATE: Add this one to the annals of "what's wrong with liberals in America today": Patrick Smith, a graduate student in philosophy at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign--who assures us with some frequency on his blog that he is a liberal guy (perhaps he is)--responds to this posting by slurring 100,000 anti-war protesters as tools of "Stalinists" (I kid you not: he thinks it obvious that Democrats would "avoid an anti-war rally organized by Stalinists") and assuring us that all the Democrats who dodged the protest were really opposed to the war (I suppose Mr. Smith is thinking of evidence of their opposition to the war like the fact that most of them (1) voted for the war; (2) voted to continue financing the war; (3) have objected to the war primarily on strategic grounds; (4) have refused to sign on to timetables for withdrawal of troops; and (5) have refused to join the Congressional Caucus calling for an end to the war; and so on--truly impressive anti-war credentials!).
One imagines that even Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Reynolds might have hesitated before tarring yesterday's anti-war rally in D.C. with the charge of Stalinism. But apparently it's OK to do that if you're a "liberal" in today's America!
AND ANOTHER: More thoughts from Dadahead.