Two-thirds of Democratic voters favor setting a timeline for withdrawing troops from Iraq, says a new Wash Post poll, while most of the Democratic presidential hopefuls for 2008 remain noncommittal. The poll also shows that Democrats are quickly losing ground to Republicans on key 2006 election issues.
Potential White House suitors Chris Dodd, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Evan Bayh all refused to join Sens. Kerry and Feingold in demanding a timetable for pullout of allied troops from Iraq.
Sens. McCain and Brownback, however, want the troops to stay as long as necessary.
The stricter of the two bills being voted on—a measure that would have mandated a pullout by 2007—went down 86-13. The bill that didn’t have a timetable was defeated 60-39, with all but one Republican and six Democrats voting against the measure. UPDATE: The Senate is weighing a modest troop reduction in the coming months.
The veteran social activist warns that an increasingly mainstream anti-war movement can become unwieldy, and prone to loss of focus: “We no longer are a huddling minority…. We are immersed in the gradual soul-searching currents of the mainstream, where loss of direction is a constant risk.”