Jonah Goldberg is riding, as usual, on the Good Ship Lollipop, where it's all good news for Republicans, all the time:
Instead, for the third time since the Democrats took over Congress with a much-trumpeted "mandate" to end the war, they've ended up voting to fund it. The Bush and Maliki administrations have announced a long-term partnership that will permit military bases in Iraq for years, if not generations, to come. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's antiwar point man, Rep. Jack Murtha, accidentally admitted last week that the surge was working. And we've now discovered that Pelosi and other leading Democrats have known about CIA waterboarding since 2002 and were apparently fine with it then.
Well, maybe. But when Republican obstructionists threaten to block virtually every bill, even ones they agree with, by the power of the filibuster, it's pretty hard to get stuff done. And as usual with Jonah, that's not what Murtha said:
"I think the surge is working but that's only one element. It's working because of the increase in troops," he said, "but the thing that has to happen is that the Iraqis have to do this themselves..."
(The caveat was all but ignored by some conservative critics, one of whom described Murtha's claim as the equivalent of "hell freezing over.")
The reemergence of the traditional rifts on the left were inevitable. Years of powerlessness obscured the divides between, for example, liberal internationalists, left-leaning realists and ideological opponents of American "empire."
Still, Democrats are doubling down on their 2006 promises even after a year of coming up short. If Democrats win the White House and more congressional seats in 2008, they vow, then suddenly the world will change.
But that's a delusion too. They may pass more legislation, but increased Democratic power will further highlight the party's fault lines. And the emotional oomph that self-described progressives draw from their rallies, protests and blogs cannot be sustained as a governing program because our government is blessedly designed to siphon off such excitement.
"The party's fault lines" are the natural result of an organic coalition of progressive movements and alliances. Unlike the Rupublican Party, which has become the party of tax breaks for millionaires, torture of whomever they accuse of being un-American, and corporations having rights the Constitution decrees are for citizens.