Trying to take advantage of Michael Steele's resignation-worthy comments that Afghanistan is "a war of Obama’s choosing" and that "the one thing you don’t do, is engage in a land war in Afghanistan," Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse issued the following statement:
Here goes Michael Steele setting policy for the GOP again. The likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham will be interested to hear that the Republican Party position is that we should walk away from the fight against al Qaeda and the Taliban without finishing the job. They'd also be interested to hear that the Chairman of the Republican Party thinks we have no business in Afghanistan notwithstanding the fact that we are there because we were attacked by terrorists on 9-11.
And, the American people will be interested to hear that the leader of the Republican Party thinks recent events related to the war are 'comical' and that he is betting against our troops and rooting for failure in Afghanistan. It’s simply unconscionable that Michael Steele would undermine the morale of our troops when what they need is our support and encouragement. Michael Steele would do well to remember that we are not in Afghanistan by our own choosing, that we were attacked and that his words have consequences.
It's good to see that the Democratic National Commitee understands what's at stake in Afghanistan—though we at TWS would caution that the "betting against our troops and rooting for failure in Afghanistan" rhetoric may be a little over the line. Most of those who oppose the war in Afghanistan are not "rooting for failure;" they simply (mistakenly) believe that staying and fighting will produce a worse outcome than cutting and running from the Taliban and al Qaeda.
But one has to ask: How can the DNC explain why its criticsm of Steele doesn’t equally apply to the 18 Democratic senators who voted for Russ Feingold's amendment creating a timetable to withdraw from Afghanistan and the 93 House Democrats who voted against the Afghanistan war-funding bill? Aren’t these Democrats, according to the DNC, “betting against our troops and rooting for failure in Afghanistan"? Aren’t these Democrats “undermin[ing] the morale of our troops"?
Update: The Hill has more on the three votes the House took on the war in Afghanistan:
Liberal Democrats demanded the opportunity to register their opposition to the war, and the least restrictive measure, offered by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and David Obey (D-Wis.) garnered 153 Democratic votes. Ninety-eight Democrats voted against it. A stricter proposal that would provide funding only for a withdrawal of troops won 93 Democratic votes, while 22 Democrats supported a third measure that would have stripped the war funding entirely.