The Mix

When saying sorry ain't enough

Can Democrats who voted for the war in Iraq find redemption in public apology?
The Democratic apologies for Iraq are coming out quickly: the Johns -- Edwards and Kerry -- Senators Feinstein, Dodd, Harkin, and Rockerfeller. And now with Rep. Murtha yesterday, a call from the heart of the DC establishment for a complete and sudden withdrawal from Iraq. That renders the confessors listed above as cowards and corrupted still, because why couldn't they say what Murtha did when they apologized?

The political premium on Iraq has shifted, and if Kerry wants to be relevant now, he's going to have to pull out his Purple Hearts and Stand With Murtha.

But the point here is Kerry could have said what Murtha did any time he liked.

That's the thing about these recanting Democrats -- even in apology mode, it's still calculated. There's no redemption. While it's good that the ones who voted for the Iraq resolution are at least negative about the invasion, they all deserve primary challengers in 2006.

It was the biggest vote of their lives, and they screwed up. There's no going back on that. Murtha too -- why did it take him two years to say this, and why the hell did he vote for it in the first place?

Update: Kerry stood up for Murtha and his Purple Hearts. But not for immediate withdrawal.
Jan Frel is an AlterNet staff writer.