Majorities produce party positions
Is there one thing that the congressional members of the Democratic Party can agree on Iraq beside that it's screwed up?
Part of that is a function of their utter powerlessness in Congress. Control of a branch in Congress gives a political party the power to hold hearings, set parliamentary rules for bills to be voted on, etc. But it has another effect as well... it's a unifying force in the party itself. Power has the effect of making those who share it more in sync -- majority power in politics is a "whip." That's not to say that the Senate Democrats would say something great about Iraq if they got a majority in 2006, after all, the party's leader, Harry Reid voted for the war. I'm betting we would hear something they all agreed on however, beside saying it's gone wrong.
I've been looking around for a while, and I haven't seen a thing that the Democrats as a group have signed on to. Nothing, at least, since the 2004 Democratic Party platform, which was written just before the Democratic National Convention. It's no coincedence that party platforms are written at a time when the promise of power (Kerry in the White House) is at its highest. The mere promise of it forces consensus. Here's what they (Kerry's team, who won it all in a winer-take-all primary format) came up with on Iraq:
As a first step, we must create a stable and secure environment in Iraq. To do this right, we must truly internationalize both politically and militarily: we cannot depend on a US-only presence. Other nations have a vital interest in the outcome, and we must bring them in to commit troops and resources. The Bush Administration has missed three great opportunities to do that. First, the President broke his promise to build a legitimate coalition in Iraq by exhausting diplomacy before resorting to the use of military force. Second, when the statue fell in Baghdad, Kofi Annan invited the United States to come to the table to discuss international support -- but we rejected his offer. Third, when the President addressed the United Nations last fall, he once again refused to acknowledge the difficulties we faced in Iraq and failed to elicit support from other nations.That's far from heaven, to be sure.
In a July interview on Democracy Now!, Sidney Blumenthal explained that a guy like Joe Biden, who is as pro-Iraq war as you'll find among the Democrats, is as ignored and irrelevant to U.S. policy in Iraq as Dennis Kucinich:
And what the democrats say [about Iraq], even if it might be effective, is not listened to. The ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden, has many specific policy recommendations. He is not heeded by the Bush administration....
There's no one voice in the Democratic Party that speaks for every Democrat across the board on [Iraq and national security]. And that's what happens when you're completely out of power. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just a function of being out of power. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going on.