Iraqi war veteran and war critic Paul Hackett discussed his decision to drop out of the Democratic senatorial primary in Ohio on Feb.21 with Hardball's Chris Matthew:
MATTHEWS: Where we're going is why you think they buckled. Did you make too many comments that were hard for them to defend? Was anything you did after the recruitment of you that justified their loss of faith?
HACKETT: Not from my perspective, but I'm sure that my outspokenness on the war issue and many other issues that I believe in made them nervous.
The majority of Americans and Democrats now oppose the war in Iraq, but the leadership of the Democratic Party refuse to take this razor to the political throats of Bush and the Republicans and finish them.
If Hackett was pushed out for his outspoken opposition to our continued occupation in Iraq, then there is no possibility of anti-war congressional or presidential candidates coming from the Democrats.
Even if the Democrats win back a few seats in Congress in 2006-and I don't think they will make significant gains-their unwillingness to take a unified position in favor of immediate withdrawal from Iraq means that nothing changes.
None of the various putative Democratic presidential candidates is willing to step forward and and say, "We must leave Iraq now."
The Democrats still believe that they can win by becoming imitation Republicans. They think that they can be seen as better on national security not by challenging this adminstration's incompetence but by becoming bellicose war hawks.
They are as culpable for the continuing American death toll in Iraq as the Republicans as long as they continue to support our occupation of Iraq in exchange for what they hope will buy them political power.
I know it is futile to vote for third-party candidates, but I will not vote for any candidate for state or federal office who does not support withdrawal from Iraq and neither should you. The lesser of evils is still evil.