MORE ON DEMS AND IRAN. I see that in last night's post on Iran I inadvertently wrote that Dems should be figuring out how to respond after strikes come. Since the post was meant to make the opposite point -- that Dems should be thinking through how politically to approach Iran now -- a quick clarification is in order. A lot will of course happen between now and any move on Iran. The point is, the more specific war plans start surfacing, and the more Bush officials leak the lie that Iran can build a nuke faster than you can say "Kenneth Pollack," the greater the pressure will be on Dems to stake out positions. There are many ways the politics of this could unfold, of course, but Dems -- and the rest of us -- need to start thinking through how to deal with the various scenarios now, rather than after this reaches full boil.
In addition to the long-term heavy lifting of attacking the ideas that brought us Iraq and possibly Iran, the key will be figuring out some core messages on Iran that Dems can unify around -- hopefully minimizing Dem division, which of course will be anything but easy. As Digby has observed, it's a heck of a lot easier to say Dems should come up with effective strategies than it is to actually do it, but some specifics are already emerging. For instance, John Aravosis's suggestions seem like a decent stab. Make no mistake: The usual pundits who get paid six-figure salaries to be wrong on a regular basis will solemnly intone that Dems face political annihilation unless they mindlessly rubberstamp whatever the War President suggests. But various polls suggest that the electorate no longer reflexively gives Republicans the benefit of the doubt on national security issues, and maybe -- just maybe -- Dems will realize that they can shift the ground and even win an argument on national security if they're smart and stick together.