When Sens. Joe Lieberman and John Kyl offered the Iran resolution that Hillary Rodham Clinton and some other Democrats unfortunately supported, trust me, folks, Sen. Lieberman was not pushing for a diplomatic solution.

Sen. Clinton has a problem, and it cannot and will not be solved through oppo research about Obama, or through the assault of spinmeisters claiming, falsely, that it was a vote for diplomacy.

What Sen. Clinton wants to do is maneuver to the right for the general election, then, when the backlash comes, maneuver to the left with claims she has been wronged and claims she was voting for diplomacy, as she claimed when she supported the original Iraq war resolution.

The Lieberman proposal was a vote about war, not a vote about diplomacy. The Lieberman proposal was pushed by those who want to drive the country to war, with language that may well be used to someday, possibly soon, justify a war, by those who favor a war.

The Lieberman Iran proposal was done in a Washington atmosphere that borders on hysteria on matters involving Iran, with far too many senators on both sides of the aisle surrendering to the hysteria by voting for this resolution.

The Lieberman proposal was done in a Washington where the president speaks of World War III, and Democrats, far too often, fail to offer the opposition that voters sent them to Washington to offer in the election of 2006.

If other Democrats voted for this, it does not make Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump named Time’s Person of the Year Petraeus appointment could rankle wary FBI GOP plans new assault on unions MORE right; it makes them wrong.

Virtually all Democrats around America and the overwhelming majority of independents as well believe they were disenfranchised after 2006, that the vote was effectively stolen after the fact by both parties — one led by a reckless president, the other unable to offer strong and effective opposition.

Hillary Clinton’s problem is that she maneuvered to vote for the Iraq resolution in 2002, which turned out to be an effective declaration of war. She maneuvered between 2002 and 2006 when she resisted the pleas from Democrats and countless Americans and continued to oppose the most important proposals to change the policy.

Now she maneuvers, again, in 2007, with an Iran vote that looks like, smells like, and sounds like the Iraq vote in 2002.

If Sen. Clinton wants the benefits of moving tactically to the right, she should accept the responsibility for the consequences, as should all other Democrats who took the same course and speak with the same uncertain trumpet.

If Hillary Clinton is nominated, I will support her, holding my nose with one hand and a certain part of my anatomy with the other.

The problem Sen. Clinton has is she is not trusted by many voters who could vote for her, to act with conviction, courage and clarity. As a result, she is a polarizing figure who might win a close election, but runs the risk, for herself and the party, of motivating more conservatives to vote, of turning off some Democrats and independents, and losing a close election the Democrats should win in a landslide.

The question is not whether Hillary is left or right, or whether she maneuvers this way or that way during this week or that week. The question is whether she is tough enough and principled enough to function as the credible leader of the opposition to policies that 75 percent of the American people oppose, without the endless maneuvering and calculations that make Americans cynical about her, about Congress, and about Democrats nationally.

Hopefully she will stand up, and Democrats in Congress will stand up, far more boldly than they have been standing up since George W. Bush began his obsessive march to war in Iraq with the support of Sen. Clinton and far too many Democrats in Congress.

No amount of spin can ever make the 2002 Iraq vote, or the 2007 Iran vote, a vote for diplomatic solutions. With a president who speaks of World War III, Democrats and independents throughout America want and deserve far better leadership than that, and far more respect for what the voters decided in the last election, in 2006.