Late last night, I watched Rudy Giuliani on “Late Night with David Letterman.” Surprisingly, Letterman got into some pretty substantive discussions about issues like Iraq. Letterman asked the former New York mayor about timetables and the cut-off dates, and to big applause, Rudy said that he didn’t understand why we would give the enemy our plans to surrender.

This is in New York and Rudy got some big applause. Maybe the Democrats aren’t winning this rhetorical war after all.

One thing that won’t be forgiven by the American people is incompetence when it comes to funding our troops when they are in a real war. The Democrats can hem and haw all they want. But they better get the money to the troops before they leave for the Memorial Day recess.

Democrats are misinterpreting the election results to mean that the people want the Congress (i.e., Nancy Pelosi) to be in charge of the war effort. That is not true. The Democrats won the election because of widespread dissatisfaction with Republicans on a variety of issues, from the war to corruption, scandal and spending. If anything, the election should be read to say: Keep the politicians out of the war.

Putting General Petraeus front and center is the smartest thing the Bush administration has done in a long time. Screwing around with the war funding is one of dumbest things the Democrats have done, adding to a fairly long list of missed opportunities, bungled votes and broken promises.

I understand that Speaker Pelosi may vote against a war funding bill, but allow it to go the president’s desk for a signature. That may please her political base, but such a vote will send an important signal to the rest of America about her priorities as a leader in the Congress. She would rather vote with the far left than fund the troops. If that is the message in the next election, this could be a short two years in the majority for the Democrats.