Its a neat trick, but the Democrats are alienating both the left and the right on Iraq at the same time. The right resents their resolution disapproving of the Bush troop surge, arguing that it undermines troop morale and encourages the enemy. The left is outraged because this phony, symbolic action is just a demonstration of the essential weakness of the Democratic Party they elected to control Congress.

The resentment of the right will just add to its list of GOP grievances. But the left's animosity is likely to grow and become the central dynamic in the Democratic primary contest. As in 1966-68, the Democrats are setting the stage for a contest between its resurgent left wing and its dominant centrist leadership. The fact that the current moderate leaders are all veterans of the anti-war left of the Vietnam era makes this controversy all the more ironic and delicious.

But the impotence of the Democratic Congress and its timidity in the face of the demands of its political base to cut off war funding will teach an enduring lesson to the left — don't trust the establishment.