While Hillary was busy with week-end photo-ops in Iraq, John Edwards came into New York and categorically carved out his position as the most militant anti-war candidate in the Democratic primary, calling for an immediate cut-off of funds for Bush’s new troop surge and characterizing Hillary’s silence on the issue as a ‘betrayal.’ (without ever even mentioning her name!) This creates a real problem for Hillary.

Hillary and other Democratic contenders will have to decide whether to support Ted Kennedy’s bill to cut off funding for the Iraq war, a decision that will unquestionably assume the character of the 2002 vote to authorize the war in the first place.

Voters on the left understand that almost all of their presidential wannabees either backed the war in that vote or would have. So they will be forgiving of the 02 vote for those who repent (as they forgave Kerry.) But they will not be forgiving of support for funding the troop increase.

This puts Hillary in a very difficult position. She’ll never support a cut-off of funding and this position will ghettoize her on the right wing of the Democratic party, not a healthy place to be. Likely she will return from Iraq and make appropriate anti –war noises, but will then disappoint the left over the funding cut off issue. So she will say in 07 the things she should have said in 05, but will not say the words the left wants to hear in 07. Like the French army she will go into each new war perfectly prepared to win the last one