A WARNING TO DEMOCRATS from former Gore advisor Lawrence Haas:

Leading Democrats, none more so than their presidential candidates, are disavowing their previous votes or statements for the war and competing for anti-Bush purity. They are demanding that Bush end the war in Iraq before the next (presumably Democratic) president takes office in 2009. Momentum is building to block funding later this year.

But, in playing to their anti-war political base, congressional Democrats are pushing party orthodoxy on foreign policy further to the left. After a two-year campaign, any successful Democratic candidate for president may wind up with little leeway to project U.S. power abroad.

Unfortunately, the world will not likely cooperate with a hemmed-in president. Just as Soviet expansionism in the late 1970s reminded America that the Cold War was still on, so may the aftermath of Iraq remind Americans of the larger struggle at hand. Just as our withdrawal from Vietnam emboldened the Soviets, a withdrawal from Iraq may do likewise for today’s enemies.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Porphyrogenitus looks on the bright side:

As for the current crop of “anti-war candidates”, while it’s kind of cynical to say their campaign rhetoric will mean nothing when we’re faced with the need to “project force abroad”, it’s also reassuring to realize that the current Democratic candidates are, well, lying, even if they are getting credit for being “the candid truth tellers”. (Ok, Dennis Kucinich exempted: He’s sincere).

Just take Al Gore (please) – today he sounds as rabid anti-War Left as the rest of them, but during his actual career, he employed people like, well, Lawrence Haas. Right now the Dems are just saying what the “Netroots” demand to hear. Is this behavior corrosively destructive to our civic discourse? Yes. But it doesn’t have as many real foreign policy implications as people who are taking them at their word believe.

At least I hope that’s true. To the extent to which they’re sincere, instead of cynically playing to the “netroots” base, we’re in trouble.

It’s amazing how often I hear politicians talk and hope that they don’t mean what they say. And certainly with regard to extraordinary rendition, Al Gore has changed his tune since he was in office.