October 05, 2002

BAGHDAD DEMOCRATS: More on Bonior and McDermott:

IT'S A RARE POLITICAL MOMENT when Terry McAuliffe says no comment. Yet McAuliffe, the garrulous chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said just that last Wednesday at the Brookings Institution after a speech by Al Gore. Asked about the trip to Baghdad taken by three of his fellow partisans--Representatives David Bonior, Jim McDermott, and Mike Thompson--McAuliffe was nonplussed.

"Have we issued anything on that?" he asked DNC spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri, who shook her head.

"I don't think we have," he said with a shrug of his shoulders.

"We handle the politics, and leave those comments to elected officials," Palmieri explained. "But nice try."

Problem is, the elected officials aren't saying much either. Bonior was until recently the second-ranking Democrat in the House, and yet it's nearly impossible to get Democrats to say anything about his and the others' trip to Baghdad.

Yeah, and as I've said that silence will make it easy -- and not entirely unfair -- for Republicans to tar the entire Democratic Party apparatus as disloyal. Especially when you read the accounts of how their trip has been used in Iraqi propaganda.