Today I choose to believe that this will happen because Daschle and the Democrats have come to realize that that's the right thing to do, not because they want to diffuse the issue before the election. I will endeavour from here on out to remember that 9/11 shocked the conscience of Democrats as much as Republicans and that, while I may frequently find them to be misguided or flat-out wrong, their basic motivation is the same as mine: They believe their policies are the best thing for the country. So, while I will not hesitate to disagree or debunk as I see fit, I will try to improve the tone around here somewhat.
As far as Dodd's debunking and disagreeing, I wouldn't have it any other way. Despite my own disagreeing with Dodd fairly regularly, he often impresses me with his ability to make an argument and dissect others. But that's good; when I post a response, whether here or in his comments, I am challenged to state my case as strongly as possible.
On the other hand, I think Dodd has gone too far with his rhetoric at times. When that happens, reasoned argument changes to partisan rant, and I don't feel such is worth my time to challenge.
I feel one of the strengths of democracy is the necessity to challenge ideas. Iraq is a mess because no one who would suggest to Saddam that his policies are not in the national interest lives very long. But Dodd points out that the end result might be something quite different from the unilateralist invasion scenario:
I will hazard a prediction: There will be a vote before the end of October and unless something changes dramatically - and soon - Congress will approve the use of force against Iraq. So, there will certainly be caveats applied (IOW, they will not issue carte blanche authority to go in regardless of circumstances). Some sort of UN approval (which may well already be in hand by the time they vote, the ways things are going) will almost assuredly be required, for instance. But Daschle has already indicated that Saddam's expressed willingness to allow inspectors back in was woefully unconvincing, so whatever comes out of Congress will be real, something Saddam will have no choice but to take seriously.
While I still have my doubts about the threat Iraq poses, the Administration's plans for dealing with it, and yes, the motives of Bush and his advisors in making Iraq the focal point of their attentions, the events Dodd foresees are ones I could definitely sign on to. In any case, Dodd's introspection is most admirable.
Take a bow, Dodd.