Dems Show What They're Made Of
Yes, the Democrats are showing their stripes--unfortunately, in many cases those stripes seem to be yellow. After a few high-profile Dems argued that troops should leave Iraq as soon as possible, too many other Dems have become hugely concerned about watching their backs. They're worried that such positions on Iraq won't play, so they want to put as much room between themselves and those ideas as they possibly can.
It's not even a matter of whether immediate withdrawal is the best Iraq policy for the Democrats. But such a position opens discussion on the issue, which is something that's been sorely lacking in both the country and the Democratic Party. Worried Dems come off as concerned about nothing more than winning, and "whatever we need to do to win" is rarely a successful strategy. The main argument for John Kerry's candidacy last year was that he was "electable," and we all saw how that turned out. When it came time for actual ideas, he came up short and couldn't put together a winning campaign. Caution was the watchword, which was best exemplified by the campaign reaction to the Swift Boat Vets. (What reaction, you ask? Precisely.) In trying so strenuously not to offend anyone, they guarantee that they won't inspire anyone, either. The country may become so disillusioned with Bush and company that they do pass power back to the Dems, but a denatured Democratic Party won't be able to hold on to power and will get turned out just as quickly. The electorate may be willing to vote out the Repubs, but unless they have a reason to vote for Democrats, the donkey party can't keep Congress or the White House for long.
The minority Democratic Party has done little to offer opposition to the wrongheaded Bush agenda, and thus they've given us little to hold on to in expectation of what they'd do as a majority party. In that, they're not much different than Bush before he invaded Iraq. The Dems know who they want to get rid of, but we've got no idea of what happens when that target is gone.