But the Democrats' '02-'04 fecklessness and the resulting election losses have led the national GOP into massive overconfidence on foreign policy issues. Even with approval/disapproval numbers for the Iraq War in the 30-65 range, hardly any Congressional Republicans have come out against it. Walter Jones of North Carolina is the only one I can think of off the top of my head.
The GOP House leadership remains totally in the dark about their situation. In Tom Davis' 20-page strategy memo after losing the third straight House special election, the Iraq War is mentioned only once -- as "the ultimate cultural issue, fueling and giving oxygen to the cultural left, as well as planting doubts in many swing voters' minds about the direction of the country." While Davis realizes that President Bush is somehow dragging down the GOP brand, he doesn't seem to realize that the Iraq War is a big part of how. While the memo calls for Republicans to put some distance between themselves and Bush, opposing his signature foreign policy initiative is never mentioned as a way to do it.
At long last, we have a Democratic candidate who opposed the war from the beginning, and who stands ready to go all in on foreign policy issues. John McCain, meanwhile, is so overconfident on national security that he's criticizing Obama's support for sending veterans to college! That's the kind of cuddly education-oriented Democratic issue that a smart Republican would just duck his head and ignore, waiting for the debate to turn to something else. But McCain really seems to think that he can pull rank on Obama and win this issue.
I'm going to enjoy the next six months.