Activists May Talk, But It's Big Money That Walks

It isn't just the liberal activists who are upset with Democratic congressional leaders for backing away from a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Party insiders say that many Democratic donors have also been complaining bitterly about what they consider a surrender to President Bush in the Iraq funding bill passed by Congress last week.

The donors see the concession as a betrayal of the antiwar movement that many believe gave the Democrats control of the House and Senate in last November's elections. "There's a lot of anger among base Democrats that we didn't stand up to Bush," says a party insider.

Now some party leaders are worried that their fundraising will go into a tailspin-and, more broadly, that the Democrats will suffer from an image of failing to stand up for themselves on matters of principle.