Matthew Yglesias draws a reasonable distinction:

Do we really think that a Lieberman administration would have started us down the road to war in Iraq following 9/11? . . . The important point is that, in foreign policy at least, the president gets to set the agenda. There are an awful lot of Senators of both parties who were willing (maybe even happy) to go along with Bush’s Iraq policy, but who wouldn’t have initiated that policy themselves. The trouble is that voting against Bush’s resolution, and even defeating it, wouldn’t have given any senator (or group of senators) the ability to implement his own favorite foreign policy, so lots of people vote for stuff just because they think it’s okay, not necessarily because they think it’s the best policy option out there.

Certainly true. But Lieberman’s basic point is still largely right: The policy which Bush initiated and he (along with Gephardt and, to a lesser extent, Kerry) had the courage to support led to Saddam’s being ousted and captured. Dean actively opposed this set of policies and, indeed, continues to issue idiotic statements about them.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.