It hinges on things continuing on the trajectory they're currently on, of course, and that's a big "if." (All it would take was one Bill O'Reilly launching himself at the Trans Am Building to turn things around.)
Here's where things are starting to move: Rather than use the Veterans Day holiday weekend as an opportunity to give opponents of the Iraq war the McCarthy treatment, as Bush chose to do, John Edwards used the occasion to come clean:
I was wrong.
Almost three years ago we went into Iraq to remove what we were told -- and what many of us believed and argued -- was a threat to America. But in fact we now know that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction when our forces invaded Iraq in 2003. The intelligence was deeply flawed and, in some cases, manipulated to fit a political agenda.
It was a mistake to vote for this war in 2002. I take responsibility for that mistake. It has been hard to say these words because those who didn't make a mistake -- the men and women of our armed forces and their families -- have performed heroically and paid a dear price.
The world desperately needs moral leadership from America, and the foundation for moral leadership is telling the truth.
While we can't change the past, we need to accept responsibility, because a key part of restoring America's moral leadership is acknowledging when we've made mistakes or been proven wrong -- and showing that we have the creativity and guts to make it right.
I'm not a dyed-in-the-wool Edwards fan, but I have to admit I'm impressed by this--not only for being a mensch but for the tactical shrewdness I suspect lurks not far behind this declaration. The GOP smear machine, in the service of whoever will be their nominee in 2008, will have a hard time pinning the "I was for it before I was against it" tail on that donkey.
Wait and see: If more 2008 hopefuls find a way to join Edwards and Kucinich--and a majority of Americans polled--in saying that invading Iraq was a mistake from the get-go, a mistake that never would have happened if Congress hadn't gone along with the lies coming out of the White House, it'll be bad news for the wannabes who continue to continue to support Bush's war.