Responding to my assertion:

Politicians in Washington need to put down their partisan daggers and take up arms and work in concert to save America.

...from my previous post (view here), the Okie Gardener asks:

"Any suggestions on how to make them do that?"

American political history during times of crisis has always turned on the tension between lethal threat and partisan opportunity. Political parties tend to take advantage of opposition blunders. Moreover, political parties tend to characterize every program, promise and policy offered by the opposition as disastrous and invidious. Oftentimes self interest disguises itself as a desire for the greater good, which is not a condition unique to American politics--it is, in fact, a universal truism. Even in times of war, this basic human calculation rules the affairs of men.

Having said that, we have seen times when American politicians became statesman, choosing patriotism over party advantage. Stephen Douglass and Edwin Stanton during the Civil War come to mind. From my perspective, Zell Miller, Joe Lieberman and Ed Koch stand out as modern-day examples of stalwarts in the face of party loyalties. But these are exceptional individuals.

Back to the Gardener's question: how can we make this happen on a larger scale?

Beats me.

Why does partisan opportunity seem to outweigh patriotism at this particular moment?

The American people are frustrated and disheartened in some cases and just not very interested in some others, which means there is no constituency to "hold feet to the fire." The opposition party is convinced that there is no downside to opposing the President and this war. They are convinced, through extensive polling I suspect, that there is no political disadvantage to abandoning this military commitment.

How do we change that?

1) Take the case to the people and 2) win the war.

As Aesop's wise old rat would say: "easier said than done."

A desperate measure: Perhaps the Byrd-Clinton resolution to re-authorize the war is not a bad idea. Perhaps a full-throated debate on the war might wake up the citizenry. If the responsibility fell on us (we the people) to decide our own fate, perhaps we (the people) would act responsibly. Perhaps.

Big gamble? Yes. But democracy has been a roll of the dice from the very beginning...