We should be thankful that the Democrats won in November. Seriously.

Accountability in life is everything. Self regulation is the most dangerous of all human delusions.

The political grandstanders in the Senate and House are making fools of themselves pushing for a non-binding resolution to embarrass the President and court favor with the uninformed, nevertheless, the essential process of oversight is finally grinding into gear.

For almost four years, the Bush administration, literally and figuratively, threw good money after bad in Iraq. The November election was the wake-up call they desperately needed. The day after the election, the President tapped soft-spoken but tough-minded Robert Gates to take the reins of the stalled war effort. With Congress breathing down his neck, the President is dispatching David Petraeus and Ryan Crocker to the scene with orders to make immediate progress or else. Both of these men are unorthodox thinkers who criticized privately through proper channels many of the group-think Iraq policies that ultimately failed. They are our best chance at staving off an epoch-ending humiliation.

So many of us love the Civil War analogy. Of course, the tragically non-analogous portion of the comparison is that Lincoln ferociously prosecuted the war from the beginning, challenging and firing his subordinates until he found an Edwin Stanton and U.S. Grant relatively early on. We have waited four years for this change.

In a nutshell: Congressional oversight is necessary to win; Congressional posturing and purely political maneuvering is lethal. Congress needs to ask tough questions, hold feet to the fire, but they also need to commit to winning regardless of the potential for partisan or individual political gain.