Congressional Republicans are planting a trap for Democrats by accusing them of trying to micromanage the war in Iraq by deciding how additional billions of dollars be spent. It’s an argument Democrats could easily rebut–if only moderates in the party would let them try.

Instead, conservative Democrats are playing right into the GOP’s hands by criticizing efforts by Jack Murtha to force the military to meet normal readiness standards before escalating the war.

“Congress has no business micromanaging a war, cutting off funding or even conditioning those funds,” said Jim Cooper, a Tennessee Democrat who was instrumental in blocking Bill Clinton’s healthcare plan, told the Washington Post today. “If you strictly limit a commander’s ability to rotate troops in and out of Iraq, that kind of inflexibility could put some missions and some troops at risk,” added Rep. Chet Edwards, another Zell Miller donkey.

It’s amazing that some Democrats would quibble with the notion that troops be properly rested, equipped and trained before deploying for battle, as the Murtha plan mandates. Are critics of Murtha’s plan intentionally trying to endanger the troops? George W. Bush had four years to run the war exactly as he liked, with no Congressional oversight and no restrictions on funding. Look where it’s gotten us. Republicans broke the military and lost the war. The last thing Democrats need to do is to throw our hapless Commander-in-Chief a life raft.