Consistent Democrats: No matter who their enemy is, they will back down.

President Bush and congressional leaders began negotiating a second war funding bill yesterday, with Democrats offering the first major concession: an agreement to drop their demand for a timeline to bring troops home from Iraq.

Democrats backed off after the House failed, on a vote of 222 to 203, to override the president’s veto of a $124 billion measure that would have required U.S. forces to begin withdrawing as early as July. But party leaders made it clear that the next bill will have to include language that influences war policy. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) outlined a second measure that would step up Iraqi accountability, “transition” the U.S. military role and show “a reasonable way to end this war.”

“Reasonable.” That’s an interesting word. How is it possible to have a reasonable anything with a political opposition that’s fronted by a man who is either senile or a bald-faced liar? Or some blend of both.

Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) this week criticized Gen. David Petraeus for not meeting with members of Congress during a recent visit to Washington, D.C., to report on the status of operations in Iraq, but not only did the commander of Multinational Force – Iraq meet with hundreds of lawmakers, he personally briefed Murtha himself.

Murtha told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Tuesday, “They bring Petraeus back – purely political move. Petraeus comes back here. He doesn’t talk to any of us. He only talks to the news media and so forth trying to sell this program.”

But a senior Defense Department official told Cybercast News Service that Petraeus personally briefed Murtha and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in an April 24 phone conference that lasted 20-30 minutes.

The following day, Petraeus conducted two 90-minute, top-secret level operations intelligence briefings for representatives and senators.

Petraeus has been briefing Congress. The Democrats have been skipping them, but never mind that. It’s not like the war is important or anything.

Next thing you know, Rep. Murtha (D-Abscam) will be out there offering the reasonable idea that we ought to fight the war in Iraq from Okinawa. Oh, wait…