Excerpt:Â The Democratic Party's preoccupation with the question of when America will leave Iraq rather than with how America will win in Iraq reminds me of how and why this nearly lifelong liberal and Democrat became identified as a conservative and Republican activist. I have identified as liberal all my life. How could I not? I was raised a Jew in New York City, where I did graduate work in the social sciences at Columbia University. It is almost redundant to call a New York Jewish intellectual a liberal. In fact, I never voted for a Republican candidate for president until Ronald Reagan in 1980. But I have not voted for a Democrat since 1980.