Democrats apparently reacted “angrily,” according to The Washington Post, when reports surfaced this weekend that the Pentagon is considering withdrawal of troops in the near future. I didn’t see the Sunday morning talk shows (I rarely watch the frantic spinning and the general failure to listen on the part of the show hosts) upon which the adverb was based. I’ll take the reporters’ word for it.

But the Dems needn’t be angry. “Courage, troops.” The country is coming around to their point of view, and I’m beginning to feel like a minority. (O, wait a minute, I am an minority – a reality-based citizen.) It will apparently be the end of the day before we can look at the data, but more Americans are supporting a timetable for declaring victory and retreating.

The American public is sharply divided over whether to set a deadline for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, as military casualties mount and the insurgency shows little sign of ending its bloody terror campaign, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll.

There are still more Americans who oppose withdrawal than support it, but the margin is dwindling. And the latest Post-ABC poll continues to show little backing for an immediate exit from Iraq: Nearly eight in 10 say the United States should keep troops in Iraq for at least six months.

The survey found that 47 percent of the country now favors setting a deadline for troops to exit from Iraq, up eight percentage points since December. Opposition to a firm timetable for withdrawal stands at 51 points, down from 60 percent seven months ago.

But if reports are true that a draw-down is likely before the elections, Democratic Sen. Carl Levin has it right.

Sen. Carl M. Levin (Mich.), one of the two sponsors of the nonbinding resolution, which offered no pace or completion date for a withdrawal, said the report is another sign of what he termed one of the “worst-kept secrets in town” — that the administration intends to pull out troops before the midterm elections in November.

“It shouldn’t be a political decision, but it is going to be with this administration,” Levin said on “Fox News Sunday.” “It’s as clear as your face, which is mighty clear, that before this election, this November, there’s going to be troop reductions in Iraq, and the president will then claim some kind of progress or victory.”

Inoculation against an October surprise is to predict it — loud and often. If Democrats want to minimize what is sure to be a Rove tactic, then predict it, belittle it, and in fact, demand it. Then when it materializes, they look predictable, belittled and crassly political.