Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Democrats Played Their Cards Right

Much as I wish we were starting a strategic withdrawal from Iraq, I still believe the democrats in congress played their hand correctly in the recent vote. They are neither cowardly or stupid, they are simply pragmatic. Bush got a few more months of rope to hang himself with, the democrat leadership (Clinton, Obama, and Pelosi) got symbolic votes in opposition, and the clock will continue to run.

If there had been just enough republican support to stop the funding, Bush and Co. would have had a free hand to screw up the extrication to the extent that a worst case scenario was bound to result. At the same time, the diehard republican base, now wilting, would have been re-energized in opposition. Stories of how our troops are enduring hardships and dying as a result of the funding cut-off would start coming out regularly. Polls show that many Americans, even some of those who oppose the war, are very sensitive to the troops and don't want them hung out to dry. The democrats could have won the cut-off vote and set up their defeat in 2008 at the same time.

The republicans got us into this war, and they will have to get us out. By the fall of this year the futility of continuing will become apparent to many more citizens, and the republicans in congress will follow their instincts. They will force Bush into a significant cutback in the force by early next year. Iraq will be in the same chaos it is in now, or worse. Americans will look at this outcome and be constantly reminded that republicans spent $1 trillion accomplishing nothing much. The democrats will win the presidency in 2008 and get larger majorities in both houses of congress. They will look back at this vote and say "We played our cards right."


ThomasLB said...

The problem is that while they are playing cards, kids are killing and dying.

We seem to have two parties who each care about power more than anything else.

Binary democracy isn't working out too well.

Ron Davison said...

I largely agree with you. I guess my one caveat is that I'm not sure they had a choice in this instance.