The Dems 'Rodney King' Strategy
Posted by Michael Cohen
The Washington Post has a rather dispiriting piece this morning about the Democrat's changing political strategy on Iraq.
Instead of trying to force the Senate to vote on more aggressive and politically potent anti-war legislation the Democrats are now going to take a more pragmatic approach and offer bills that will 'hopefully' get the Senate closer to 60 votes and break a potential GOP filibuster. Yet, the article does not identify a single Republican who is now willing to change direction and cast a vote against the current policy in Iraq.
Sure, there are plenty of quotes from GOPers questioning the President's strategy (and I use that word loosely) but this quote from Gordon Smith sums up the situation:
"I'm not alone in my feelings, but so far I'm fairly isolated in terms of manifesting them with a vote," said Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), one of the party's few on-the-record war dissenters.
And then there is this from Jeff Sessions:
"I think Republicans, like a lot of Americans, are worried about how things are going. They're hearing mixed results. They don't believe everything that comes out of the State Department or the Pentagon or the White House. They're thinking critically."
With all due respect to these esteemed public servants; blah, blah, blah. How much longer do we have to read about "frustration" among Republicans about Iraq without seeing any of them actually casting a vote for a change in policy?
And then there is this pathetic quote from Harry Reid:
We're reaching out to the Republicans to allow them to fulfill their word . . .A number of them are quoted significantly saying that come September that there would have to be a change of the course in the war in Iraq.
Talk about a thin reed. Why Reid thinks that now the Republicans are going to change course, after basically telling them 'we're going to reduce the political pressure on you' is beyond me.
Here's the rub: No matter what the Congress passes, the President will veto it. So 60 is not the magic number - 67 is; and there is no way the Dems are going to achieve that goal. So my question is why not keep applying the political pressure? Why not make the GOP defend a policy that has about 30-35% support in public opinion polls?
I understand that Democrats love to pass legislation as a sign that they are getting something done. But if it has no chance of getting past the President's veto pen what exactly is the point? Believe me, if I thought this approach would have any success in changing course in Iraq I'd be all over it, but there doesn't seem to be any real evidence that Bush will acquiesce to legislation that changes our Iraq strategy. The only possibility of change is if Republicans grow some political courage and turn against their President. Letting them off the hook is not the way to accomplish that goal.
At the very least, applying maximum political pressure on some of the Senators up for re-election might actually clear some of these jokers out of the Senate - not only increasing the Democratic majority, but teaching these folks about the nature of representative democracy.
But instead Democrats are taking the Rodney King approach - 'can't we all just get along.' Its just further evidence that when it comes to wielding political power, Democrats don't get it.