Now What?

4 comments May 26th, 2007at 01:07pm Posted by Eli


So… What happens in September after General Petraeus delivers his much-anticipated, this-will-totally-change-everything-we-mean-it-this-time progress report on The Surge and asks for another Friedman Unit? (I would submit to you, gentle readers, that if it’s measured in Friedman Units, it’s not a surge)

Seems to me like there are two likely outcomes:

1) Republicans are true to their word (ha!), and enough of them finally decide to bail on the war that Congress can override Bush’s veto and end it. This is good for troops, terrible for Democrats. The Republican and media frame would be that the Republicans put country over loyalty and courageously defied their leader, in contrast to the Democratic fecklessness which allowed Bush to keep the war going. This could be devastating to the Democrats in 2008, but I don’t think the Republicans are smart or independent enough to do it.

2) Republicans don’t budge from where they are now, and neither do the Blue Dog and conservative Democrats, and everything plays out exactly the same as it did this month. They pass a supplemental with withdrawal timetables, Bush vetos it and blusters about how they’re cutting off the troops, the Democrats fold and provide another lame supplemental with no timetables and easily waivable benchmarks.

My fondest hope is that the Democrats grow a pair and present a unified, immovable front that refuses to back down in the face of Bush’s veto threats and undermining-the-troops rhetoric. They would have to make it clear that this time they will not flinch, and if Bush wants to veto the supplemental, then the war is defunded and the only person undermining the troops is Dubya himself by not withdrawing them immediately. Frankly, after their sorry performance this week, I have a hard time imagining that outcome.

So probably the best we can hope for is that enough Republicans come to their senses to make Option 1 a possibility, and that the Democrats do a good enough job with the messaging to remind everyone that all of those Republican “heroes” were unwaveringly dedicated to prolonging the war for the past five years.

But no matter what happens in September, I think the Democrats have already done themselves real damage for next November.

(Cartoon h/t to Bob Geiger)

Entry Filed under: Bush,Democrats,Iraq,Politics,Republicans,Wankers,War


  • 1. spocko  |  May 26th, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    One thing about predicting the future is that it tends to say. Look at this and project out based on current info.
    I think that we need to also think about is what will our response be to some other major crisis that will happen between now and September.

    For example. Say that a bombing happens in the US like in Spain. What happens then? How do we react? We know how the Republican’ will spin it and how talk radio will yell, “Don’t politicize it” as the same time that they DO politicize it by telling everyone that “the Democrats are politicizing it. ”

    The republican’s will play the fear card. “See? We need to be tougher!’ And instead of people saying, ‘Bush is full of it and these terrorist are post 9./11 Iraq based terrorists” they will scream that it”s those weak democrats doing it.
    And by screaming I mean the usual team of think tankers and talk radio hosts. They will get ahead of the hate parade and say, ‘This happened BECAUSE the Democrats aren’t tough enough.” And that message will be pushed. Not the “This Happened because the President’s policy’s made MORE terrorists and blow-back is a bitch.”

    We need to anticipate messaging and pre-empt it before it happens. And then continue it while it is happening.

    Fear and anger are what they use all the time. I’m tired of it.

  • 2. Eli  |  May 27th, 2007 at 10:17 am

    Well, the de-funding=undermining our troops messaging was *incredibly* easy to predict, but instead of opposing it, the Democrats bought into it and echoed it. As long as they accept that premise, they will never be able to end the war without Republican help.

  • 3. bill  |  May 28th, 2007 at 12:01 am

    It appears Sen. Sessions read your blog.
    They may just be smart and independent. I just hope they eat lots of their own in the process.

  • 4. Eli  |  May 28th, 2007 at 12:17 am

    Well, that would be a scary thought. But they’ve been saying for a month or so now that they need to see progress in September or they’ll bail on the war. I think they’ll latch onto any excuse to prolong it, but if they’re smart they’ll pull the plug and crow about their courage and resolve.

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