The Only Poll That Matters Is Election Day

I have often said in discussing the Iraq Debacle that if you want to be a pure political cynic, then what you must to do is consider what your positions and actions will look like to voters on the days they are going to vote. Don't think about what your poll numbers will look like the day after you do something, think about what they will look like the day of the election. Thus, despite murky polling, in early 2005 and throughtout the next two years, I urged a strong Democratic opposition to the Iraq Debacle, arguing then that since Iraq WAS a Debacle and Bush was not going to turn it around, better to opposing it as soon as possible. Today Digby and Matt Yglesias make similar points. Yglesias discusses today's Iraq Supplemental vote:

This, to me, has been one of the most baffling things about the Democratic Party's tactical posture on Iraq ever since early 2003. You see politicians talking and acting as if the crucial thing is whether or not what they're doing will look popular over the next 36 hours. The important thing, of course, is how things look on election day. As Sam says, if the votes aren't there, the votes aren't there, but the important point is that liberals who take the position today that there should be a withdrawal timeline will be fully vindicated by November 2008 just as people who avoided the temptation to pander when Saddam Hussen was captured back in late '03 looked pretty smart by November '04.

But the Beltway does not seem to understand this obvious point. And they never have. It amazes me.

< Why Dems Should Vote No On Iraq Supplemental | Bill Richardson Opposes Compromise Immigration Bill >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    "Opponents of the war . . " (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu May 24, 2007 at 04:34:17 PM EST
    "need to face facts," says Obey. I faced that fact when this lunatic House strategy was first launched!

    Wake up Rep. Obey.

    Final passage is coming up (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Thu May 24, 2007 at 04:19:57 PM EST
    Sirota's nonsense notwithstanding.

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu May 24, 2007 at 04:25:42 PM EST
    He explained it to me in e-mail, and he has a point but I think not the one he made.

    He is talking about making it easy to pass the blank check without having to deal with all the restrictions, etc.

    In essence, they gave the Cavein a grease path. He thinks they should have made it difficult.

    That;s not a bad point.


    The time to have that fight has passed (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Thu May 24, 2007 at 04:28:42 PM EST
    It would have made sense to force Republicans to get a discharge resolution. It doesn't make much sense to vote against your own procedural rule. That is, unless you want to find a rule that can pass with Republican votes.

    'Oppose it' means voting 'no' on Iraq funding (none / 0) (#2)
    by fairleft on Thu May 24, 2007 at 04:23:17 PM EST
    bills. And that's what it's meant all along. Keep it simple and argue effectively against the 'abandon the troops in the field' blackmail. If the Dems had been doing that for awhile, we'd be much farther ahead now. And the only 'solution' from here on out is start voting 'no' and start arguing effectively against the 'abandon the troops in the field' blackmail.

    The Only Poll That Matters Is Election Day (none / 0) (#6)
    by judyo on Thu May 24, 2007 at 07:35:22 PM EST
    Election day doesn't matter either.  The Republican Party (the party of hate) has rigged the election process of the U.S.
    It's broken.

    BTD, this is off topic, but... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Maryscott OConnor on Fri May 25, 2007 at 04:01:50 AM EST

    I could use your opinion over at MLW about this:

    Terrifying New Executive Order:

    This one apparently granting Bush the ability to declare a national emergency without congressional approval, thus enforcing martial law on all of us, and basically taking dictatorial powers for an unspecified time.

    Via World Net Daily (emphases mine):

    Bush Makes Power Grab

    May 23, 2007

    President Bush, without so much as issuing a press statement, on May 9 signed a directive that granted near dictatorial powers to the office of the president in the event of a national emergency declared by the president.

    The "National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive," with the dual designation of NSPD-51, as a National Security Presidential Directive, and HSPD-20, as a Homeland Security Presidential Directive, establishes under the office of president a new National Continuity Coordinator.

    That job, as the document describes, is to make plans for "National Essential Functions" of all federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal governments, as well as private sector organizations to continue functioning under the president's directives in the event of a national emergency.

    The directive loosely defines "catastrophic emergency" as "any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions."

    When the president determines a catastrophic emergency has occurred, the president can take over all government functions and direct all private sector activities to ensure we will emerge from the emergency with an "enduring constitutional government."

    Translated into layman's terms, when the president determines a national emergency has occurred, the president can declare to the office of the presidency powers usually assumed by dictators to direct any and all government and business activities until the emergency is declared over.

    Ironically, the directive sees no contradiction in the assumption of dictatorial powers by the president with the goal of maintaining constitutional continuity through an emergency.

    The directive specifies that the assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism will be designated as the "National Continuity Coordinator."

    Further established is a Continuity Policy Coordination Committee, chaired by a senior director from the Homeland Security Council staff, designated by the National Continuity Coordinator, to be "the main day-to-day forum for such policy coordination."

    Currently, the assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism is Frances Fragos Townsend.

    Townsend spent 13 years at the Justice Department before moving to the U.S. Coast Guard where she served as assistant commandant for intelligence.

    She is a White House staff member in the executive office of the president who also chairs the Homeland Security Council, which as a counterpart to the National Security Council reports directly to the president.

    The directive issued May 9 makes no attempt to reconcile the powers created there for the National Continuity Coordinator with the National Emergency Act. As specified by U.S. Code Title 50, Chapter 34, Subchapter II, Section 1621, the National Emergency Act allows that the president may declare a national emergency  but requires that such proclamation "shall immediately be transmitted to the Congress and published in the Federal Register."

    A Congressional Research Service study notes that under the National Emergency Act, the president "may seize property, organize and control the means of production, seize commodities, assign military forces abroad, institute martial law, seize and control all transportation and communication, regulate the operation of private enterprise, restrict travel, and, in a variety of ways, control the lives of United States citizens."

    The CRS study notes that the National Emergency Act sets up congress as a balance empowered to "modify, rescind, or render dormant such delegated emergency authority," if Congress believes the president has acted inappropriately.

    NSPD-51/ HSPD-20 appears to supersede the National Emergency Act by creating the new position of National Continuity Coordinator without any specific act of Congress authorizing the position.

    NSPD-51/ HSPD-20 also makes no reference whatsoever to Congress. The language of the May 9 directive appears to negate any a requirement that the president submit to Congress a determination that a national emergency exists, suggesting instead that the powers of the executive order can be implemented without any congressional approval or oversight.

    Homeland Security spokesperson Russ Knocke affirmed that the Homeland Security Department will be implementing the requirements of NSPD-51/ HSPD-20 under Townsend's direction.

    The White House had no comment.