The Politics of Iraq
Toothless legislation attracts votes, but doesn't get the job done. Legislation with teeth doesn't attract a consensus or a working majority (at this time) because there isn't one in Congress. . . . The urgency to adjust the status quo outweighs the loyalty to the base, and far outweighs loyalty to an unpopular President, that GOP congress critters feel. The country thinks Congress is dithering. Explaining it away as "I have to keep my shrinking Republican base happy, even though they are unrealistic about the war because Fox News, Joe Lieberman and I don't tell the truth about what's happening there" is not going to fly. . . . Sure, the votes aren't there yet, but everyone in Washington in this kabuki show knows that's coming. . . . It's the GOP's war, and it's Bush's war. If they don't face up to that reality, and at least start preparing their base for the inevitable, they run the risk that 2008 will turn out to be 2006 on steroids. . . .
This, it seems to me, misses entirely the dynamic that is developing. It is the Democratic Congress whose approvals are falling, as clammyc notes. The GOP is much where they were in 2006. The Dems have dropped significantly from where they were. And the danger is of Dems offering safe harbor to those Republicans vulnerable on Iraq. More.
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