Deja Vu: Joe Klein Style
What can the Democrats do? They can play politics or be responsible. The political option is to embrace "cut and run"; call for an immediate withdrawal, as Kerry did; and hope the public is so sick of Bush and sick of the war that it will punish the g.o.p. in the fall. But embracing defeat is a risky political strategy, especially for a party not known for its warrior ethic. In fact, the responsible path is the Democrats' only politically plausible choice: they will have to give yet another new Iraqi government one last shot to succeed. This time, U.S. military sources say, the measure of success is simple: Operation Forward Together, the massive joint military effort launched last week to finally try to secure Baghdad, has to work. If Baghdad isn't stabilized, the war is lost. "I know it's the cliche of the war," an Army counterinsurgency specialist told me last week. "But we'll know in the next six months—and this time, it'll be the last next six months we get."
How to Elect a Republican President (and Congress) in 2008
. . . Allow the Jacobin--off with their heads!--wing of the party to control the agenda. Keep calling for votes on Iraq that will fail. Don't call for votes on Iraq that might succeed (like the Salazar-Alexander Amendment).Even though the Republican field is prohibitively pathetic, and the President's ratings have now reached the mid-twenties, a Democratic defeat in 2008 in entirely possibly if the public comes to believe that Democrats are only interested in futile, symbolic gestures.
Because the Alexander-Salazar Amendment has such teeth. Given how wrong Joe was in 2006, it is surprising he has no sign of humility now. But he would not be Joe Klein if he did.
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