The Issue for 2008: Iraq

Historian Rick Perlstein has an important piece in Salon comparing the politics of withdrawal from Vietnam to the politics of withdrawal from Iraq.

The questions are not just: Can Congress stop the surge? Can Congress stop a war-mongering president in his tracks? The better question is what are the things Congress can accomplish just by trying to stop the escalation, boldly, and without apology?

The answer to that is: an enormous amount -- and that the only thing that can guarantee Democratic political weakness in 2008 is if they abandon a strong withdrawal (or, if you prefer, "redeployment") position....

In 2008, the Republicans are going to have to run either amidst an electorate convinced that Republicans will be staying the course or amidst an electorate they've managed to bamboozle into believing "peace is at hand." If they manage the latter, they'll have a good chance of winning the election. But the only way they can do that is if Democrats can't claim credit for ending it first. I hope to be able to watch the Democrats truly try to end the war; it will be glorious. Because even if they start losing votes in Congress, the president and the party that enables him can only become politically weaker by the day.

It's worth reading Rick's piece.  2008 should be an easy win for a Democratic President, because the GOP has the legacy of Bush and Iraq to face down.  If we face this legacy head-on, they are cooked.  It's pretty clear though that Iraq is the one issue that Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is seeking to avoid at all costs, which is why she's having her fundraisers put the hard sell on donors.  She wants to suck up all the campaign money before Democratic base voters have a chance to consider the implications of her support for the war in Iraq.

Tags: George Bush, Hillary Clinton, Iraq (all tags)

Comments

6 Comments

The drumbeat of consistency

That's the same narrative as the 2004 election.  Should've been an easy win if the Kerry campaign just did what I said they should do.

by Stewieeeee 2007-01-24 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: The drumbeat of consistency

No.  Fear was palpably present (regardless of its origin) in 2004 in the electorate, which was also not nearly as convinced of Iraq's failure as it is now.

2004 was not an easy win for D's under any circumstances.  

by Andmoreagain 2007-01-24 07:54AM | 0 recs
Dems Never Seem To Learn

There is nothing weak in being anti-war.  What's weak is being afraid to stand up for what's right.

THE REVEREND MR. BLACK
(Billy Edd Wheeler / Jed Peters)

The Kingston Trio - 1963
Bobby Darin - 1963
Faron Young - 1963
Johnny Cash - 1981

Also recorded by: Tex Ritter; Lonnie Donegan;
John Stewart; Tim Grimm; Sherwin & Pam Linton.

He rode easy in the saddle, he was tall and lean
And at first you thought nothing but a streak of mean
Could make any man look so down right strong
But one look in his eyes and you knowed you was wrong

He was a mountain of a man, and I want you to know
He could preach hot hell or freezin' snow
He carried a Bible in a canvas sack
And folks just called him the Reverend Mr. Black

He was poor as a beggar
But he rode like a king
Sometimes in the evenin'
I could hear him sing

I gotta walk that lonesome valley
I got to walk it by myself
Ain't, nobody else can walk it for me
I got to walk it by myself
You got to walk that lonesome valley
You got to walk it by yourself
Oh, nobody else can walk it for you
You got to walk it by yourself

If ever I could have thought this man in black
Was soft and had any yellow up his back
I gave that notion up one day
A lumberjack came in and it wasn't to pray

Yeah, he kicked open the meeting house door
And he cussed everybody up and down the floor
Then, when things got quiet in the place
He walked up and cussed in the preacher's face

He hit that reverend like the kick of a mule
And to my way of thinkin' it took one pure fool
To turn the other cheek to that lumberjack
But that's what he did, The Reverend Mr. Black

He stood like a rock, a man among men
Then he let that lumberjack hit him again
And then with a voice as kind as could be
He cut him down like a big oak tree when he said

I gotta walk that lonesome valley
I got to walk it by myself
Ain't, nobody else can walk it for me
I got to walk it by myself
You got to walk that lonesome valley
You got to walk it by yourself
Oh, nobody else can walk it for you
You got to walk it by yourself

It's been many years since we had to part
And I guess I learned his ways by heart
Cause I can still hear his sermon's ring
Down in the valley where he used to sing

I followed him, yes siree, and I don't regret it
I hope I will always be a credit
To his memory 'cause I want you to understand
The Reverend Mr. Black was my old man

I gotta walk that lonesome valley
I got to walk it by myself
Ain't, nobody else can walk it for me
I got to walk it by myself
You got to walk that lonesome valley
You got to walk it by yourself
Oh, nobody else can walk it for you
You got to walk it by yourself

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-01-24 07:35AM | 0 recs
Re: The Issue for 2008: Iraq

Iraq does represent a serious and significant opening for a candidate other than Hillary.  It will be an interesting and revealing test to see how she handles this....granted, so far she has not been direct or forthcoming.  

But that will have to change.  At a minimum I expect Edwards to aggressively go after her on this front if she leaves this opening.  She has to close this opening to win the nomination.

by Andmoreagain 2007-01-24 07:52AM | 0 recs
Iraq poll numbers

Can anyone point me to some recent poll numbers of public opinion about the war in Iraq?

by Laurin from SC 2007-01-24 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: The Issue for 2008: Iraq


As a Chicano and a military veteran from the Sonoran Desert, Senator Clinton still has two strikes against her, and all the money in the world will not help her with Chicanos with the possibility of one exception. Consequently, do understand that I am not attempting to "trash" Senator Clinton, and thus, some relentless Empricism is needed and called for, and which I am attempting with this post.  And in this vein of thought, let me commence.

First, she has to recant her support for the Invasion of Iraq.  Her talking all around the issue will further diminish her existing with Chicano military veterans in the Southwest,the Inter-Rocky Mountains and the West.

Second, she has to recant her support for the "fencing amendment" to immigration reform.  Her further talking all around the issue will further diminish her existing credibility with Chicano military,i.e, the West.

Now, to the possibility of the exception, is that Senator Clinton sits down with the Hispanic Congress Members--all thirty of them, and done in some out of the way place, where she can "cut a deal".  And if she can not co-opt the overwhelming majority of the voices, these voices will not bow down to any of the Clintonista Construct, and for furthering a political "royalty" is not going to happen.  There are many talented politicians within the Democratic Party, and Senator Clinton, is seen as another talented body in a long line of talented bodies.

Why?

Each of these Hispanic Elected Officials need the votes of the Chicano military veterans and are the backbone within these congressional districts.  As such, you do not "piss" them off, otherwise, it's necessary to understand that there are over 3 million Chicano military veterans nationally, they have a spouse, and add in a couple of sons and a couple of daughters, and thusly, these vets have more than just some average political juice.  They got heavy-duty clout. As such, they got votes and in really large numbers. Equally important, these vets have a voice, they just don't shout out loud for the media to hear.  To wit, the media wants to "agitate" or so the thinking goes.

And in closing, and just to toss in some snark, seeing the ability of Senator Webb in his rebuttal to President Bush, bodes well for Webb should we as Democrats arrive at a brokered convention in Denver. And even Richardson would be wise to understand that he may be the favorite son going in, but Webb has gravitas, and in abundance, among Chicano military veterans.

Just a Thought From Indian Country.

by Jaango 2007-01-24 08:44AM | 0 recs

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