Cold Hard Wonk

No sentiment but politics

Nothing Doing

Posted by JJ in The Elephant, Crossroads of Culture (Wednesday January 10, 2007 at 7:36 pm)

And the Democrats’ strategy to win in Iraq is off, with an unsurprising play!

Senator Kennedy (you know the one) is set to block President Bush’s plan to send an additional 20,000 US troops to Iraq. Notwithstanding that this comes at least three years after more troops were needed, the first move of the new Congressional leadership will ironically be to keep the President from changing things in Iraq.

Ironic, because that’s what we call “staying the course”, a strategy championed by President Bush barely three years ago; but one since abandoned in the face of a profound attack of common sense.

So why would the Democrats want to “stay the course”? Simple.

Let’s assume, just for a moment, that there is no real solution to the US’s problems in Iraq which can be implemented between now and the next Presidential inauguration (January 2009).

If so, then whether the Democrats have such a solution or not, implementing it now won’t help them win the next set of elections (one with a Presidential race and everything!) Moreover, fixing things now just might help the President look better, which eliminates the anti-Republican fervour they’re hoping will help carry Middle America over to their side.

Better by far, then, to stop him from doing much of anything, especially when it’s something as unpopular as the possibility of more American troops exposed to dangerous conditions. The longer he stays the course, the better they look as an alternative; and if they can keep passing laws to make that happen, they look like they’re actually doing something at the same time. Not half bad.

Stay the course, Big Teddy, stay the course.

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