Wednesday, August 22, 2007


The Democrats didn't see this coming? How could they possibly not have seen it coming?

Democratic leaders in Congress had planned to use August recess to raise the heat on Republicans to break with President Bush on the Iraq war. Instead, Democrats have been forced to recalibrate their own message in the face of recent positive signs on the security front, increasingly focusing their criticisms on what those military gains have not achieved: reconciliation among Iraq's diverse political factions.

And now the Democrats, along with wavering Republicans, will face an advertising blitz from Bush supporters determined to remain on offense. A new pressure group, Freedom's Watch, will unveil a month-long, $15 million television, radio and grass-roots campaign today designed to shore up support for Bush's policies before the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, lays out a White House assessment of the war's progress....

The burst of effort has been striking, if only because Democrats left for their August recess confident that Republicans would be on the defensive by now. Instead, the GOP has gone on the attack....

Look, it's simple: Just because the Bush administration can't do anything right when it comes to governing doesn't mean that it can't do anything right at all. This is a political campaign, and it's being run as efficiently and brutally as a typical (i.e., non-2006) Republican political campaign, with all the stagecraft, message discipline, and character assassination you'd expect if a Republican were actually running for something.

And, well, the Democrats are doing what they usually do in a political campaign: They're getting caught flat-flooted, they're surprised when they're under aggressive attack, and they're whining that it's all unfair and was all unforeseeable.

It's been glaringly obvious for months: The War on Democrats is Bush's #1 priority -- and, even though he's lost quite a few battles, it's a war he still can win. He wins by getting to play toy soldiers until 1/20/09 -- and now it's obvious that if that's the definition of victory, he will win, because the Democrats didn't even understand this summer that they were in a war.


Oh, and this (also from the story linked above) makes me crazy:

... in an interview yesterday, [California Democratic congressman Jerry] McNerney ... said Democrats should move beyond their confrontational approach, away from tough-minded, partisan withdrawal resolutions, to be more conciliatory with Republicans who might also be looking for a way out of the war.

"We should sit down with Republicans, see what would be acceptable to them to end the war and present it to the president, start negotiating from the beginning," he said...

Hey, Jerry, you know what would be acceptable to Republicans? That you and all the other Democrats roll over and die, that's what would be acceptable.

Schmuck -- there is no possible compromise with these people. They won't break with the president and the president will never, ever, ever give an inch. You still don't understand that?

Democrats' only hope would have been to appeal to the public to put pressure on GOP lawmakers -- enough pressure to create filibuster- and veto-proof majorities. It was a tall order, but nothing else would have worked. The White House has been in a fight to the death, and the Democrats never grasped that.

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