That, of course, would have been a more accurate headline for today’s lead story in the New York Times:
Democrats Newly Willing to Compromise on Iraq
By CARL HULSE
WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 — With a mixed picture emerging about progress in Iraq, Senate Democratic leaders are showing a new openness to compromise as they try to attract Republican support for forcing at least modest troop withdrawals in the coming months.
After short-circuiting consideration of votes on some bipartisan proposals on Iraq before the August break, senior Democrats now say they are willing to rethink their push to establish a withdrawal deadline of next spring if doing so will attract the 60 Senate votes needed to prevail.
Senator Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, said, “If we have to make the spring part a goal, rather than something that is binding, and if that is able to produce some additional votes to get us over the filibuster, my own inclination would be to consider that.”
Or, another possibility would be: Democrats willing to compromise values over Iraq.
Or, maybe: Democrats willing to provide political cover for sinking Republicans.
Some poker face, gentlemen.
Seriously, somebody needs to slap Sens. Carl Levin and Harry Reid silly. Even if compromise was a laudable goal here—and it certainly is not—who announces in advance of a negotiation that they are prepared to give away the store?
Here’s an example: How much you want for that turkey? I’m going to offer you a dollar, but I’m really willing to go as high as you want.
Does that sound like a good strategy to you?
Let’s get this straight, guys: There is no “mixed picture” on “progress” in Iraq. The GAO report and the latest NIE both confirm that the Bush escalation has failed. There is no way to “win” this war. The Iraq debacle is hugely unpopular with American voters. Coalition troops are dying daily for no other reason than to save face for the Bush Administration and its Republican enablers. Democrats took both houses of Congress in 2006 because voters expected them to end the occupation. Americans are not looking for some face-saving measure, and no one is interested in compromise except the president who is content to run out the clock on Iraq, and Republican members of Congress who are looking for anything that sounds vaguely pro-drawdown to hang their hat on come November 2008.
This Democratic strategy doesn’t “peel off” Republicans—it props them up.
And meanwhile, people die.
How’s that gonna look come ’08?
The Democrats control Congress—they control the budgets for this war. Keep sending bills to the president that include specific deadlines for withdrawal over the next year. De-fund anything that doesn’t meet those goals. Let the president veto it. Let the extremely unpopular Bush go on TV and explain that he needs to extend this extremely unpopular war for another 2, 4, 6, 8 months. Let him. Every time the president opens his mouth, another Republican loses his seat in Congress.
Pretty much that’s how it works. The polls say so. Bush is at a place now where he actually goes down in popularity every time he makes a media push.
So let him blab about how Democrats want to bring the troops home but he wants them to stay. Let Bush talk Iraq, Iraq, Iraq all the way through to next fall.
I dare you.
You can thank me in November.
Labels: 2008 election, Carl Levin, Democrats, George W. Bush, Harry Reid, Iraq