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Hullabaloo


Saturday, July 21, 2007

 
Big Babies


Golly, I wonder what the village elders were talking about over martinis last week?

David Brooks:

As Mark says, there's been this year-long momentum, but it has stopped or at least stalled for the time being. And I personally think the Senate will do nothing to change Iraq policy at least for another three or four months.

And that's for a couple of reasons. One, a lot of Republicans who detest where the White House is are furious at Harry Reid. And a colleague of mine wrote a good piece today saying that partisan feeling, rancor in the Senate was already phenomenally high, but now it's extra-phenomenally high. And over this issue, a lot of Republicans would like to peel off from the president, but they feel that Harry Reid is making it impossible. He's taking this as an issue, forcing them to vote with the president for political reasons. So that's stalled it on partisan grounds.


Fred Hiatt:

The decision of Democrats led by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) to deny rather than nourish a bipartisan agreement is, of course, irresponsible. But so was Mr. Reid's answer when he was asked by the Los Angeles Times how the United States should manage the explosion of violence that the U.S. intelligence community agrees would follow a rapid pullout. "That's a hypothetical. I'm not going to get into it," the paper quoted the Democratic leader as saying.

For now Mr. Reid's cynical politicking and willful blindness to the stakes in Iraq don't matter so much. The result of his maneuvering was to postpone congressional debate until September, when Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, will report on results of the surge -- in other words, just the outcome the White House was hoping for.


Oh boo-fucking-hoo. When the Democrats dare to actually do something to clean up the Baby Party's mess, like the indulgent country club parents they are in real life, the Elders blame the responsible adults for drawing the line instead of their out of control kids.

Meanwhile, in the real world:

Senate Republicans are growing increasingly nervous defending the war in Iraq, and Democrats more confident in their attempts to end it.

More than a year before the 2008 elections, it is a political role reversal that bodes ill for President Bush's war strategy, not to mention his recent statement that Congress' role should merely be "funding the troops."

Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, made that clear Friday when he dismissed any suggestion that it could be November before a verdict is possible on the effects of the administration's current troop increase.

"September is the month we're looking at," he said unequivocally.

[...]

If Republicans struggling to regroup — with or without the president they have followed through four years of war — Democrats are on the march.

"Time and the American people are ... on our side," Sen. Harry Reid, the majority leader, said last week. The Nevada Democrat spoke in defeat, after Republicans — whatever their private misgivings — blocked a final vote on a troop withdrawal deadline.

Only four of 49 Republican senators defected in last week's showdown. The group did not include Sens. John Warner of Virginia, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Pete Domenici of New Mexico and other senior lawmakers who are seeking a change in course.

Many of the most nervous Republicans are seeking re-election in 2008, and it was a measure of the Democrats' political confidence that Reid abruptly halted debate on the war once the troop withdrawal measure was scuttled.

Several officials said he did not want any of several Republican or bipartisan alternatives to come to a vote. His objective was to deny a political escape hatch to any GOP senator who would not support the Democratic withdrawal measure.



The playboy hoodlums hate it when the grown-ups make them straighten out, and their decadent parents always try to step in and pull strings to stop them. But as with so many other Republican establishment misreadings of the public mood, they have made the wrong call.



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