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No More Political Calculus on Iraq, Thank You Very Much

I wholeheartedly agree with Joan Walsh, I love Mike Tomasky and am very happy he is doing great work at the Guardian but I don't buy this:

If the celebrated surge hasn't shown results by September, public opinion will harden even more; people will start demanding timelines and Bush will be in a corner.

Or, more likely, public opinion will harden against the party in the majority  who will do nothing meaningful to stop the war. Bush is already in a corner.  If people like Steny Hoyer are doing back room deals with Republicans and undermining the ability of party leadership to do anything concrete, let's hear about it. 

This whole deal smells like cowardice and I'm sure that Dick Cheney Democrat Rahm Emanuel — the man who quite nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with his "don't mention the war" leadership of the DCCC — considers this a triumph but we have not been living under GOP hegemony so long that everyone's bullshit detectors have gone on the fritz.  Rahm may be foolish enough to think that toothless benchmarks for the Iraqi government that Bush is free to ignore constitutes a righteous shitkicking but the rest of us know that even the best face they can put on this particular cave smacks of political opportunism.  Have the Democrats so rigorously internalized the notion that the extremely unpopular GOP is better at PR and will be able to capitalize on it when the Democrats do exactly what the country elected them to do that they are struck with paralysis? 

Surely they must realize that this plays into the hand of every stereotype the GOP uses to disempower and castigate the Democrats.  That they prove themselves to be moral relativists and craven political opportunists who really don't care about the troops, because if they did they'd defund the war.  That's the argument the GOP is making and it sounds damned persuasive to me.  Think of how it must play to those who are preconditioned by a steady diet of Rush Limbaugh and wingnut talk radio.

The main reason to battle with Bush to stop this war is because it's the right thing to do.  But even if you're arguing the optics of PR, the only ones who stand to grow more unpopular as a result of this vote are the Democrats.  And I just do not see how that is a good thing.  Do they think anyone is fooled by this bullshit?

The rule for the supplemental would also require lawmakers to debate legislation sponsored by Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.) rescinding congressional authorization for the war.

Tauscher is a Blue Dog offering up a bucket of lukewarm spit in order to give people "see you in September" cover for voting for this bill.   One would have to have a serious case of Capitol Hill dementia to think anyone would take her or anything she does as a serious attempt at anything but careerism and ass-covering spin.

I think Keith Olbermann in the blistering, must-see clip above represents how most folks will be feeling When Septermber Comes.  No more or less disgusted with either Bush or his ego driven war, but pretty fed up with those sitting there staring at their political calculators trying to figure out how to make themselves look good while more bullets fly and the body bags fill up.  

I'm sorry but when I hear people hear like Fred Yang making outrageously cynical arguments like this it just makes me want to throw up a bit:

"Obviously it's a good move," said Democratic pollster Fred Yang. "It gives President Bush and Republicans one less thing to shoot at" during the upcoming recess week.

Do people like this who think they're qualified to weigh in on the value of PR bother to listen to themselves?  Even if you're that completely craven, don't say it in public and please don't make that argument in the press.  How very stupid.

(Anyone having trouble viewing the YouTube above can also go to Crooks & Liars and find it in WMV and RealPlayer.  You definitely do not want to miss it.) 

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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