Tag Archives: Surrender Monkeys

Iraq and the 2008 Elections

Iraq and the overall war on terrorism will be a factor in the 2008 elections. The questions are, to what degree will the war be a factor and how will conditions on the ground influence voters thoughts and votes?

It is something of which the candidates are most assuredly aware.

Some Democrats say frustrated voters have given up on altering President Bush’s handling of the war, and will make Republicans pay in 2008. Others say Democratic candidates are stubbornly and dangerously out of step with an improving situation, and their most promising campaign issue may prove far less potent by next November.

Of course the importance and influence varies from voter to voter. Much of this will play out in the primaries where the voters are likely to be much more politically active.

Iraq is going to be a real problem for the Democrats.

While the Iraq situation is somewhat fluid, the top Democratic presidential contenders are locked in their Iraq-is-a-disaster message because anti-war voters play such a huge role in the party’s primaries, several politicians said. It’s possible the message will sound a bit off-key by mid-2008.

“The Democratic Party has become emotionally invested in a narrative of defeat and retreat in Iraq — reluctant to acknowledge the progress our troops are now achieving,” said Sen. Joe Lieberman, a hawkish independent from Connecticut who was the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee in 2000. “If Democrats don’t take off their ideological and partisan blinders,” he said, “they risk compromising our national security and losing next year’s election.”

Of course Joe Lieberman is an exception. Quite a few others on the left disagree with his assessment.

“The American people are more negative about Iraq than ever before and want a change,” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., one of his party’s top strategists. “They’ve concluded what they’ve concluded about Iraq. They’re done.”

Moreover, he said, voters will take out their anger on Republicans next year because the great majority of GOP lawmakers and presidential candidates have supported the administration’s main war policies.

“George Bush is on the ballot in 2008,” Emanuel said.

That attitude, that they are running against George Bush in 2008, is silly and wrong. Not that I don’t understand what they’re trying to do, tie the candidates to the President. That has been a common tactic since the beginning of electoral politics. This is just different. The left have such a blue-white hate for George Bush that they are not just trying to pose an identity with the current administration and it’s policies, they are going over the top and attempting to hypothetically and retroactively defeat George Bush for 2000 and 2004.

But to get back to the issue of Iraq as it relates to the 2008 elections, the left have invested heavily in defeat. The deny it, but their actions speak quite loudly. As do some of their words. The most striking example, if perhaps the most honest, was S.C. Rep James Clyburn who said,

I think there would be enough support in that group to want to stay the course and if the Republicans were to stay united as they have been, then it would be a problem for us.

And it is a real problem for them. How do they appeal to their base, especially the MooreOnCodeKos cut and run portion of their base, which is by far the most vocal and influential at this point of the primary season.

Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard points to a NYT article that is, “acknowledging that Democrats are having to tapdance with all their might to try to avoid the trap they set for themselves on Iraq. They bet heavily on an American defeat and now have to face the fact that the situation in Iraq is improving despite their efforts and pronouncements.” Part of what he quotes,

While the Democratic candidates are continuing to assail the war — a popular position with many of the party’s primary voters — they run the risk that Republicans will use those critiques to attack the party’s nominee in the election as defeatist and lacking faith in the American military.

If security continues to improve, President Bush could become less of a drag on his party, too, and Republicans may have an easier time zeroing in on other issues, such as how the Democrats have proposed raising taxes in difficult economic times.

Gaius sized up the problem very well.

The Democrats bet the farm on defeat. If it does not happen – or if the Democrat’s Congressional tactics end up causing a funding crisis just when things are going well, they just might get one big surprise next year. Riding a tiger is fairly straightforward in theory. The big problem with riding a tiger happens when you try to get off.

And it is the reliance on defeat for their political fortunes that has the left looking for a way to spin the position they have staked out.

Ed Morrisey has this analysis:

For the past year, the Democrats have portrayed the American effort in Iraq as a failure. Their leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, publicly announced that we had lost and that we should immediately retreat. Their leading candidate for President, Hillary Clinton, all but called the commander of American forces in Iraq a liar when he reported on the progress that even the Times now acknowledges as real and obvious.

Democrats have a problem larger than just the message. The substance of their policy remains defeatist. They claim that they want a new strategy in Iraq, all but oblivious that the new strategy adopted in January has proven very successful. Their strategy — smaller forces, disengaged from a reeling enemy — would actually return us to the failing strategy of 2006. It would provide al-Qaeda in Iraq and the militias a respite just when they have been pushed to the last extremity.

The spin they are trying to engage in is to say that even if the conditions are improving that enough hasn’t been done politically.

Democratic officials are quick to note that the overall trend toward less violence has not resulted in the type of Iraqi political reconciliation that might lead to a stable government after most U.S. troops leave.

“The purpose of the surge was to create a secure environment in which the Iraqi government would have the opportunity to make the political change” needed to stabilize the country, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., recently told reporters. “They have not taken advantage of that opportunity.”

I’m not going make any prediction about what impact Iraq will have on the 2008 election. As Michael O’Hanlon notes in the AP story linked above, “people make predictions about the Iraq war’s impact on the next election at their peril.”

However, if the left continues to place all pf their eggs in the basket of defeat, I may have to take my chances.

Leftourette Lip Service

Sunday is Veteran’s Day, and as Don Surber points out, “Republican Congresswoman Thelma Drake of Virginia reminded the majority of its inability to fulfill even the basic constitutional requirements of Congress: Pass a budget.”

The Democrat controlled Congress is trying it’s hardest to insure failure. Granted, a few are unhappy with the latest strategy.

Rank-and-file Democrats expressed heartburn on Friday over their party’s latest anti-war strategy, with some members reluctant to coincide a vote to bring troops home with Veterans Day.

The House was on track to consider next week legislation that would give President Bush $50 billion for operations Iraq and Afghanistan but insist that he begin withdrawing troops.

The measure identifies a goal of ending combat by December 2008, leaving only enough soldiers and Marines behind to fight terrorists, train Iraqi security forces and protect U.S. assets.

The very thought of victory, or any measure of success, acts like garlic to these BDS ravaged vampires.

The troops, the ones who they go to any length to claim they support, are the ones who will suffer.

But they don’t care about them. They are too busy Goldilocksing™ the bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed off plans for a Friday vote after caucus members told her late Thursday they weren’t sure they would support it. Liberal Democrats said the proposal was too soft, while conservative members told Pelosi they thought it went too far.

None of them found it “just right.”

Senator McConnell gets it right:

Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Democrats face “unfortunate timing” because of the military progress being made in Iraq.

“While our troops are quelling violence and defeating terrorists in Baghdad and throughout Iraq, Democrats in Washington are trying to choke off funds for our troops in the field,” he said.

I’m sure we will all be impressed with the Veterans Day lip service they will utter this weekend. Actually doing the right thing would be too much to ask.

Linked with the Open Post of the Day at Liberty Pundit.

A War We Might Just Win

The NYT opinion piece, A War We Just Might Win, by Michael E. O’Hanolon and Kenneth M. Pollack is sure to be the subject of much discussion today. At least on the conservative side of the blogosphere.

Viewed from Iraq, where we just spent eight days meeting with American and Iraqi military and civilian personnel, the political debate in Washington is surreal. The Bush administration has over four years lost essentially all credibility. Yet now the administration’s critics, in part as a result, seem unaware of the significant changes taking place.

Here is the most important thing Americans need to understand: We are finally getting somewhere in Iraq, at least in military terms. As two analysts who have harshly criticized the Bush administration’s miserable handling of Iraq, we were surprised by the gains we saw and the potential to produce not necessarily “victory” but a sustainable stability that both we and the Iraqis could live with.

The conclusion of the article is not going to sit well with the left.

How much longer should American troops keep fighting and dying to build a new Iraq while Iraqi leaders fail to do their part? And how much longer can we wear down our forces in this mission? These haunting questions underscore the reality that the surge cannot go on forever. But there is enough good happening on the battlefields of Iraq today that Congress should plan on sustaining the effort at least into 2008.

Ken McCracken at Willisms points to this article and another one by O’Hanolon and Pollack’s Brookings Institute compatriot Peter W. Rodman and has this observation.

Rodman first tells us that because things have vastly improved in Iraq, it makes it much harder for the anti-war types to end the war in a way that does not make the Democrats own the inevitable defeat that follows:

The huge strategic stakes in the Middle East argue for resisting calls for any U.S. withdrawal not warranted by conditions in Iraq. The irony is that whoever is elected president next year — from whichever party — will come to understand this better than anyone.

No, the left and the Surrender Monkey base is not going to like this at all. Talk Left puts it this way, “I have a new litmus test for the Dem Presidential candidates – they must promise not to have Michael O’Hanlon and Ken Pollock in their administration.”

Now let’s wait for the response from Congress.

UPDATE: As I predicted, there is a torrent of discussion on this article. I will try to add some of the comentary later, but for now here is the Memeorandum link.

Momma Moonbat Campaign Countdown

Momma Moonbat Campaign Countdown - 12

The fun begins on July 23rd.

Sheehan, a Californian, officially announced that she intends to run as an independent against Pelosi in 2008 if the San Francisco congresswoman doesn’t move to impeach Bush by July 23, the day she expects to reach Washington.

John Hawkins has campaign videos.

Disclaimer: John Hawkins consults for Duncan Hunter, I consult for Blogs4Bauer, Cindy Sheehan consults the voices in her head.

Clueless Hack vs. Momma Moonbat?

You won’t be able to call it a fight because, well, they’re against such things.

Six weeks after announcing her departure from the peace movement, Cindy Sheehan said Sunday that she plans to run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unless she introduces articles of impeachment against President Bush in the next two weeks.

Sheehan said she will run against the San Francisco Democrat in 2008 as an independent if Pelosi does not seek by July 23 to impeach Bush. That’s when Sheehan and her supporters are to arrive in Washington, D.C., after a 13-day caravan and walking tour starting next week from the group’s war protest site near Bush’s Crawford ranch.

I found this interesting:

Democrats and Americans feel betrayed by the Democratic leadership,” Sheehan told The Associated Press. “We hired them to bring an end to the war. I’m not too far from San Francisco, so it wouldn’t be too big of a move for me. I would give her a run for her money.”

Freudian slip, or does she realize that the two are not the same these days?

I knew Momma Moonbat’s retirement was too good to be true.

Others:
GOP Bloggers
Sister Toldjah
Blue Crab Boulevard

UPDATE: The article has been expanded, and it gets even better:

Sheehan, who will turn 50 on Tuesday, said Bush should be impeached because she believes he misled the public about the reasons for going to war (approved by congress), violated the Geneva Convention by torturing detainees (didn’t happen), and crossed the line by commuting the prison sentence of former vice presidential aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby (fully within his constitutional powers). She said other grounds for impeachment are the domestic spying program (which doesn’t exist) and the “inadequate and tragic” response to Hurricane Katrina (which isn’t the responsibility of the president or the federal government).

Everything You Need To Know About Moveron.org

Is found in part of a letter, quoted in this AP story.

MoveOn.org, in particular, has played a key behind-the-scenes role in the months since Congress convened under Democratic majorities. The group, which played a highly visible role in last year’s election campaign, acquiesced in an early Democratic strategy of seeking approval for nonbinding measures to pressure Bush to change his plans.

In recent weeks, that has changed. Fearing that Democrats ultimately will surrender and give Bush the money he wants, the organization sent Reid and Pelosi a letter saying that if Democrats “appear to capitulate to Bush on Iraq, MoveOn will move to a position of opposition.

My emphasis.

Let’s be honest here. MoverOn has always been in a position of opposition. At every turn they attempt to paint their opposition as true patriotism, but they wield their opposition like a club and only accept their version of “how things should be.” To quote Sigmund Freud, “Opposition is not necessarily enmity; it is merely misused and made an occasion for enmity.”

First Cup 05.03.07

First CupCoffee is a beverage that puts one to sleep when not drank. ~ Alphonse Allais

Captain’s Quarters (Ed Morrissey) Groping For Agreement

Reid and Pelosi enabled Bush to look tough, presidential, and relevant — and now they have belatedly discovered that since they don’t have the testicular fortitude to yank the funding altogether, they have to find some way to accommodate the White House.

Welcome to the big leagues, Harry and Nancy. This time, try to keep up.

In The Bullpen (Chad Evans) Al Qaida in Iraq Propagandist Killed

According to the Washington Post, during Operation Rat Trap (could there be a more appropriate name for such an operation?) Muharib Abdul Latif, a senior Al Qaida in Iraq leader responsible for “crafting propaganda efforts and coordinating the flow of money and foreign fighters,” was killed.

See who’s on the air today at Heading Right.

First Cup 05.02.07

First CupActually, this seems to be the basic need of the human heart in nearly every great crisis – a good hot cup of coffee. ~ Alexander King

Captain’s Quarters (Ed Morrissey) Now What?

We cannot withdraw from Iraq — again — only to be forced to return later to finish what we started in 1991. We cannot allow al-Qaeda and its affiliates to create a base of operations in Iraq the way they did in Afghanistan, unless we want a repeat of 9/11. Bush has to remain strong on those principles while finding ways to pressure the Iraqi government for reform in the manner Democrats want. That should be the basis of any compromise on the issue.

The Wide Awake Cafe (Laura Lee Donoho) Pelosi and Reid are Making France Look Good

Pelosi and Reid’s surrender bill, which tied military funding to a timetable for withdrawal was nothing but a blatant attempt to try to stop the surge to victory but thankfully, President Bush vetoed their shameful surrender bill yesterday.

Iowa Voice (Brian) Bush Vetoes Surrender Bill

Mr. Reid, I think the President has laid out exactly how this war is going to end, that when the Iraqis are ready to take control, we’re going to hand it over to them and exit.

Democrats like you, on the other hand, continuously say “new direction, new direction, new direction”, yet you never have once said what that “new direction” is…except to surrender and come home and hide under your beds.

Expected and Overdue

To expand a bit on my previous post:

Veto StampHardly unexpected, and long overdue, the President vetoed the Cut and Run funding bill.

In only the second veto of his presidency, Bush rejected legislation pushed by Democratic leaders that would require the first U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn by Oct. 1 with a goal of a complete pullout six months later.

“This is a prescription for chaos and confusion and we must not impose it on our troops,” Bush said in a nationally broadcast statement from the White House. He said the bill would “mandate a rigid and artificial deadline” for troop pullouts, and “it makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing.”

There is an interesting story about the pen used to veto the bill.

Bush signed the veto with a pen given to him by Robert Derga, the father of Marine Corps Reserve Cpl. Dustin Derga, who was killed in Iraq on May 8, 2005. The elder Derga spoke with Bush two weeks ago at a meeting the president had with military families at the White House.

Derga asked Bush to promise to use the pen in his veto. On Tuesday, Derga contacted the White House to remind Bush to use the pen, and so he did. The 24-year-old Dustin Derga served with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion 25th Marines from Columbus, Ohio. The five-year Marine reservist and fire team leader was killed by an armor-piercing round in Anbar Province.

One key reason for the rejection is beyond obvious, and it confounds me that others refuse to see it. From the President’s remarks:

It makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing. All the terrorists would have to do is mark their calendars and gather their strength — and begin plotting how to overthrow the government and take control of the country of Iraq. I believe setting a deadline for withdrawal would demoralize the Iraqi people, would encourage killers across the broader Middle East, and send a signal that America will not keep its commitments. Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure — and that would be irresponsible.

Well, yeah.

I’m glad that the President used his veto power on this pork laden surrender document. I do wish he had remembered this power of the presidency much sooner, say around the time of the BCRAp bill.

Ok Surrender Monkeys, you’ve had your day of political theatre. Now do what’s right.

Cross posted at Heading Right