Now today comes word fom Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, that two other Senate Republicans have told him they’ll break with the White House Iraq strategy.
But here’s the hook — they won’t do so until after the November elections.
“Two leading Republican Senators have come to me,” Biden recalled, and said that after the election “the need to protect the president will be nonexistent” and Republicans will be freer to break with the White House and call for change in Iraq.
Unlike Atrios I don’t have much a problem with the political calculus here. Admitting that Howard Dean and the rest of the crazy defeatocrats were one hundred percent right is a stupid thing to do just before an election. The headlines would pretty much cut the Republican campaign narrative off at the knees, which sucks when you consider that they have literally nothing else to run on.
“Fighting terror” means what? Warrantless wiretapping? Torture? For years Republicans have argued that the central front in the terror war is Iraq. Following GOP logic capitulating to the Democrats on Iraq basically means capitulating on terror. So yeah, the pressure on influential defectors to keep their yap shut must be enormous. No problem as far as I’ve concerned.
However, thirty-five coalition soldiers have died since the first day of October. I would probably take it badly if I knew that a sister, father, son or cousin died while influential politicians held their tongue for partisan reasons.
In case my meaning was not clear, I will put a finer point on it.