December, 14th 2007

Nancy's "revelation"

– Liz Mair

This is just a bit amusing. From CQ (subscription required):

Pelosi, D-Calif., said she miscalculated on the biggest issue of the year: Iraq War policy.

After President Bush's party lost control of Congress in an election in which Iraq policy was a central issue, "The assumption I made was that the Republicans would soon see the light," Pelosi told reporters.


"That was a revelation to me because I felt the American people's voices were so strong and still are in this regard that I hoped that with some compromise and reaching out there might be some change in direction," Pelosi said.

Here's the thing, and I say this as someone distinctly not serving in the role of Big Iraq Cheerleader. The American people's voices were indeed strong last year-- just not in the "regard" Nancy and Harry Reid and co. assumed. Take a look at this piece from TIME. As it makes abundantly clear, voters last year were fed up with what looked like Republican corruption and bad ethics-- and that was the thing most on their minds when they went to cast their ballots. Democrats, including Pelosi, it seems just missed the message. Construing a vote to oust a party home to the likes of DeLay, Ney, Cunningham and others as a vote to end the Iraq War was a mistake. So no surprise then that Nancy has found unwillingness to "compromise" on the war (a joke in and of itself-- note that the Democratic majority seems rather unwilling to move this bill, which really is a compromise bill, unlike what Pelosi, Reid and Co have moved-- which looks more like liberal Democrats take all, while moderates and conservatives get nothing) a "revelation."

On the subject of which, quite seriously, why is this bill not moving? I wonder whether it might have something to do with the fact that four of the Republican co-sponsors are up for re-election next year, and three of those are in tight races, whereas just one Democratic co-sponsor is in the same position? If I were Mary Landrieu, I don't think I'd be especially happy about what looks distinctly like Harry Reid parking movement on this bill, to keep voting for immediate withdrawal and the like. Surely, a lot of voters are going to associate Landrieu with an "achieve-nothing" Democratic leadership, and a deeply partisan and uncompromising Democratic stance on the war, when by moving this bill (which I'd guess would come much, much closer to passing at the very least than anything else the Dems have proposed) might make her look like a smart, pragmatic, solutions-minded senator. Of course, that's probably of little interest to Reid and Co., who I'm guessing would rather have Sununu, Collins and Coleman (all in potentially difficult positions, heading into their 2008 re-election campaigns) look like war mongers-- something that's more easily achieved without pushing for a vote on this bill. Pity Mary Landrieu, then-- she seems to be the fall girl...


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