Carol Platt Liebau: GOP, War and Election

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

GOP, War and Election

This blog has speculated before on what might happen if there were a turnaround in Iraq, given that the Democrats have put all their political eggs in the basket of defeat.

As Tony Blankley points out, there could well be a substantial political shift in favor of the GOP, if it turns out that the progress in Iraq continues. And if that happens, voters may well see the Democrats as the party who tried to push the country toward a dangerous and unnecessary defeat, thereby reviving for a new generation the image of weakness that has quite rightly haunted Dems since Vietnam.

What's really noteworthy is the presence of another factor in Dems' political calculations. It's this: As also noted before on this blog, Dems have gone to lots of trouble to stoke the fevers of discontent among the netroots and elsewhere, thereby giving rise to what's essentially an angry mob likely to turn on any presidential candidate from the Dems who tries to form a "nuanced" (read: more hawkish) policy on Iraq to fit both the mood of the public and the facts, so long as the success of the surge continues.


Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

You're quite right: if there is a turnaround and we achieve a clear victory within the next twelve months, then the Democrats will have a harder time in the elections. As I recall, you jumped all over a Democratic leader for making exactly the same observation you're making now.

But the real question is, how confident are we of achieving victory in Iraq? Your suggestion that the situation in Iraq is improving seems wishful thinking to me. The information I have been reading from many different sources suggests that the surge has produce localized successes, but the overall result has been no net improvement. And of course, the surge has had no effect whatever on the deteriorating political situation in Iraq.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Earth to Carol said...

Perhaps one million killed. About four million refugees and one third of the population in need of urgent emergency care.

Can anything be more disgusting than GOP pundits trying to call this a success and paint a happy face over the horror?

11:53 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

The immediate tasks at hand for the Democrats are:

1. Do everything possible to ensure "victory" does not occur, namely surrender now!

2. Make sure that nothing remotely associated with a term like "victory" occurs in the next 12 months.

3. Make sure that no matter what happens in Iraq it is not labelled a "clear victory".

1:56 PM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Greg, you may hate the Democratic Party, but you surely don't think that they're dumb enough to do what you recommend -- that would throw away the victory in 2008 that's theirs to lose. The ideal strategy for the Democratic Party is to make lots of noise about the war, make lots of token efforts to end it, but allow themselves to be foiled at every turn by "intransigent Republicans". Just allow things to get worse and worse, so that by November 2008 the situation is so bad, so ghastly, that the Democrats can say to the electorate, "We sure tried to bring the boys home but those bad Republicans insisted on war!"

The ironic thing is that what you think is best for the country (don't do anything to reduce the war effort) is also what is best for the Democratic Party.

November 2008 is payback time.

2:28 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I don't think your prescription for the "ideal Democratic Strategy" paints any better picture of the Democratic Party than my guess as to what their strategy will be does.

I'm saying they will actively attempt to thwart success in Iraq. You're saying they should pretend to take action while truly hoping their efforts are unsuccessful AND while hoping our military is defeated in Iraq - all so they can gain political advantage at home in November!

That's your idea of an ideal political strategy?!?!?

Senator Schumer's recent comments tend to fall in line with the strategy I said the Democrats would follow. But I must admit, your position that the Democrats should "make a lot of noise" while actually accomplishing nothing does have some historical precedent.

5:42 AM  
Blogger Chepe Noyon said...

Yes, the scheme I describe would be the best political strategy for the Democrats -- it would win them the most votes in 2008. It's not what would be best for the country. But a democracy is only as rational as its voters, and if the voters are susceptible to irrational forces, then the politicians must take that into account. The ideal solution is to educate the voters so that they understand the forces at work and make rational decisions. As the man said, you gotta work with the voters you've got, not the voters you want.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Good point.

11:08 AM  

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