Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

June 27, 2007

Nobody Likes Bush's War, But Now What?

Republicans are abandoning Bush's beloved Iraq war. In droves:

In the latest CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday, 69 percent of those polled believe things are going badly in Iraq. Seventeen percent think the situation is improving. (View the latest poll results)

Thirty percent of Americans polled say they favor the war, the lowest level of support on record. Two-thirds are opposed.

Anti-war sentiment among Republican poll respondents has suddenly increased with 38 percent of Republicans now saying they oppose the war.
It's time Republicans started catching up with the rest of the sane world, although I wonder how many realize now that it's a war that should never have happened or whether they've jumped ship only because things are such a catastrofrak over there. Still it's a hopeful development.

Perhaps the continuing turn of the tide will convince Democrats not to be such wimps and the Republicans like Richard Lugar to actually do something rather than just posturing about it which, in answer to Bruce's question is all he's willing to do at this point:

Lugar's spokesman Andy Fisher said the senator wanted to express his concerns publicly before Bush reviews his Iraq strategy in September.

"They've known his position on this for quite a while," Fisher said of the White House.

However, Fisher said the speech does not mean Lugar would switch his vote on the war or embrace Democratic measures setting a deadline for troop withdrawals.
Matthew Yglesias, however, isn't holding his breath:

Democrats had a bill that passed congress that would have substantially rolled back the war. Bush vetoed it. The GOP helped Bush sustain that veto. When Republicans want to revisit that legislation and vote to override Bush's veto, then they'll be breaking with Bush on Iraq. Until then, both the ones talking a good game and the ones talking bad one are, in fact, backing the president.
Harry Reid on the other hand, raised the stakes:

Reid yesterday hailed Lugar's speech as a "potential turning point" in the debate, adding that he looks forward to Lugar putting "his words into action by delivering the responsible end to the war that the American people demand."
Unlike Taylor Marsh who thinks this statement is a sign of the Democrats' growing desperation, I think it's a calculated move to put pressure on Lugar et al to back their rhetoric with their votes.

The key here is to set the demarcation line between those who support the war and those who don't, and weld those who do with Bush and his increasingly unpopular war. This of course, would only work if Democrats finally put some teeth to the appropriations bill come September by setting a timeline for withdrawal.

Failure to do this would only blur the distinction between the parties in the electorate's minds and give the Republicans a leg to stand on in '08.

posted at 8:32 PM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
(Dare to Know)
-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace

Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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