Winter of Discontent

National Journal‘s Chuck Todd on the Republicans’ problems:

A number of Republicans are quietly shaking their heads at the White House’s inability to make any domestic political progress on Iraq. Forget policy for a minute; the political ramifications of the president’s decision to ignore the Iraq Study Group may be viewed as the single biggest political mistake of the ’08 cycle.

The biggest complaint I hear from Republicans who may find themselves in competitive ’08 races is that Democrats don’t own a piece of the Iraq problem. And that was the beauty (politically speaking) of the ISG. There were a few things that didn’t thrill some Democrats, but they were generally willing to sign on to most of the bipartisan group’s findings. Had Bush bought in, the political pressure would have been on the Democrats to buy in. And the moment Iraq becomes an American problem rather than a Republican problem, the GOP would have a more level playing field.

With the White House wholly rejecting the “get the GOP out of Iraq” card, the president managed to do something many thought was nearly impossible: He strengthened the GOP’s ties to the war.

We’re going see some remarkable contortions from GOP candidates, particularly the presidential contenders, over the next 12 months. McCain, who for years has been cozying up to the Bushies and demanding a more aggressive line on Iraq, is now taking shots at Cheney. It’s a game of “hot potato.” Of course, Hillary Clinton has the same problem, even if her party has a little (but not a lot) more cover on this issue.

The Iraq War is vastly unpopular right now and is only going to be more so in 2008, by which time we’ll have been in Iraq for 5 years with about 4,000 U.S. dead and 30,000 wounded.  But will there be any seriously antiwar major-party candidates beyond Ron Paul and maybe Dennis Kucinich?

Advertisements

One thought on “Winter of Discontent

  1. John Lowell February 9, 2007 / 6:28 am

    If the American public sees through to the horror of the utterly stupifying choice they’re being given for 2008 the polls don’t reflect it. McCain and Clinton are either out front or so close to the lead in their respective nomination races that it will take an act of God to save us from such a possibility. With either of them avoidance of a full scale war with Iran – if it hasn’t already occurred by the time of their taking office – would seem inevitable. Watch out for flying glass.

    John Lowell

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s