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Democrats: Save the Games for Recess

11:46 AM, Nov 14, 2007 • By SAMANTHA SAULT
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As I wrote yesterday, Speaker Pelosi and her fellow Democrats are having a tough time with Iraq (and most legislation).

On the one hand, their loud, left-wing supporters are calling for congressional action and a withdrawal date. The Politico reported yesterday that congressional Democrats have pushed 40 votes to limit Bush on Iraq, and the only one that passed was of course vetoed. They know they must do something about Iraq to mollify their lefty donors.

But on the other hand, it is hard for the Democrats to ignore the progress in Iraq. According to the Associated Press, it is "indisputable."

What's the leadership to do?

The Hill reports the Democrats' latest childishness today:

Senate Democrats might force Republicans to wage a filibuster if the GOP wants to block the latest Iraq withdrawal bill, aides and senators said Tuesday.

That could set the stage for a dramatic end-of-the-year partisan showdown, which Democrats hope will help them turn voter frustration with Congress and the stalemate over Iraq into anger with the Republican Party.

Pelosi's latest Iraq plan calls for a "goal" date to withdraw troops, but liberal members of congress (and, of course, their supporters) don't think this is enough:

Some of the members complained that setting a goal for complete withdrawal, instead of a "date certain," is too timid. Pelosi told them the endgame was the Senate, according to one meeting participant. A date certain would have a hard time winning a majority support in the Senate, while a goal could attract additional wayward Republicans, she reportedly said. Neither option, however, would attract the necessary 60 votes in the Senate, setting the stage for a filibuster...

On their latest Iraq plan, Democrats lack the 60 votes needed to cut off debate. Instead, they are considering making Republicans carry out a filibuster to highlight that it is the GOP preventing an unpopular president from changing course in Iraq...

It is obvious to the Republicans quoted by the Hill that this tactic won't work, and will, in fact, backfire on the Democrats. Why? Because the surge is working. The war isn't over, but progress is clear, and it seems even Pelosi knows we shouldn't change course at this time. So the Democrats have resorted to childish tactics to make themselves look better, when in reality they aren't doing anything to appease their base OR compromise with Republicans.

They played a similar game with S-chip. Rather than pass legislation that would help truly poor children, they attempted to pass a bill that would give health care even to middle-class children who were already covered by their parents' insurance. They paraded a "poor sick boy" as evidence for the necessity of this bill, but when Republicans and bloggers uncovered that this boy's family wasn't so poor after all (and didn't pass the bill), they were able to cry that Republicans are evil and hate children. And still: no S-chip passed.

AJ Strata agrees that the plan to force Republicans to filibuster will backfire: "Their efforts to push a GOP filibuster on funding our continued success in Iraq will provide a national stage for all the good news in Iraq be presented and explained to the American people." Many people still want withdrawal, but many are beginning to see the progress in Iraq.

And voters will realize that all the Democrats can provide are political games.