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Why the Democrats Can't Cut War Funding

Friday, May 11, 2007
It's more complicated than you think. I expect that the Democrats who voted against McGovern's phased withdrawal bill yesterday are going to come under a lot of fire from the left for being warmongers in bed with Bush. But I think it's important not just to note the political peril swing-district Reps are in, but how Karl Rove might like nothing better than for Democrats to end war funding.

The key requirement of good strategy (be it military, political, or otherwise) is to consider what happens next. Frequently we just think A, then B. But unless we consider C, D, E, and F, then we are risking a gigantic blunder. The Iraq War itself is the best example of this.

Let's say that the Democrats just refuse to pass any legislation funding the war (A). Then (B) the troops have no funding. What is C? We could assume that C = Bush withdrawing the troops. But what if he just leaves them there to be cut up in a hostile land without supplies or reinforcements? What then? Why, D = Bush says "Look, the Democrats voted against the troops, who are now being killed. I told you so!" E = the country turns against the Democrats.

Now many people might not believe that George Bush would deliberately endanger the lives of American soldiers for political advantage. To which I would respond - are you kidding? When has the worst expectation of the Bushies not turned out to be the right one? It's long past time that we realize that Republicans are not bound by any principle but vanity and ambition. There's precious little they won't do.

So get it through your heads - the Democrats can't end the war. Only the Republicans in Congress can, or come November 2008, the voters.
Posted by Arbitrista @ 7:00 AM
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