I find it highly amusing that Senate Democrats, whilst incessantly deriding the surge as the same old failed strategy and urging a "change of course" in Iraq, can't seem to shake their own failed strategy in Congress. Instead of seeking compromise in the wake of General Petraeus', and Ambassador Crocker's, testimonies, the Politico reports that Senate Democrats will continue their failed strategy of pushing for, among other things that won't pass, a hard timetable for withdrawal. The Democrats' ability to compromise was always predicated on their ability to peel wavering Republicans to their side, and now that seems unlikely given that GOP leaders are committed to giving General Petraeus until March to continue the surge. It's no surprise, then, that the Democratic agenda is spearheaded by the ever-courageous Blind Harry, who sounds positively childish:
"We haven't found much movement with the Republicans. They seem to be sticking with the president," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday. "I think they've decided they definitely want this to be the Republican Senate's war, not just Bush's [war]. They're jealous. They don't want him to have it as only his war."Similarly shocking is Senator Carl Levin's (D-Mich.) attempt to portray the Democrats' stand as a matter of principle, as opposed to simply a matter of what MoveOn.org wants:
"We want to vote on something we believe in before we move on," said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "There could be people who vote for this who didn't before."Meanwhile, as the Democrats plan for more symbolic gestures to their anti-war base, that base is getting rather restless. The frustration has some anti-war activists, indeed has some Democrats, wondering aloud if the anti-war base should turn its sights on Democratic members of Congress who are not more aggressively challenging the GOP. Tom Matzzie, head of the anti-war coalition Americans Against Escalation in Iraq (AAEI), thought by now that the offensive his coalition was about to launch against Republicans at the start of the summer was
"going to smash their heads against their base and flush them down the toilet,” Matzzie said in April.Yet here we are almost six months later and progress continues to be made in Iraq and the Democrats have nothing to offer other than "more of the same."
Cross-posted from The Oxford Medievalist.