Friday, January 26, 2007

Non-binding nonsense

The Senate is considering a non-binding resolution against the President's surge. Why non-binding? I can think of a couple of reasons. If they made it binding it could signal the end of the war with us the losing party. This would stamp the Democrats' name on the loss. President Bush could claim with some validity that he was prepared to continue the war and that his new strategy may have worked. All of this would make the Democrats happy in the short-run but it would be a great campaign issue for Republicans in 2008.

There is also the likely chance that the resolution would fail if it was binding. Assuming that Lieberman votes against it, it will take every Democrat plus at least one Republican to pass it. All it takes is one defector who is afraid of the consequences and it fails. The Democrats look powerless.

On the other hand, by passing a non-binding resolution, the Democrats are in much better shape. If the surge works they can say that they left the final determination to the President. If it fails, they are on record as having been against it. The best thing for them would be if Bush took them seriously and cancelled the surge. This would not only signal the end of the war, it would cast the Bush administration as a failed presidency.

So why are some Republicans talking about supporting the resolution? Apparently they think that they can take cover from the war. This may help them individually but it will hurt Republicans in general in the next election.

Here's an on-line petition to send a message to these Republicans. Here is a column explaining the point of the petition.

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