Monday, February 26, 2007

Bipartisan -- not!

Stuart Rothenberg cites some interesting stats about Dem claims about the "bipartisan" nature of anti-surge resolution vote.
In fact, support for the Iraq resolution was bipartisan only in the technical sense that the vote on the resolution was not completely along party lines. But it was awfully close to that, and referring to the final vote as bipartisan has more to do with Democratic strategy and nervousness than reality.

Only 17 Republicans - or 8.4% of GOP House members - joined 225 Democrats in voting for the resolution, while over 90% of Republicans opposed passage of the resolution. Republicans constituted just 7% of the 242 House members who supported the resolution. Only two House Democrats voted with 185 Republicans against the resolution.

Democrats had enough votes to pass the resolution without any GOP support, and given national polls showing widespread dissatisfaction with the Bush policy, just 17 Republican votes for the resolution is stunningly small, and little or no indication of a bipartisan consensus.

Clearly, the vote on the resolution was very much partisan, though with a handful of defections. We can argue over what would constitute a truly bipartisan vote, but 92% of Republicans voting against something and 99% of Democrats voting for it surely doesn't come close to passing the threshold.
Atriois' advice is that the Dems should take this and run with it -- just call it as it is.
Republicans want to continue the war and Democrats want to end it. It's that simple.

Any other debate is about what the best method to get George Bush to end the war is. I think even now too many Democrats are a bit stupid about the political reality - people hate George Bush and people hate the war - and are scared they're going to be painted as traitors by the wingnut noise machine. But that's about politics and strategy, not the desired result. Democrats want to end the war, Republicans want to continue it. If some Republicans want to defect and join with the Democrats to end the war, good for them, but that doesn't change the fact that Democrats want to end the war and Republicans want to continue it.

Make it partisan. The Republicans are. Let them have their war.

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