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August 26, 2005


That was a bit of a premature birth.

I wanted to add that I tend to agree with what Garance Franke-Ruta said yesterday at TAPPED--that Bush will paint the Dems as calling for immediate withdrawal and as appeasers right up to the moment he announces the withdrawal. I do not think he will stay in Iraq until the end of his presidency; I do not think that will be possible. But the Dems can, on the one hand, appear to take him at his word, in which case the planning and budgeting should reflect this, while still calling for renouncing permanent bases and clearly setting the conditions for withdrawal.

I'd be interested to see how the conference scenario plays out. My thinking is that if Senate Democrats treat this as business as usual, there's a real danger of losing big, and losing fast, as Republicans are swept up in reflexive pro-leadership voting.

But in the face of tough procedural opposition, the Senate GOP Leadership may not have any stops to pull out. Frist doesn't have any credibility left there. GOP Senators have no reason to yield to his demands. Any arm-twisting will have to come more or less directly from the White House, as Frist has lost his mojo.

Under this conference scenario, Senate Dems will have a responsibility to draw out Republicans reluctant to go along with a motion to recommit the bill to conference, and instructions to conferees to insist on the Senate position, both of which may end up losing, but at least the issue can be highlighted.

It's also worth noting that in any other Senate, i.e., one with a real and independent Majority Leader who wields actual power and commands actual respect, it would be possible to cow reluctant Republican Committee Members who oppose privatization to change their votes.

But Bill Frist is not that leader. Anyone he attempts to bring under his thumb now can simply respond, "Gee, Bill. Why don't I just wait you out and see if you change your mind about your threats, like you did with stem cells?"

It's important to keep the discussion of the "tax card" happening....we don't want to get caught off-guard. They need to run on something next fall.

just wanted to say, great post Mimikatz. It's good to see you front-paging occasionally. your comments & posts always wrap up all thoughts so neatly in the end that I (and I suspect others) am often at a loss for comments (as I am in this case) but don't take lack of follow-ups as anything less than a badge of how well you articulated everything. Really good stuff.

I'll repeat something I do too often.

Ever tell your favorite true conservative how much they have spent on bombing Iraqi children? In my experience, it is the quickest way to turn fiscal conservatives into democrats.

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