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the blog

Friday Mar 9, 2007

Almost There

Regarding Iraq, There are four things Dems need to convey to the public:

1. They have a plan to stabilize Iraq by disengaging militarily, and re-engaging diplomatically and economically.

2. They are doing all they can to implement that plan.

3. If the plan is blocked, it's because Dubya and his Republican backers never want to leave.

4. A new Oval Office occupant is needed to change course.

Yesterday's House and Senate announcements are a major step forward in accomplishing that strategy.

The two plans are not identical, but they're close.

The House Dem plan is more flexible when the redeployment of troops would begin, but would ensure combat troops would be gone by the end of August '08.

The Senate Dem plan would begin redeployment within four months of the bill's passage, but sets a less firm "goal" of March '08 to finish.

If they both pass, it seems plausible that a middle point would be found, even though the difference between a goal and a guarantee is not insignificant.

But those discrepancies are a little down in the weeds -- not played up by the media, not going to be well known by the public.

The public is seeing Dems unifying around an exit strategy, and GOPers not wanting to exit.

And that's what is most important.

Because these bills are never becoming law.

Bush will veto, or the Senate GOP minority will filibuster. (Or Bush could sign it into law, then ignore the law.)

Yet either way, Dems have the ability to show they did what they constitutionally could to end the war, but Bush is keeping it going and therefore, is the sole problem.

The tricky part now is to defend their exit strategy with more than just sound bites and poll numbers, because poll numbers can be moved.

It's not enough just to say "Get Out." You have to say what comes next, because you will be asked.

Dems have answered such questions. The elements are all there, though the message coordination isn't always.

Because the pushback against the new bills will be so fierce, maximum coordination is necessary.

It's not enough to unify on the bill. You have to unify on the argument.

And unify in a manner that helps voters understand what the Dem foreign policy vision is, increasing the comfort level in their ability to manage world affairs.

While Republican hysteria continues to diminish the public's comfort level in them.

If Dems could accomplish that, they will firmly reclaim the national security advantage for the first time in decades, making whoever the prez nominee is practically unstoppable.

Which will allow us to end the war in the soonest timeframe possible.

UPDATE: The Democratic Strategist assesses the above post and concludes:

As the big tent party, Dems will never [be] completely unified on specifics of disengagement/withdrawal from Iraq. But there should be enough common ground developing in the months ahead to create a message that meets this challenge.
Posted by Bill Scher on Mar 9, 2007 email post email Spotlight / / You are in Iraq
Posts Near Mar 9, 2007
Mar 6, 2007A Blogosphere Victory

Mar 12, 2007Sunday Talkshow Breakdown