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GOP Hopes Reid's Iraq Views Will Pay Off in Key '08 Senate Races

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) loves to make mention of the fact that he is a former boxer who loves political combat.

Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana
Will Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's comments about Iraq wind up hurting Sen. Mary Landrieu, above, and other vulnerable Democrats up for reelection next year? (AP)

But of late he's thrown a few swings that Republican believe missed their marks -- badly.

Reid's comment last week that the war in Iraq was "lost" drew huge media attention. And now the National Republican Senatorial Committee is hoping to make several Democratic senators up for reelection in 2008 answer for their Leader's remarks.

In a new NRSC Web ad the committee takes Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana to task for her alleged silence on Reid's comments.

The ad begins with a quote from Reid in April in which he says Democrats will pick up Senate seats as a result of the Iraq war. Then an audio clip plays with Reid staying "this war is lost."

As Reid's words echo, the following text appears on the screen: "While our brave men and women fight for freedom, Mary Landrieu and her liberal leadership makes reckless moves for political gain."

A similar ad will be posted on YouTube targeting Sens. Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.) and Tom Harkin (Iowa).

It's no coincidence that President George W. Bush carried all three states in 2004 -- Louisiana by 15 points, West Virginia by nine and Iowa by one -- and that all three senators are up for reelection in 2008. (Of course, Republicans have yet to find a serious challenger in any of these states.)

The hubbub over Reid's remark on Iraq comes on the heels of his decision to sign on as a cosponsor of legislation that would set a firm date of March 31, 2008, to cut off funding for the war. It's a proposal that has proved very controversial and one that only Sen. Chris Dodd (Conn.) among the Democratic presidential contenders has endorsed.

Rodell Mollineau, a spokesman for Reid, dismissed the potential of Reid's remarks to complicate the reelection bids by some Democratic senators.

"Senator Reid said what he has been saying for months and what the majority of Americans and military experts already know -- that under the president's current policy, there is no chance for success," Mollineau said. "Senator Reid believes its time for both parties to put partisan politics aside and do what's best for the nation's security and our troops."

But the political reality is that Reid's continued aggressiveness on Iraq puts Landrieu and other Democrats representing red states in awkward positions. Believe what you will about the best way forward in Iraq, but the fact remains that most Republican voters oppose cutting off funding under almost any circumstances. To win in these Republican-leaning states in 2008, Democratic members of Congress need votes from some Republicans as well as GOP-leaning independents.

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 23, 2007; 2:16 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Posted by: k556k7h6yq | May 7, 2007 12:16 AM | Report abuse

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Posted by: Lorraine | April 26, 2007 8:47 PM | Report abuse

Capitulators never prosper!
Senator Harry Reid is to Marshall Pétain as the Democratic Party is to the Vichy Regime.

Posted by: Ynaem Newo | April 26, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Capitulators never prosper!
Senator Harry Reid is to Marshall Pétain as the Democratic Party is to the Vichy Regime.

Posted by: Ynaem Newo | April 26, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

The present occupation isn't working. The GOP will be grasping at straws if it believes one sentence by Reid will turn elections in 2008 to the GOP. The GOP had better offer something DIFFERENT or face an avalanch of rejection.

Posted by: st_denys | April 25, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Hi i'm drocher.
Good day

Posted by: Google Bot | April 25, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Hi i'm drocher.
Good day

Posted by: Google Bot | April 25, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Don't kill the messenger. What do the Generals say, how about Intelligence? Is this a war we are capable of winning? The cost of truth is the lives of the troops. Don't lie to the troops. Don't lie to the American people. I've read the intelligence reports. They say the war is lost.

Posted by: amom | April 25, 2007 3:33 AM | Report abuse

If the RNC chooses to take this off the air, Schumer should stump up the cash and keep it running. I can't think of a better way for the GOP to show that it's tied to war without end.

Oh, and off-topic: JD, 'well-regulated' meant different things in different states (compare NY and VA's constitutions, for starters). That's why it's there, as a fudge.

Posted by: Nick S | April 24, 2007 6:47 PM | Report abuse


"To suppose arms in the hands of citizens, to be used at individual discretion, except in private self-defense, or by partial orders of towns, countries or districts of a state, is to demolish every constitution, and lay the laws prostrate, so that liberty can be enjoyed by no man; it is a dissolution of the government. The fundamental law of the militia is, that it be created, directed and commanded by the laws, and ever for the support of the laws."
---John Adams, A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States 475 (1787-1788)

I'm not saying that gun ownership isn't a right, JD. I am saying that the government, in turn, has the responsibility to regulate who should be able to purchase or carry a firearm. The 2nd Amendment is perverted by pro-gun activists who claim that it is a blanket right. It is not, and never was.

Posted by: JamesCH | April 24, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

This is a great idea. Repubs can run clips of Reid. Dems can run clips of Cheney. Let's see which clips influence more voters.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | April 24, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

The republic party saying the Democrats are doing something for pure political gain is the pot calling the kettle black!

Posted by: Dan W | April 24, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

One more thing...Reid is RIGHT! The proof is the military's abandonment of training the Iraqi troops. All along we were told that we will stand down when the Iraqis stand up...well that will never happen now. If gave up training the Iraqi troops isn't that a failure and a loss?

Posted by: jill | April 24, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Chris...I'm sure you could find more than 3 Republican senators who are in dire straits b/c of their backing of Bush. Stop working for the RNC and do your job. The American people were fooled into originally backing this war and now they see the light.

Posted by: jill | April 24, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Hey Chris, how bout a little reporting on Sununu (NH), Collins (ME) and Coleman (MN)--3 bu$h cheerleaders now running for the hills

Posted by: jwminmo | April 24, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

So, according to this post, the democrats will be running in 08' against...President Bush? You libs think this is a winning strategy, to run against a man who isn't even running? What are you going to say, whoever is the Rep. nominee is a friend of Bush? If the dems. run against the war, that's one thing. You can blame Bush for the Iraq war, but you can't run against him on it. That's been done already. In 04' Kerry ran against Bush on the war and lost handily, and in 06' dems. ran against congress being "a rubber stamp for Bush's war policies" and that panned out and they won the majority handily. You can run against the war, but you will have to develop a strategy of your own and combat the strategy of the GOP nominee, presumably Romney, McCain or Guiliani.

As for Reid's comments, the GOP can use Reid's comments as a rallying cry to the base. Yes, some won't be able too: Sununu, Smith, Collins and Coleman. It looks like Collins has enough other things to campaign on and is popular enough in Ma. she's a winner anyway. Sununu looks to be the most vulnerable. Coleman and Smith, I think, will win out in the end but it will be tough. In La. and South Dakota Reid's comments will hurt the Johnson and Liendrieu. Will it not? Those are 2 good examples of Republican targets, and Reid's comments will hurt there.

Posted by: reason | April 24, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Reid is right, and seems the be the only one with enough kahunas to admit it publicy. The Iraq CIVIL WAR is lost and the terrorists have already won when we even begin to give up our civil liberties. The GOP is in serious denial and will get their arses kicked in 08.

Posted by: CR | April 24, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

JamesCH, I know that nobody is reading this blog anymore since it's old, but you should know that 'well regulated', back in the 1780s, didn't necessarily mean subject to a lot of laws. To the Founders, it meant 'under civilian control', ie not a vigilante mob or a military coup.

But since nobody's reading anymore, this shouldn't embarrass you and it can be our little secret.

Posted by: JD | April 24, 2007 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Republicans, Reid is kicking your collective keisters. If you think he's hurting the Democrats' chances in 2008, my advice is for you to wish in one hand and pee in the other and see which hand fills up first. You guys are toast in '08.

Posted by: mikeasr | April 24, 2007 12:01 AM | Report abuse


"Last Monday, I wrote letters to every candidate running for President, asking for their position on gun control and the Bill of Rights."

Bill of rights? Please don't tell me you're talking about the pro-gun stance on the 2nd Amendment. This is the worst kind of dishonesty when we talk about the Constitution.

The 2nd Amendment does not lend itself to a blanket right to keep and bear arms. It just doesn't.

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

THAT'S the 2nd Amendment. Don't ignore the first half. It says well-regulated. That means law. It is the responsibility of the government to regulate guns in this country. Gun control doesn't necessarily mean prohibition. Show me the well regulated militia these people were members of. Could they have acquired guns by different means? Probably. But let's stop handing guns to them.

Posted by: JamesCH | April 23, 2007 11:07 PM | Report abuse

Will the next President be less polarising, allowing politicians to actually achieve things, and state the obvious (like, the war is not going well - which at the moment you cannot say if you are a Republican)?

Posted by: JayPe | April 23, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I must say that every time I hear the "WAR" is going well, I only have to look at some of the comments here to see what the vast majority of the country feels. Get out of there yesterday.

Posted by: lylepink | April 23, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

The american people hate to lose... is a fact. However, the american people have never condoned, supported or enabled the idea that the ballgame should have extra innings just because their team was behind. Nor that the football game should have extra quarters because their team was not winning. This occupation is not a game but when this President states: 'Americans do not like to lose.' to rally the mass the Pres. ignores that the best of us americans also realise when a game has come to an end. Ignoring the obvious, demanding childish extra innings, quarters, one more try to sink the basketball is not american at all. It is simply an adult who cannot, will not face life. When someone is willing to sacrifice lives of others to play at life this way the adults need to step in and call it a day.
If Bush is going to insist on being a child he needs to go home to Crawford.

Posted by: domga | April 23, 2007 9:32 PM | Report abuse

The troops are not in Iraq to win the war, they're there so that Bush can continue to argue that the War isn't completely stuffed up. They'll stay there til the Dems have the guts to bring them home, cos the Repubs can't - it would mean they've admitted defeat.

This President is not known for admitting his mistakes, far better to deny them and blame the other side for all your mistakes...

Posted by: JayPe | April 23, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Max Boot chimes in from the neocon loving Weekly Standard.

He says: "a few high-profile insurgent atrocities" [in Iraq] have kept the public from understanding their policy.

Give me a break!

Can you imagine how the US would respond to a a few high-profile insurgent atrocities such as those in Iraq?

The lack of concern for our troops stuck in this civil war is criminal.

Posted by: kimoco | April 23, 2007 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Where does WaPo "discover" these "experts" and "political professors"? Hopefully, not in the rnc headquarters.....!!

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

"F*ck them, we gave them a chance for democracy and they p*ssed it away." - JD

The next time you talk about the sanctity of U. S. sovereignty, just remember how you respect Iraqi soevereignty.

It's their country dude! Their's to make better, their's to make worse. Not our's!

We only have "interests" there.

Unless you want to create an American Empire.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

I am a Republican, but I agress with Reid 100%. I think it's time to give the Democrats a chance. This President is one I am ashamed of.

Posted by: Dave | April 23, 2007 6:21 PM | Report abuse

The Rebumblekins want to so badly believe that the American public still listens to what they say. It's pathetic. People know the war is lost and that it's lost because we never had competent leadership in the White House and Congress to win it.

So you want a second, third, forth shot? Forget it. We're not that dumb. The Democrats get it. Maybe the Republicans will after 2008; if there are any left.

Posted by: garrettb | April 23, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Chris if you were a real reporter you would already have talking with earlier poster Shiela about her husbands death in Iraq.

Posted by: Jerry | April 23, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

If all the clowns who refer to dems as 'libs' could just go back to the sandbox, this might become an interesting discussion again.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

"any moron who reads the news"
stop referring to me in your posts, I am sitting right here.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Its just that we Libs prefer to win elections before we win the war. that means we have to lose the war before we win it. John Kery can explain this better then me.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 6:06 PM | Report abuse

It's amazing to me to see how many Americans here despise other Americans for their beliefs. The Brady people do not dishonor troops any more than NRA guys want dead kids. So cut that nonsense out. We are all Americans and we want our kids to come home and grow up in one piece. Both sides. Both sides want victory in the war against global terrorism.

Posted by: DCAustinite | April 23, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

If we're still in Iraq in 2008 it will hardly matter what Reid has said now. Any Republican still standing for the war in the middle of year 6 will fall.

Posted by: DCAustinite | April 23, 2007 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Senator Harry Reid is to Marshall Pétain as the Democratic Party is to the Vichy Regime. Capitulators never prosper!

Posted by: Ynaem Newo | April 23, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

There is an editorial over on your partner's web site at MSNBC entitled "Soldier: Why half-staff for Va. Tech, not troops?". Now the answer to that is faily obvious, but also troubling. The VT victims are able to be used by the gun control whack jobs in the press and over at the Brady Foundation (formerly "Gun Control Inc."). They do not honour those who sacrifice, but they have no value to them as a propaganda commodity.

Last Monday, I wrote letters to every candidate running for President, asking for their position on gun control and the Bill of Rights. I haven't received one reply. No one felt any need to write a voter about their opinion, their stance, with regards to the Bill Of Right. The lunatics control these debates. They do not value human life or suffering or sacrifice. What they value is their lunatic cause, as if their cause was some sort of sporting event and they cheer on their team.

Now, any moron who reads the news understand that Cho was pretty explicit in his videos and statements in his emulating the Columbine killers. They were his hero's. Those twisted little monsters, in turn, expressed admiration for the murderer at Thurston High School. Every one of these people has been featured with an almost loving portrail on the Brady and Gun Control Inc. web site, they were written up and made into icons by the press. A detailed plan for any twisted mind, willing to do anything for their 15 minutes of fame, is laid out. Any argument that can be made for gun control can be better made for press censorship, for censoring movies and music and video games, for even forbidding public gatherings (because they can turn into protests that result in millions of dollars in property damage). So, Chris, talk to the fools in your editorial department about the sort of company they keep. The Brady's and similar whack jobs would turn on you after using you as useful fools in the "cause". They honor no one, because they have no honor.

Those of us who, no matter how strongly we feel Iraq is wrong, DO HONOR those soldiers. We love them and pray for them and their safe return.

Posted by: MikeB | April 23, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Mike B. -

Thanks for your story.

I am Trustee for two brothers who are Marines who have been fortunate enough to survive their multiple and long tours of duty in Iraq. They email me to say "they hate us."

The son-in-law of my closest friend is a National Guard tank commander - my friend bought his body armor because the Army was not supplying National Guard with body armor at the beginning of the occupation.

I could go on. I supported the war at its inception. I was wrong, although we did win the war. Then we lost the occupation.

I have been leaning toward a Kurdish option
and the CFR-Biden approach for some time. I too worry about the frazzled Turkish-Kurdish relationship.

Bottom line: the Republican candidates are in an uncomfortable box which I would like to see at least two of them escape by embracing Baker-Hamilton and rejecting the Administration's singular reliance upon military force, to the extraordinary detriment of the military, itself. I fear they will not seize the day, nor will there be room at their table for Chuck Hagel, and the Democrats will appear to be the enlightened servants of pure reason.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | April 23, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Someone else is using my name

Or is that not using my noname. I am getting the confusion again.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"If Reid truly believes the war is lost, then he has a moral obligation to defund it IMMEDIATELY"

Morals, what are they? The only morality we dimwit Liberals know is pleasure and appeasement with a healthy dose of arrogance and victimhood.

speaking of Dose, I am running low. I may stop making sense soon, Oh wait - too late.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I am not, yes I are.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

The consistent problem for our nation is hinted at here but buried under an avalanche of Republican Talking Points.

dumbest post of the week. dumbest poster on this site.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans are trying to gain electoral votes for 2008"

My reasoning is thus: the war is unpopular, so if you want to pander for votes, you must advocate surrendering and running away which is exactly what the Republicans are doing. Wait, I messed something up here. I think my paste button is broken. now what am I supposed to think?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

devastated our economy" you are so devoid of any actual talking points. Go back to Kos and find some facts. According to you pee-ons, superpowers go around surrenduring everyday.

Posted by: JamesL | April 23, 2007 05:41 PM

dumbest post of the hour.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 5:45 PM | Report abuse

but I do tend to forgive them. Why?

because I am a totally gullible fool

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

"devastated our economy" you are so devoid of any actual talking points. Go back to Kos and find some facts. According to you pee-ons, superpowers go around surrenduring everyday.

Posted by: JamesL | April 23, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I would ask Chris and any other pundits who expect the American public to take them seriously-- Who and what are you defending? I think Americans have given Bush and the Republicans all the benefit of the doubt they can afford on this war. We have lost the lives of our soldiers and given away our treasure to a poorly planned, incompetently run "fiasco " carried out by people who never took the occupation and reconstruction of Iraq seriously. This war IS lost and it was lost when the Bush administration hired inexperienced 20-somethings to reconstruct the Iraqi stock market , when they disbanded the Iraqi army, when they handed out bilions to their contractor friends while coming up short on funds for body armor or quality care for the injured. Their crimes against the faith and trust of this country are too numerous to mention. We are tired of the bold rhetoric and the complete lack of results. No one believes this President anymore.

We were foolish to support this war but we are not fools. I was in a New Mexico diner when the elderly female proprietress who had always voted Republican saw Bush come on the TV and yelled, "LIAR! " So, I don't think it's Harry Reid who is in trouble. I think it's the politicians still playing cute with the possiblity of "winning" when the horrible reality our failure and loss id something most American's have already faced and accepted.

Posted by: terence | April 23, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I think since a while that the american army is really unable to serve as an occupying army, and history p[roves it more or less. As long as the US Army can strike swift and hard the results are overwhelming and embarassing for the opponent.
But as soon as a conflicts drags on a longer time the US Army always runs in deep trouble. (except WWII which was an essential need for the US to win).

Recently i saw an BBC Documentation from 2004 when the situation was bad bur a lot better than it is today. And it just was amazing how the american soldiers acted.
I dont know if it is a general problem but in the troops they were showing interacting with the population of Iraq - there was noone speaking even a word of arabic. And if all i could say is hello that would be at least a sign of politeness. And i should have a person at hand which can translate if necessary. If i am in a foreign country as a military person i cannot act on the presumption that everyone speaks english and is able to understand me.

But i want to make clear that i do not intend to insult anyone, but it is possible that my wordsing is not perfect because english is not my native language.

The second the i found today was an interesting article on over the american military which explains a lot at least for me.

What are your thoughts about the matter?

Posted by: Kavalor | April 23, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

anyone know who's running the NRSC for 08?
if its liddy dole then they really have gone off the deep end.

now chris, pay close attention! there are 21 gop seats in play. thats right 21. and the dems 12. even if LA and SD go to the repubs, NH,MN,OR,ME will flip easily. and if dems find excellent canidates in red states, then expect NE,VA,AL to be major battleground seats.

care to ask more stupid questions chris?

Posted by: spartan | April 23, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

The consistent problem for our nation is hinted at here but buried under an avalanche of Republican Talking Points.
The greatest danger to our American security is the ever-present campaigning that has replaced reasoned policy debate. Instead of working toward a solution for what most rational people recognize to be an unsustainably bad Iraqi occupation, Republicans are trying to gain electoral votes for 2008. I don't exempt Democrats from similar political gamesmanship. but I do tend to forgive them. Why? Because years of Republican rule of Washington has devastated our economy, security and civil liberties. Without a real change of course America may not be a Superpower much longer.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 5:28 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't be surprised if the the Democrats are expecting a change in the number of red states and may be willing to accept losses in the "Old South" which has been the core of the Republican base since Nixon.

Reid is playing to the broad and getting broader middle who turned the tables in the '06 and will be really fuming because as we all know, there will still be boots on the ground in '08.

The Democrats are probably anticipating the Repubs will move more conservative and we have a rerun of 1964 with Barry Goldwater, or that the Repubs will have a split with the Rove Republicans staying home. and the middle of the roaders being afraid to vote for their guy who supported "Surge v1.0", and maybe "Surge v 1.1" and 1.2, and 1.3 if Cheney continues to hold sway.

Posted by: poor richard | April 23, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

i guess the check from the rnc finally cleared huh chris?

Cook Political Report/RT Strategies Poll
Regardless of how you might plan to vote in your own district, which party would you like to see in control of Congress after the congressional elections in 2008: the Democrats or the Republicans?" If other/unsure: "Well, which way do you lean -- more toward the Democrats or the Republicans?"
ALL reg. voters

chris why dont just go back to your hillary worship?

Posted by: spartan | April 23, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

MikeB said, "The remainder of Iraq would simply fall apart...but it is already and they don't want us to begin with. "

I agree with your post. Maliki forcing us to stop building that wall or some such was the last straw. F*ck them, we gave them a chance for democracy and they p*ssed it away. I still think it wasn't a bad idea, that if we had gotten democracy to flourish in the mid East, America would be about a 1000 times safer. But maybe they're just not as advanced a people as we thought, and the terrorists are clearly sub-human.

(And yes I know that sounds cocky and elitist - but facts are facts, and I take democracy and open and tolerant societies as one of the best measures of maturity and the relative excellence of system of government)

Posted by: JD | April 23, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Harkin will cruise to another easy re-election in Iowa. The state unfortunately was swayed by Rove's dirty tricks *BARELY* last election cycle. Other than that in the 2006 elections their house seats went from 4-1 Republican to 3-2 Democratic - mainly from anti-war sentiments. They even turned out a 30 year highly popular, moderate Republican Jim Leach. Leach voted AGAINST the war and was one of the few Republican critics, yet the voters in Iowa had enough of the Republican war games. What a joke that you're willing to parrot off whatever RNC talking points you're given without giving any substanance or supportive facts. God help the American public who looks to the mainstream media for their "facts" when you're spewing propaganda like this.

Posted by: Chi_iowan | April 23, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Bush administration has used 27 rationales for war in Iraq, study says

Oct 11, 2002
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In a major victory for the White House, the Senate early Friday voted 77-23 to authorize President Bush to attack Iraq

"The Congress has spoken clearly to the international community and the United Nations Security Council," Bush said in a statement. "Saddam Hussein and his outlaw regime pose a grave threat to the region, the world and the United States. Inaction is not an option, disarmament is a must."
The resolution requires Bush to declare to Congress either before or within 48 hours after beginning military action that diplomatic efforts to enforce the U.N. resolutions have failed.

Bush also must certify that action against Iraq would not hinder efforts to pursue the al Qaeda terrorist network that attacked New York and Washington last year.

The measure passed the Senate and House by wider margins than the 1991 resolution that empowered the current president's father to go to war to expel Iraq from Kuwait.
In the House, six Republicans -- Ron Paul of Texas; Connie Morella of Maryland; Jim Leach of Iowa; Amo Houghton of New York; John Hostettler of Indiana; and John Duncan of Tennessee -- joined 126 Democrats in voting against the resolution.

Now those wimps want a do over.

"We were just being frivolous and seeking votes during that time. now we want more votes so we have changed our minds. We stand for shameless politicalization of everything" a Democrat spokeswimp said. "We want to go back to the period of spinlessness and UN bickering with no results" the wussy added. "We don't care if anyone comes after us, we'll be hiding in the storm celler."

Posted by: mindless zealot | April 23, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

If Reid truly believes the war is lost, then he has a moral obligation to defund it IMMEDIATELY, and not continue to keep our men in harms' way. And he has the power to bring up a bill to do that. If not, then he shouldn't be saying things to embolden the enemy.

Either way, he's very very wrong to say what he said.

Posted by: JD | April 23, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Well, if there are a couple of organizations that are almost as incompetent as the current administration, it is the NRSC and the Corporate Media. It will be funny to watch the NRSC throw their money away. Especially on Harkin since they couldn't defeat him if they used all of their money just against him.

Posted by: Josh D. | April 23, 2007 5:11 PM | Report abuse



You and the rest of the NEOCONs talk a good game, but you and the rest have never served a day in uniform and almost certainly, don't have a clue about the kind of dirty war we are fighting. There will be no "victory signing on the Battleship Missouri". If you were intellectually honest you would admit that the situation in Iraq is spiraling out of control and that Petraeus has no chance at this late stage, to recover what was lost by Bremer and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, (throw in Perle and Kristol for good measure) who thought it would be a great idea to go into Iraq and "redraw" the geopolitical map in the Middle East. The "a-historical" assumptions and analysis of the civilian policy makers, who substituted ideology for facts, and buried the truth about the reality we would face upon entry into that country, doomed this enterprise to failure from the outset. It seemed everyone thought we could alter the course of history in Iraq through our use of overwhelming military force. Despite the dismal results to date, you and the rest of the neocons are still singing the same song that a few more troops will alter the outcome.

Iraq will be a shia, fundamentalist dominated regime, aligned with Iran, that at best, will be fighting a low intensity civil war for many years to come. We will have achieved none, zero, of the strategic objectives we had originally set at the outset as the reasons for going to war- no WMDS, no Jeffersonian democracy, no "1776 moment" where Iraq's founding fathers ushered in a new democracy that would be the envy of the rest of the region. At last count over four million Iraqis have voted with their feet and left to live in Syria and Jordan and the other Arab countries, who were supposed to be instructed on this "new kind" of democracy. Our forces are not "buying time" for the Iraqi government to get their act together. Instead they are "marking time" as this President "runs out the clock" on his remaining term. You and the rest of the noecons will almost certainly blame the next president for "losing Iraq" when he or she is finally forced to "pull the plug" on the failed policy of this administration.

Posted by: Juan G | April 23, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

This post is SO far off-base it is laughable. Chris must not take polls too seriously. The only people who are going to be in trouble in 2008 are the ones who continue to support this idiot of a President and the others who fail to speak out strongly against this misguided, tragic adventure in Iraq. My heart goes out to the families who have sacrificed so much in this war.

Posted by: maria | April 23, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

As a ex-military man, I always want our military to win if we go in. I believe that the author of this article misses several points:
1. This war has lasted longer then WWII and the American public is tired of it.
2. I think this next election is going to be a rout of most of the Republicans, who are making a serious mistake following Bush after his catastrophic mistakes.
3. I also think that anybody who is still trying to support this war is not supporting our troops..

A proud American.

Posted by: JustTired | April 23, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Republican voters? Bush carried Iowa, West Virginia, and Louisiana in 2004 because he was able to get enough Democratic crossover votes. These guys hardly need "Republican leaning voters" to win.

Posted by: Sean | April 23, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

"I don't think he'll be putting together a "Wag the Blog" on this topic any time soon."

He never quotes me anyway. I've been so disappointed.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, MikeB.

That's a start. Somewhat similar to what I've heard Biden say for the past year.

This is not meant to be a challenge, just taking the concept a bit further. How do we sell that to our NATO ally, Turkey?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I don't think I've ever seen the comments section so totally castigate Chris before. I don't think he'll be putting together a "Wag the Blog" on this topic any time soon.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | April 23, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

"brainwashed fools." - mindless zealot

Tell us again, mindless, what were the reasons for the invasion? The original ones.

Not the series of rationalizations which Administration supporters kept creating.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

At some point, if you continue, you have NO more resources to fight, much less take care of basic governing.

If there is any opportunity to stem the bloodbath and gain back some credibility, we MUST take it.

The current course just ensures more suffering and SOMEONE is profiting.

Who is that? Find out who the hawks are and send THEIR kids off to Iraq!

Posted by: pre ameriKKKan | April 23, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, My wife and I were oppossed to it from the very beginning. So was my older son. He actually brought me a t-shirt back from his first tour there that pokes fun of the Bush Adminstrations early predictions of the war...and predicted exactly what has occurred. This was, mind you, the idea of active duty soldiers THERE!

As for getting the troops out immediately, pull back to the Kurdish area in the North. We will need an air base there eventually anyways as the Kurds are likely to remain our only allies in that region. We already have the invitation from the Kurd's...use it! Build air strips and flatten anything that endangers the Kurdish area. Build an airbase and bring in supplies as an advanced staging area and fly everybody else home. We could, I estimate, redeploy to the Kudish enclave within 30 days. During that timeframe, we could construct emergency air strips for fighters and fly in supplies. We could have 90% of our troops home within 6 months. Those that remained would simply man the semi-permananet base in Kurdistan. The remainder of Iraq would simply fall apart...but it is already and they don't want us to begin with.

Posted by: MikeB | April 23, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

On the contrary, the political reality is that, come the Fall (after the Surge has had several months to succeed and almost certainly fails to accomplish anything), Congressional Republicans will begin to publicly repudiate the Surge and Bush's failed policies on the War, and Reid's comments will prove both prophetic and immaterial to the re-election of Democratic members of Congress.

Posted by: JPD | April 23, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

finding a way to renege on your pro-war vote is just so Kerry. you Dems are all surrender monkeys. Is there anything you will commit to finishing, other than your awards shows? Are consequences ever considered? We are now seeing who the spinless cowards are and who will give up america's interests for their own lust for power. brainwashed fools.

Posted by: mindless zealot | April 23, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Reid is right -- the war Bush should have never started is lost. This is not news. . . we have been seeing this every day for years now.

Posted by: Christian in NYC | April 23, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I am looking for something to cut and paste so you think I have a brain. I'll be back.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

What a load of BS sad pathetic creatures in the MSM just never seem to get it.

The Iraq Invasion is just going to get worse and worse, and drag anyone who supports it like McCain down into the gutter by the next election cycle.

All of us KNOW that this war is a disaster and can't be won, including yourself, and that Reid's "mistaken" statement is much closer to the majority of Americans then ANYONE in this Administation who is still pushing this misbegotten adventure!

Posted by: wagonjak | April 23, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Exactly Nick! Collins, Sununu, and Coleman, cannot run fast enough away from Bush's radioactivity.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but is this just blatant GOP spin passed off as analysis?

Since when is Iowa a "red" state? They narrowly went for Bush in 2004 - very narrowly. They threw out tons of Republicans - giving 2 Congressional seats to Democrats and making the state legislature and governor's office all-Democratic for the first time in about 40 years - last year.

If Harkin is so vulnerable, then why is no major candidate challenging him? And why didn't he lost in 2002, since he voted against Iraq at a time when the war was nowhere near as hated as it is now?

Remember when the RNC ran ads against Democrats in various '06 Congressional races saying "Don't elect them or liberal Nancy Pelosi will ruin America!!" and the media claimed this was great strategy? Whatever happened to that?

I am amazed at how consistently the media does the GOP's work for them.

Posted by: Jon | April 23, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Chris: either no "real Americans" read your blog and post comments, or you are way, WAY off even touting these GOP nimrods and their "hopes." After Katrina, my granny could beat Landrieu down there, and so what? Ask Sununu, Teeth Coleman or "Moderate" Collins how their Bush-love is playing in their states!

Posted by: Nick | April 23, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

I am deeply sorry for your loss. I humbly offer my condolences and sincerest thanks for you and your husband's service to this country.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 23, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

...and how many republican politicians who are up for re-election and supporting the bush policies, faring in their respective polls?

What an idiotic article.

Posted by: fastneataverage | April 23, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Just because they were "Republican-leaning states" in 2004 does not mean they are now. The public's view of the war has changed NATIONWIDE, including those 3 states. That's why the Democrats whupped the Republicans in 2006, and why they will again.

Reid needs to be more specific: the U.S. lost in Iraq, but it's NOT the troops' fault; it's the fault of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld.

Posted by: Progressive | April 23, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Reid's comments were reprehensible.

We need to be more patient on Iraq. There are plenty of military families who still stand in support of our efforts in Iraq and the larger war on terrorism.

"Petraeus feels that he is making slow, steady progress against the myriad enemies that Coalition forces confront, but he is keenly aware that results may not come fast enough to please antiwar politicians back home who are eager to pull all U.S. troops out of Iraq, and damn the consequences.

"The Washington clock is ticking faster than the Baghdad clock," Petraeus often says. His goal is to speed up the Baghdad clock by pressing for more reconciliation between Sunnis and Shiites, and to slow down the Washington clock by showing gains on the ground that can reverse public pressure to pull U.S. troops out prematurely.

The former is hard to do because of the mutual suspicions that grip this country. The latter is equally hard, because a few high-profile insurgent atrocities can obscure the progress being made by Coalition forces in stopping ethnic cleansing in Baghdad, which Petraeus views as his most important immediate goal."

A report on the progress of our arms in Baghdad, Baqubah, Ramadi, and Falluja.
by Max Boot

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | April 23, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I love it. The majority of America wants to be out of Iraq, but yet, Cizilla is saying the complete opposite in honor of the republicans!

Phew. I'm so happy to be on the side of reality, which everyone knows means...I'm a liberal/democrat.

Susan Collins is still arranging the deck chairs and bring George Bush his Coca Cola on a silver tray as their ship sinks. Ha ha.

Posted by: KayInMaine | April 23, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

It's been the linchpin of the Bush war policy in Iraq: "As the Iraqis stand up, we will stand down." By one count, White House officials have used the phrase publicly over 125 times, not including media interviews. It's the key principle that will lead U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq.

Or rather, it used to be:

'Military planners have abandoned the idea that standing up Iraqi troops will enable American soldiers to start coming home soon and now believe that U.S. troops will have to defeat the insurgents and secure control of troubled provinces.

Training Iraqi troops, which had been the cornerstone of the Bush administration's Iraq policy since 2005, has dropped in priority, officials in Baghdad and Washington said.

So, we're sending more U.S. troops, and extending their tours, while at the same time downplaying the very idea of training Iraqi troops to defend their own country. "The goal was to put the Iraqis in charge," said Anthony Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. "The problem is we didn't know how to do it."

As Swopa concluded, "'As the Iraqis stand up, we'll stand down' now joins the 'Mission Accomplished' banner and 'Plan for Victory' signs on the rhetorical junkpile."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Marine and I served my tour in Iraq. My husband, also a Marine, served several. I left the service six months ago because I got pregnant while he was home on leave and three days ago I get a visit from two men in uniform who hand me a letter and tell me my husband died in that festering sand-pit. He should have been home a month ago but they extended his tour and now he's coming home in a box.

You and that lying sack they call a president are the reason my husband will never see his baby and my kid will never meet his dad.

And you know what the most screwed up thing about this Iraq sh*t is? They don't want us there. They're not happy we came and they want us out NOW. We screwed up their lives even worse than they already were and they're pi**ed off. We didn't help them and we're not helping them now. That's what our soldiers are dying for.

Posted by: Shiela | April 23, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ask Susan Collins, Norm Coleman and John Sununu just how well the Democratic message on Iraq is selling.

Posted by: Kent Hancock | April 23, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

Staff Sgt. Matt St. Pierre, who's been in Iraq for two of the last three years, agrees with Harry Reid. From Greg Sargent:

We've talked at length, my soldiers and myself, and a term that comes up often is, 'this is our generation's Vietnam.' I don't think this can be won. We're caught in the middle of a civil war.... The people that were against us, and they're the majority, they're gonna I believe ultimately win. And that's unfortunate.

St. Pierre recognizes that U.S. forces are the "buffer" in this civil war, and that a withdrawal of American troops will lead that majority who is against us to win. But, as Sargent points out, St. Pierre is echoing what Harry Reid said in recent weeks:

(1) The U.S. can't win the war;
(2) He and his soldier agree after talking "at length" that this is their Vietnam;
(3) The "majority" in Iraq is "against us" right now.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

I am an Iraq war veteran. I have twin sons who are Army officers and both will be deployed to Iraq this summer. One has already served a tour in Iraq, and earned a purple heart when he was shot by a sniper. He is being involuntarily held on active duty under the "stop loss" policy. Thanks to the "surge" he must return to Iraq where he and his brother will serve "15 MONTH" tours. This isn't politics, it's murder. Any person who has been to war understands the waste and the tragedy. For this President, Rove and the GOP pols who have aligned themselves with this administration's open ended war, it's a political game because it's not their kids. This war was lost before the first shot was fired. Get them out now or be turned out in 08!

Posted by: Juan G | April 23, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

'WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former President George Bush told CNN Monday that the electorate may be experiencing "Bush fatigue."

No kidding, pops.

Posted by: 33 | April 23, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

'"While our brave men and women fight for freedom, '

What a pathetic joke. They aren't fighting for anyone's 'freedom' they're fighting to say alive while caught in the middle of a vicious civil war.

Posted by: Dana | April 23, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Blah, blah. The same punditocracy, lead by Dean Broder, was saying the same thing when Rep. Murtha first challenged the Iraq policy from the floor of the House. And the '06 election shows how much that damaged the Dems.

Posted by: N Balt | April 23, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Chris just wants to believe so much, just wishing so hard.

Sorry, hon. If the US is still in Iraq in '08 -- and we will be, because bush can't be wrong, no matter how many kids get killed--it will be dems all the way.

Even republicans are starting to acknowledge that.

Posted by: drindl | April 23, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Let's see...the majority of Americans disapprove of Bush's policies, especially Iraq. In the past week two Republicans in Congress had to resign their committee posts due to FBI raids (Doolittle of CA and Renzi of AZ) More Republican senators are under investigation by the FBI (Miller of CA and Lewis of CA).....

....and you think that the GOP is going to win back seats because of Senator Reid stating the obvious to most AMericans?

Wow, what can I say other than you must be a die hard optimist!

Posted by: kimoco | April 23, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, just out of curiosity, what did you and the other military parents think earlier in the war? Did people think it was a winnable war or a good cause to begin with?

Posted by: Blarg | April 23, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I as a Republican must admit with sadness, that we may have not only LOST the 08 Presidency, but the rest of the House and Senate as well.

I think 08 will be the Watershed moment the Dems experienced when they lost it all to the Republican party.

Posted by: Terry | April 23, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

MikeB - How do you propose to move 140,000 troops and all of their belongings, equipment and supplies IMMEDIATELY?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

So.... What you are saying is that the Republicans are going to use Reid's opposition to the war (70% approval from the American public) and belief that the war is unwinnable (believed by a plurality to a majority of the public) to gain political traction? Huh?

Reid is stating the obvious. Look at the polls, the American public wants out of this fiasco, badly.

Quite frnakly, I can't imagine any serious Republican candidate willing mentioning the war. It is a loser for the Republican party and I am sure there is nothing in the world Democrats would like to see more than their oppenents trying to make the war in Iraq a campaign issue.

Posted by: over_educated | April 23, 2007 3:21 PM | Report abuse

your post is flawed for one simple reason. you assume that anyone supports the war. is there a single state where support for the president's policies on the war is getting above 50% anymore? If the Republicans are gonna put rubber stampers up against the far away spectre of Harry Reid i say go for it.

It sure worked when they tried to scare America with Pelosi a few months ago.

Posted by: will c | April 23, 2007 3:19 PM | Report abuse

make that another military person who wants them out now, only I'm not a parent of someone in the military, I'm a member of the military.

Posted by: Rob Millette | April 23, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse


The prostitution of the press is pretty disgusting to watch.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 23, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Reid isn't stating the case strongly enough. I am a parent of (now) two son serving in the military in Iraq. I am, furthermore, in contact with the parents of other children serving there; both liberals and conservatives. Not one. I repeat, NOT ONE, thinks that Iraq is "winnable", NOT ONE thinks that there children would be dying for some good cause, and NOT ONE wants them there for even one more day. A phased or gradual withdrawl is not what we want. We want every last troop home IMMEDIATELY! I just don't understand how these guys don't get it.

Posted by: MikeB | April 23, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I may be missing something, but making a move for political gain relies on the idea that the public supports the position. Which means republicans are admitting that the general public agrees that the war is lost. That is some poor negative campaigning there...

Posted by: Simon | April 23, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Reid just understands that the actual WAR has been over for some time. Our military isn't designed as a mechanism for maintaining a peace presence in foreign countries.

Frankly, it probably IS time to evalate whether the Iraqi people are ready for a western style free government. Their inability to create a government may be caused by the security blanket of our presence. Lets leave and let the civil war happen. I for one would prefer American troops not be their when it occurs.

Posted by: Dan W | April 23, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a two edged sword. If the NRCC is going to malign Dems for statements by their leadership, the NRCC better be certain their own leadership isn't going to start spewing nonsense. Frankly, given that most Republicans aren't yet distancing themselves much from the White House, they are opening themselves up to further criticism for the ongoing failures of the Bush administration.

Posted by: bsimon | April 23, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

There is one problem with your analysis and that is that 70% of the country agree that we should have a timetable to leave.

Bush's policies have created a clusterf#$% that the democrats (and republicans) in congress are now having to clean up. I don't see how saying that any of these senators don't support the president is a bad thing for their reelection chances.

And Rockefeller are you serious? There is no way that he goes down. The man is an icon in West VA.

Posted by: Andy R | April 23, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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