Wag the Blog: What's Next for Democrats on Iraq
Since we skipped Wag the Blog last week amid all the hubbub surrounding the first Democratic presidential debate, we decided to kick this week off with it.
And given President George W. Bush'spledge to veto the Iraq funding bill approved by the Democratic Congress last week, it's hard not to focus on the ongoing political fight over the way forward in Iraq.
Assuming the president vetoes the bill, the logical next question is: "What's next?"
Congressional leaders are set to meet with Bush this week to try to find an answer -- although the sides don't seem close to compromise at the moment. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) has not only said recently that the war in Iraq is "lost" but has also signed on as a cosponsor to legislation that would set deadlines for withdrawing U.S. troops and cutting off funds for the war.
Some Democratic strategists fret that by turning the Iraq debate into a war of words on funding for the troops, an idea which Americans generally still support, the party could watch a political winner turn into a loser at the ballot box in 2008.
Today's Wag the Blog question asks The Fix's community to sound off on what the Democrats' best next move is -- politically -- when it comes to the debate over the war.
Should Democrats escalate the current standoff and provoke a showdown with the White House over funding? Or should Democrats compromise in hopes of negotiating some sort of timeline for withdrawal? If they pursue the former strategy, will it risk turning off moderate voters who will be key in next year's presidential and congressional races? And if it's the latter, will the vocal liberal wing of the party revolt, attacking congressional leaders seen as too moderate on the war issue.
Remember the issue is not which argument makes the most sense from a policy perspective, but rather which one is the savviest from a political viewpoint.
Have at it in the comments section below. The Fix will feature the best reader responses in a post later this week.
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