December 2, 2005


Democratic split on war pleases GOP (Bill Sammon, December 2, 2005, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

The White House moved aggressively yesterday to exploit a growing rift among Democrats over the question of a pullout from Iraq, while other Republicans cheered the split as "chaos."

One day after President Bush gave a major speech outlining his plan for victory in Iraq, the Republican Party expressed delight that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi endorsed a pullout plan proposed by fellow Democratic Rep. John P. Murtha. Such a withdrawal is opposed by most Democrats, especially White House contenders and members of Congress facing competitive elections.

"While Nancy Pelosi and the left wing adopt a defeatist position of retreat in Iraq, many other Democrats are scrambling to distance themselves from their pessimism," Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz said yesterday.

Torn by internal divisions, stuck in Iraq, with the worst economy since the Great Depression and a Supreme Court nominee headed to defeat, the Republicans face...oh, wait, that was last month...

Democratic Lawmakers Splinter on Iraq: Many Surprised as Pelosi Calls for a Fast Pullout (Jonathan Weisman, December 2, 2005, Washington Post)

The move caught some in the party by surprise. It threw a wrench into a carefully calibrated Democratic theme emerging in the Senate that called for 2006 to be a "significant year of progress" in Iraq, with Iraqi security forces making measurable progress toward relieving U.S. troops of combat duties. Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) said last month that "it's time to take the training wheels off the Iraqi government."

What's more, House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) issued a statement Wednesday that was in marked contrast to Pelosi's. "I believe that a precipitous withdrawal of American forces in Iraq could lead to disaster, spawning a civil war, fostering a haven for terrorists and damaging our nation's security and credibility," he said.

Marshall Wittmann, a former Republican political strategist now with the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, said Pelosi may have resurrected her party's most deadly liability -- voters' lack of trust in the party on national security.

"If Karl Rove was writing the timing of this, he wouldn't have written it any differently, with the president of the United States expressing resolve and the Democratic leader offering surrender," Wittmann said, referring to Bush's top adviser. "For Republicans, this is manna from heaven."

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 2, 2005 7:12 AM

Exactly like the complaint that mean old Georgie Bush scheduled the Iraq war vote before the 2002 elections, thereby forcing them to vote for a war they wouldn't have lest they be seen as weak on national security.

Great slogan there. "Vote for Us! Whatever principles we may have we'll abandon at the drop of a hat!"

Posted by: Mikey at December 2, 2005 7:55 AM

Nancy's office must have had a rough Thanksgiving weekend answering complaints from her Bay Area constituents for this sudden turn around. But what she fails to understand is an annonymous congressperson flip-flopping on their vote of just two weeks earlier may not get any coverage from the generally-sympathetic press, but when they leader of the House Democrats does it, especially a year after their presidential nominee was defeated in part due to the same sort of flip-flopping, it doesn't really do much for the party's image on national defense.

Posted by: John at December 2, 2005 8:56 AM

The left wing of the Democrat party is composed of folk-enemies and culture-traitors who pine for American defeat. They do so because of personal agenda and perceived historical grievances which place them in opposition to their country, or at least to the civil society which occupies it.

Obviously, this position is as big a winner as gun-control, so serious Democrat politicians would like to lose it.

Posted by: Lou Gots. at December 2, 2005 9:08 AM


There are very few serious Democratic politicians (in DC). I grew up in Western PA, and Murtha was always considered a stoic figure, not affected by the McGovernites. Now it looks as though he is Pelosi's boy toy. I have read that Steny Hoyer can't stand Nancy, and this is the perfect opportunity to show it.

Pelosi's probably just mad because she actually had to deal with a House vote, while Reid is still off the hook (because Frist won't do the same in the Senate).

Maybe the Dems need to get Ronnie Earle's opinion on Iraq on the front page of the NYT. I'm sure they would print it.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 2, 2005 9:18 AM

Any one lese struck by the headline "Pelosi calls for a faster pullout"?

Or has my mind just been so dirtied by the current Cheney thread over at Ace of Spades . . .

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at December 2, 2005 10:41 AM