Why Are the Democrats Falling for It This Time?

This is an off-the-cuff essay, but it’s an easy question.  Why are the Democrats falling for it this time?

We can run a side-by-side comparison: April 2007, and now.  We can compare the weeks preceding the funding requests in May 2007 and September 2007.  The Republican propoganda is unsurpisingly identical in each case.  Each time, the Republicans ran a EVERYTHING IS GETTING BETTER YOU BETTER FUND THE OCCUPATION!!!! campaign against the public and the Democrats. 

Last time, in April, it was a bit ridiculous.  McCain humiliating himself on 60 Minutes.  Mike Spense and his Indiana marketplace. 

This time it’s a bit more dignified.  “Violence is Down in Baghdad”.  But relative levels of decorum aside, there is nothing complicated about this comparison.  It’s apples to apples.

In the Spring, the Democrats didn’t fall for it.  They caved on funding, but in terms of the propoganda war, they stood pretty firm.  Remember?

Sen. Reid Says Bush Is in ‘Denial’ of Iraq Situation

Bush Rejects Democrats’ ‘Artificial Timetable’ for Withdrawing U.S. Forces

By William Branigin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 23, 2007; 1:32 PM

— snip —

Reid did not repeat his assertion last week that “this war is lost,” a comment that drew sharp criticism from Republicans, who branded the Senate majority leader as defeatist. But he mixed sharp criticism of Bush with praise for Congress’s efforts to end the conflict and appeals to antiwar voters to be patient.

But this time, with a remarkably identical scam being pulled (though this time with a less theater-of-the-absurd quality to it) we get Clinton saying the new tactic is “working” (though admitedly she wasn’t making a blanket statement), and Levin saying,

We have seen indications that the surge of additional brigades to Baghdad and its immediate vicinity and the revitalized counter-insurgency strategy being employed have produced tangible results in making several areas of the capital more secure. We are also encouraged by continuing positive results – in al-Anbar Province, from the recent decisions of some of the Sunni tribes to turn against Al Qaeda and cooperate with coalition force efforts to kill or capture its adherents,” the two said in a statement issued after leaving the country.

Are they fucking crazy?

Now, you might think the difference is a difference of messengers.  Last time around, it was just a bunch of demonstrably damnfool Republican congresscritters talking about unarmored humvees and rugs, while this time, and much more intimidatingly, it’s General Petraeus himself.

But that’s not true.  General Petraeus was a willing stooge last time, as well.



March 20, 2007 — ‘I WALKED down the streets of Ramadi a few days ago, in a soft cap eating an ice cream with the mayor on one side of me and the police chief on the other, having a conversation.” This simple act, Gen. David Petraeus told me, would have been “unthinkable” just a few months ago. “And nobody shot at us,” he added.

The pattern is identical.

And, of course, it’s going to remain identical.  The situation in Iraq is going to be said to be “improving” during exactly those weeks when a funding bill is pending.  Then, once the bill is passed, we will be told that nothing is really improving at all.

Just like last time.

Bush Warns that U.S. Casualties May Spike This Summer

JIM RUTENBERG / New York Times 25may2007

WASHINGTON, May 24 – President Bush warned Thursday that casualties in Iraq could increase over the summer as the United States completes its troop buildup there.

On a day when he expressed satisfaction with a deal in Congress that would finance American operations in Iraq and Afghanistan without the schedules for withdrawal from Iraq that Democrats had sought, Mr. Bush nonetheless said: “We’re going to expect heavy fighting in the weeks and months. We can expect more American and Iraqi casualties.” He added, “It could be a bloody – it could be a very difficult August.”

Well no shit.

At the time, though, it seemed Democrats understood that this was all just pro-forma.  May 26, 2007 Independent:

“I feel a direction change in the air,” said John Murtha, the influential anti-war Democrat who chairs the House panel overseeing military funding. “This debate will go on,” vowed Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker, who opposed the fund-ing Bill. The underlying dilemma facing Mr Bush was starkly illustrated yesterday, both in opinion at home and by grim new statistics from the battlefront in Iraq.

A poll by the New York Times found opposition to the war at unprecedented levels. Six out of 10 Americans now believe the US should have never gone into Iraq in the first place, and three-quarters believe the war is going badly – 47 per cent say “very badly”.

So, setting these two seasons of bullshit side-by-side, I have a question:

Why are the Democrats falling for it this time?

1 comment

    • pfiore8 on September 1, 2007 at 8:05 pm

      as sherlock holmes said:

    Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth

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