The statement, and the vote for that matter, seems especially strange in light of recent good news out of Iraq that even the New York Times and NBC have reported. In fact, they seem even stranger since a reduction of troops will already have begun before this Christmas. Michelle Malkin interpreted Pelosi’s remarks: “Stop pestering me, Code Pink! I beg you to stop!”
Such statements and votes may be intended to assuage anti-war groups angry at congressional Democrats for failure to end the war, but I doubt they will even accomplish that and they risk putting Democrats in a position that Republicans will be able to exploit in 2008.
Remember, it is all about the timing. If the mission in Iraq is seen in a positive light (or as I predict is possible, even as a potential success) in 2008, Democrats who described the mission as a failure will likely be forgiven by voters who heard them make those statements when all the news they were hearing from Iraq seemed to point to such a conclusion. However, if Democrats continue to declare the mission a failure and call for withdrawal at the same time voters are hearing reports of progress and other good news from Iraq, Democrats will appear to be in denial of reality and worse will appear to be pulling for an American defeat when it appears victory is possible.
Congressional Republicans might even be able to pull a Kevin Federline-style rebound. A couple of years ago it would not have been thought possible that the wanna-be rap star Federline, who sponged off of wife Britney Spears’ money and fame, would ever be seen as the more responsible of the two, and the favored spouse in a custody battle for the couple’s two kids, but that is what happened. Timing is everything.
If Democrats continue to deny the reality on the ground in Iraq, and to pander to their anti-war base, they may be setting up an opportunity for political advantage that not even congressional Republicans can find a way to botch.