Rich Galen

Harry Reid's ratcheting up his rhetoric is likely to further inflame the anti-war Left who will not be mollified by anything short of a total cut-off of funds for any purpose other than buying gas to get the Humvees out of the Iraqi desert.

In essence, they want to know why Harry Reid isn't putting his mouth where his money is.

Look for the anti-war types to up the ante against Democrats who are not toeing the out-of-Iraq line. That will force more Democrats - like those running for President - to slide farther over toward the "Declare Defeat and Leave" crowd.

That may satisfy the Coastal Democrats - those who live in New York and Massachusetts on the East Coast and San Francisco and LA on the West - but it will not sit well with those Democrats in places like Southern Ohio and Central Missouri who may not like the way this war has gone; but don't like America being called "a loser" by their elected officials.

In a fifty-fifty country, if the Democrats - again - become seen as the party of defeat, that might will tip the scales in favor of the Republican candidate for President in 2008.

The Iraq strategy being followed by the Congressional Democrats may well be a strategic trap of their own making.

On a the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the House and Senate web pages on the vote for the Iraq funding bill; the National Review article, and the Sidebar on Conference Reports. Also a Mullfoto and a Catchy Caption of the Day honoring the memory of Star Trek's Mr. Scott.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at