Are the Democrats opposing the Iraq war in the right way? How much can actually get accomplished by threating to cut off funding, either to US forces in Iraq, or those that are part of the "surge"?
If the Dems continue on their current trajectory, one wonders if they're tap dancing on that political mine field at little too heavily: The $20 in DeTocq's pocket says that there's no incentive to actually cutting cash to forces in the Iraq, because such a nix on appropriations would give the Republicans political cover. Think about it -- the Democrats vote to cut off funding, the US begins to bring forces home, Iraq slides further into all out chaos, and the Republican nominee in 2008 just hammers those vicious Congressional Democrats who killed the administration's plan to finally fix the whole thing.
On the other hand, there's no real effective way to oppose the war other than to cut off funding. The Dems can scream at the top of their lungs about what a misguided, mismanaged debacle this is, but Joe Voter wants to see something tangible from them... Given the country's mood and the type of historical precendent associated with a funding cut in Vietnam (where funds were actually cut to the South Vietnamese, not US soldiers), that probably resonates with people.
So where does that leave us? DeTocq bets on this: Exactly the same place where we were with the infamous "non-binding" resolution of a month or so ago. Dems will get really fired up and create tons of publicity about it, Republicans will pay lip service to opposing the idea, but secretly pray that the vote comes to pass. Then both sides will get embroiled in a drawn out debate on the "rules of the debate" which leads to exactly ZERO legislative action.
Yup, you heard it hear first -- the funding rhetoric just may be just that, rhetoric. Dems love the idea and would probably do it, but they will look for some sort of reason to not actually raise the issue on a technicality and then blame the Republicans, who would love nothing more than to have Democrats pass the bill.
Fun as usual, my friends.