I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Victory for who?

The wingnuts are all excited about the victory - the success of General Petraeus' spinning snowball of a testimony last week. But who was it a victory for? This from Digby.
Surprisingly, not everyone was so easily diverted:
BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: What he did is helped President Bush in his strategy of keeping the Republican firewall in place. Basically, the whole intention here was to make sure Republicans don't waiver, that they stand with the president on this policy.

And the most amazing story of the summer is that Republicans, not just in the Senate, but rank and file Republican voters, have continued to support this policy. And I think the Petraeus testimony, Crocker, the president's speech, were all meant at bolstering that base because as long as the Republicans in the Senate stand fast, the Democrats cannot force the president to change.

So I think that was where General Petraeus really had some impact. Not among Democrats, not among independents and not among the public at large.

BLITZER: And, Candy, you're out in Iowa, watching all these politicians as they deal with this. There's some suggestion from Republicans I've spoken to that have put forward this notion, be careful what you wish for, because continuing the military operations in Iraq, continuing, presumably, to see American casualties, a lot of expenditures, billions and billions of dollars, that could hurt Republican candidates whether presidential candidates or congressional candidates, in November of next year.

CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SR. POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, absolutely. I mean, the problem is, the war is already a drag on Republicans. They're looking, as of this moment, at a very bad 2008. When you look at some of the districts that are currently Republican, the races there, very early on, but look close, there are a lot of Senate seats that appear in jeopardy, including some retirements as well as those Republicans that are just in Democratic-leaning states.

So if these Republicans hang on until July, they almost have run out of time to split themselves from George Bush. And that's really the problem for some of these rank and file Republicans, because the idea -- and many thought that come this next year, they would begin to try to put some distance between themselves and president who, obviously, is quite unpopular.

But with the war, which is the overriding issue of this campaign, if it's difficult for them to break away in July, it's going to be difficult for them, at that point, to go forward with the election and have any chance, a minimal chance, of hanging on to their seats.

BLITZER: Even before he uttered a word, Bill Schneider, there was the full page ad in The New York Times last Monday morning, "General Petraeus or General Betray Us? Cooking the Books for the White House." a serious charge against this four-star general. But did that ad, when all the dust settled this week, come back to haunt the Democrats, hurt them more than help them?

SCHNEIDER: I don't think in any lasting way. It was really a distraction from the main issue, which is the testimony about the war. It was an unnecessary distraction. Republicans found a talking point there, a good rallying point.

It probably contributed to the affect that I described earlier, which is that Republicans were expected to rally behind the president. This probably gave them a little more fire.

And as you indicated and as Candy said, that could be very damaging to Republicans in the long run because they feel like they're forced to stick with this president and this policy and the political damage could be catastrophic
That's right, the long term impact will be to keep the Republican lemmings running towards the cliff known as November, 2008. The Democrats have the opportunity to give them a push by making them vote against legislation that a majority of the voters support.

It could backfire of course if things suddenly turn around in Iraq. Oh, never mind!

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