The National Journal reports this morning that momentum on the Iraq issue may be shifting from the Democrats to the Republicans:
Congressional Democrats have been struggling with high-profile divisions over how strongly to push back at President Bush over the war, particularly during consideration of his Iraq supplemental spending request. But while the Democrats are stalemated, House Republicans see an improving political climate. They are encouraged by the Pentagon’s new military strategy on the ground and by the hands-on message coordination led by Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.
“There is a feeling among Republicans that is upbeat, cohesive, and no longer on the defensive,” said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., the ranking member on the Homeland Security Committee. “No one saw this coming. But we have made good arguments and have come together…. With our side coming together, Democrats can’t come up with their next step.”
King was referring to the February 16 House vote on the Democrats’ nonbinding resolution opposing Bush’s troop surge in Iraq. As the weeklong debate began, Republicans expected to lose at least 40 to 50 votes on their side. But they ended up losing only 17 GOP votes when the House approved the measure 246-182.
“On the supplemental [spending bill], Democrats thought that they could criticize the president and get a bipartisan coalition,” Hoekstra added. “Now it’s becoming clear to them that Republicans won’t be with them if they limit the president’s options in the war.”
To see how frustrated the Democrats are feeling, check out this video of Congressman David Obey going ballistic on a group of antiwar liberals. It’s gratifying to hear Obey denouncing “idiot liberals” in terms like these:
How the hell do you think we’re going to get the votes to cut off the war? … If that’s not good enough for you, you’re smoking something illegal… You’ve got your facts screwed up…we can’t get the votes! You see a magic wand in my pocket? How the hell we going to get the votes for it? We ain’t got the votes for it. We do have the votes if you guys quite screwing it up.
This is a don’t miss video:
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