Surge politics

The question may be moot, at least for now, but Noemie Emery argues that passing a “no-confidence resolution” along the lines of Levin-Warner would have been a bad political move for the Democrats. Noemie may be right to this extent — the better political move (and certainly a much more honorable one) might have been to “let the surge play itself out, with best wishes but grave reservations.” But I disagree with her claim that, by passing a resolution that arguably makes it more difficult for the “surge” to succeed, the Democrats would have “bought themselves a half-share in a loss.” In my view, all blame for an unsuccessful surge will be assigned to the president who conceived it nothwithstanding strong public sentiment in favor of reducing our commitment, and to those Senators who did not express their opposition to it.
This will be true even without a resolution, by the way. The “virtue” of the resolution, from the Democrats’ point of view, was that it placed Republican Senators in a box — they had to either oppose a resolution that most Americans agree with or risk the wrath of many voters in their own base. As it stands now, the Dems won’t get this icing on the cake, but that doesn’t mean that surge politics won’t play out decidedly in their favor unless the surge is perceived by the public as a success.


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