I’m not yet persuaded that it is, but this piece by Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post provides some grounds for optimism. They report that House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) says a strongly positive statement progress in Iraq by General Petraeus likely would split Democrats in the House and impede his party’s efforts to press for a timetable to end the war.
According to Clyburn, Petraeus carries significant weight among the 47 members of the Blue Dog caucus in the House (i.e., the less than liberal Democrats). Sadly, it’s not clear that Petraeus carries as much weight with moderate and liberal Republicans.
As significant as what Clyburn said is the way he said it. According to Clyburn, a strongly positive report by Petraeus would be “a real big problem for us.” Clyburn’s candor may be commendable, but it’s unfortunate that the Dems regard strongly positive news from Iraq as a problem.
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