Monday, October 22, 2007


Talking Points Memo takes note of the political dynamic, which is keeping the Democrats from ending the war in Iraq, and, not incidentally, is escalating the coming political storm. It is a classic case of keeping the cork in the bottle, while heating and shaking the bottle: an explosion is virtually assured.

Josh Marshall explains why: "the issue isn't really aggregate public opinion. It's the percentage of the 51% of the folks who get you elected. If 50% of them (25% of the electorate) say they want you out, you're toast. And that would appear to be what a lot of these folks [antiwar Republican legislators] are facing."

As the Los Angeles Times reports: "While most Americans want U.S. troops out of Iraq, Republicans remain solidly behind the president and the war. A recent CBS News survey found 58% of Republicans approve of the way Bush is handling the war, compared with just 5% of Democrats and 20% of independents. GOP politicians have defied that sentiment at their peril."

So, 25% of the population holds two-thirds hostage, because one Party depends so much on that 25%, and the cooperation of both Parties is necessary for Congressional action, at least until that captive Party is wiped out the polls.

Atrios points out another aspect of the dynamic, which is how all of this will be interpreted by mainstream Media pundits. The two-thirds have no voice in the mainstream Media. And, consequently, it is not apparent how the political issue will play out. The punditocrisy will certainly blame the Democrats, and insist that withdrawing from Iraq -- the only sensible policy -- is not practical or serious.

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