Harry Reid and the “Lost” Democrats

There is a must-read editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal for anyone who wishes to understand the political calculation that is driving attitudes about the war in Iraq. It is very clear now that Senate majority leader Harry Reid and others have concluded that they will reap a partisan advantage if the U. S. war in Iraq fails. On April 12, Senator Reid said this:

“We’re going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war. Senator Schumer has shown me numbers that are compelling and astounding.”

In other words, Reid and Schumer have calculated that if our troops are defeated in Iraq, then the Democrats will win elections at home. If our troops succeed in Iraq, then the Republicans will make gains at home. Whatever happened to politics stopping at the water’s edge? How did we come to the point in this country that a major political party would bet its fortunes on America’s losing a war?

This is precisely what happens when partisan politics are allowed to determine decisions about national security. The Vice President is right:

“Maybe [Reed’s stance is] a political calculation. Some Democratic leaders seem to believe that blind opposition to the new strategy in Iraq is good politics. Senator Reid himself has said that the war in Iraq will bring his party more seats in the next election. It is cynical to declare that the war is lost because you believe it gives you political advantage. Leaders should make decisions based on the security interests of our country, not on the interests of their political party.”


“Harry’s War: Democrats are taking ownership of a defeat in Iraq” – Wall Street Journal

“Senate Leader Becomes Chief Critic of Bush” – Washington Post

“Cheney Discusses Reid’s Iraq Comments” – Washington Post


  • Paul

    well, sure there’s political calculation in everything.

    Just like in the Terry Schiavo case.

    Just like in Tennessee, where a pro-life, anti-gay marriage black man runs, and the RNC takes him out with a racially charged ad.

    And yes, just like in the Iraq war.

    But, really, how much of this is “political calculation” and how much of this is common sense?

    If we continue to lose in Iraq, the people that put us there will continue to be unpopular. The people that will become popular will be those trying to extricate us from the situation.

    Even seasoned politicos should be able to see that fairly clearly.

  • Paul

    one more political calculation, courtesy of our very own First Lady on the Today show, in response to a question from Ann Curry about suffering Americans in this time of war…

    “No one suffers more than their president and I do when we watch this.”

    really? Not the wounded? Not the families of deceased veterans who died for a pointless war? Not the tens, if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have been killed during this?

    Nope. The most intense suffering is felt by President Bush.

    And you’re accusing Harry Reid of political calculation? Surely you’re kidding me.

  • AnotherPaul

    Terry Gross was interviewing Robert Dallek yesterday in regards to his new dual biography of Nixon and Kissinger and there was an interesting point made that is relevant to this discussion. Dallek says that Nixon resisted getting out of Vietnam too soon because if he were to do so it would APPEAR to be politically motivated since the 1972 elections were coming up.

    Obviously it is to Harry Reid’s political advantage to make the most of the mess in Iraq — but should one refrain from telling the truth just because it appears opportunistic. I voted for Bush twice but I’ve thought the Iraq invasion a mistake from the start. I also think it is a lost cause. I don’t think we will prevent whatever the worst case scenario is by staying, and I question whether it would be worth it to stay even if we could, given the “burn rate” of American lives.

    In one sense I can believe that President Bush is suffering more than anyone. Would you want all those lost American lives on your conscience — especially if the whole effort comes to nought?

  • Clint

    I just watched an interview on CNN by their Senior Pentagon Correspondent, Jamie Macintyre with Gen. Petraeus, commander on the ground in Iraq.

    Macintyre’s questions again confirms that the left and the mainstream media is setting up the US to fail in Iraq to win seats and more importantly, the 2008 Presidential election.

    His last question to Petraeus was something along the lines of, “If the surge fails, will you be prepared in September to give this report to the President and more importantly, Congress?”

    Why are we asking questions to our Generals about failure? Why is failure an option for us? The answer is because we want to fail, so we can get a new party in the White House.

    Mark my words: If we fail, it doesn’t matter who is running the country because the consequences of failure to Americans will be disastrous.

    This political squabbling over power needs to end. It is and will cost us dearly .

  • Don

    Clint you are right on point. There is NO option but to win this thing. Who said we lost? The left has said it. We have lost nothing.. This creep reid did not go to the briefing by our General. Let’s face it the left, the media and far too many people in this once great Republic hate Bush more then they want victory. Me , no big fan of Bush but as much as I hate and hated the great stainmaker clinton I would want Victory if he was in office..I believe I know what is at stake. This guy reid if this were the civil war or WWII would be behind bars..

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