Ending the War

To be clear; I’m very, very, very eager to see the Iraq War ended. That said, I think the netroots has tended to put too much emphasis on the ins-and-outs of things like today’s failed Senate resolution. Realistically, there are two ways the war might end. One would be the election of a president determined to end the war. The other way would be if you had 67 Senators and 290 members of the House willing to back a bill demanding the war’s end and overriding Bush’s veto

Suffice it to say, that neither timid Democratic Party leadership nor the Blue Dog Caucus, though both — and especially the latter — are annoying, is the main impediment to that happening. Rather, it will happen when 17-18 GOP Senators (I dunno the House math) worry that they are going to lose their seats unless they break decisively with Bush’s war. Given that kind of bipartisan “cover” the Blue Dogs would gladly go along.

Nothing else really matters. On domestic issues, it’s often worthwhile to pass something that the president vetoes simply because it makes a political point. The passage of the bill and the ensuing veto raise the salience of the issue. On something like the war, though, there’s no real point in staging veto theater. The people know the war is happening and the war is already unpopular. The issue is that Bush cares more about continuing the war than he does about his approval ratings and that too many GOP legislators feel safe in their seats.