In terms of politics, rather than substance, this is the reality of the Iraq debate. Organizations like the Victory Caucus and Freedom’s Watch have succeeding in creating a situation where few Republicans dare mount even token levels of opposition to Bush’s war policy and essentially nobody is prepared to break with the administration on it in a way that matters. Their fate has really become inextricably tied to that of the war — the real war in the real world, and not a PR war about the surge or anything else. Six months from now, Republicans are going to ask for six months’ more time, and then six months after that they’ll be heading into an election asking for . . . six months more time. And this’ll be 24 months after Republicans first started losing seats because people had had enough of this.
UPDATE: It’s worth emphasizing that pressure from the fanatically pro-war right has been one of the most undercovered stories in American politics. Here’s Rep. Jim Walsh (R-NY) taking heat from the Onondaga County Conservative Party for what amounts to merely symbolic efforts to distance himself from the endless war party.