Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Friday | September 06, 2002

War vote as campaign issue?

Both Daschle and Lott are discussing an Iraq debate timeline that could push off any final vote past the November election. Bush is crying foul, but his Iraq obsession already reeks of politics. Pushing for a pre-election vote would only confirm the worst assumptions about Bush's motives. It's in his interest, and in the interest of the nation, to hold a vote when politics are not a primary concern.

We've been hearing from Bush about how "patient" he is -- he repeats that mantra in every speech. So how can one explain this:

White House officials have said that their patience with Congress would not extend much past the current session. With no guarantee that members would return for a lame-duck, post-election session, officials said they expected a resolution of support before adjournment.
There's no evidence Hussein is about to do anything untoward against the US or its neighbors, so why the hurry? Yeah, yeah, they want to make the war an election issue, but why be so brazen and open about it?

And there is still no indication that war is the cure-all for the GOP's electoral troubles. The GOP is crowing about Toricelli's problems, and predicting they will regain the Senate, but across the country, it's clearly the Republicans who are on the defensive. And, the Democrats have home-field advantage:

In some ways, Republicans and Democrats are in surprising agreement about what issues voters are considering. "When we ask people what issues they are remembering in the campaign, the No. 1 issue they are saying is corporate abuse," said Bill McInturff, a Republican pollster. "And the second issue is prescription drugs."
The war could be an issue, but it's not clear it will trump economic concerns, and it's not clear that voters will even want war. And, it'll be hard to blast Dems for opposing the war so long as prominant and well-liked, well-respected Republicans lead the charge against Bush's war plans.

Posted September 06, 2002 08:20 AM | Comments (2)


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