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Iraq fatigue sets in among Democrats, country may have Republican fatigue
Posted by: McQ on Friday, December 21, 2007

Reality begins to dawn in Congress:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, despite their pledges to continue pushing to end the war in Iraq, face growing pressure from their rank-and-file Democrats to focus more attention on domestic, “pocketbook” issues in the upcoming election year.

Junior Democrats describe an “Iraq fatigue” setting in among some members after dozens of successful withdrawal votes failed to drive a wedge between Republicans and President Bush on the war strategy.

The restless Democrats acknowledge the war issue remains critically important for the country, but they would like to see their leaders tone down the rhetoric and avoid showdowns with Bush over the war, wherever possible.
Or course there are two reasons for that: one, with progress in Iraq, they look foolish using pre-surge rhetoric to describe the present situation there. It simply doesn't fit anymore as is obvious in these quotes. After 40 attempts to effect or end the war and 40 losses, many taken earlier when there was at least an outside chance of passage, reality has set in for most of the Dems.

Two, the war is becoming less and less visible through the media. As less violence and carnage are evident, less coverage results. Kevin at Pundit Review notes a "Media Reality Check" from Media Research which demonstrates the point and provides us with this graphic representation of it:

Obviously less media coverage translates into less immediacy in terms of popular attention toward the war. And that, of course, means that the war has become less than a political winner as hot and divisive issue, and could become a huge liability if they keep attention focused on it as they are right now.

So they want to shift focus away from the war and on to domestic issues. They plan to make the economy a major issue according to DNC chair Howard Dean:
"The economy is really alarming a lot of Americans," he says, noting that people are afraid of losing their homes and their jobs. In a year-end interview with U.S. News, he added that the party of an incumbent president usually pays a severe price when the economy goes bad—and that's what will happen to the Republicans in next year's election.
So they will now try to convince us that an economy that showed an unrevised growth rate last quarter of 4.9% is sick and collapsing. Yes, folks, the "good news" Dems are back.

How well that message will sell remains to be seen, but Dean's next line is probably the truest statement of what is going on politically:
Overall, Dean says, "The country wants a new direction and has seen the Republicans are not going to supply it."
This will be a populist campaign next year, regardless of who is running for the Dems (although Hillary will have a harder time selling herself as a populist candidate than would Obama or Edwards) and they will indeed try to sell us on the domestic side of things vs. Iraq. Iraq, will fade. The economy, health care and other bread and butter domestic issues will be how the Dems try to frame the debate. If they're successful with the framing, and if the Congressional Democratic leaders heed the message about leaving Iraq alone, they may actually see the success they anticipate in '08.

But of course stubbornness isn't, apparently, a trait only George Bush enjoys. Says Nancy Pelosi:
“This will always be the pre-eminent issue until it is not there any more,” she said.

“The war, the war, the war: It eclipses everything we do here.”
And with that attitude, it may end up eclipsing everything you hope to do next year.

One can hope.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

She meant "surrender, surrender, surrender: It eclipses everything we do here"
Written By: Bandit
URL: http://
The Democrats have never been part of the reality-based world.
Written By: Paul
URL: http://
The economy, health care and other bread and butter domestic issues...

And the Republicans will say "It’s immigration stupid"....If the Republicans can bring themselves to make it an major issue while mounting what should be rather easy counter-arguments to the other issues.....(Economy, you addressed it. Health care was a loser then, and it will be again.).....and with polling indicating 75% and upwards wanting that border shut it would be a bread and butter issue for them. I’m not confident.
Written By: Khepri
URL: http://
"The economy is really alarming a lot of Americans
No, the f**king media is really alarming a lot of Americans. The economy is in pretty good shape- and don’t go throwing the subprime mortgage crisis around either. That’s a function of stupidity and greed, not a bad economy.

Written By: shark
URL: http://
Just how can the economy get any worse since they never told us it was doing good ?

Practically every mention of a good economic indicator gets the "mumbling treatment" by the media .. quick, short, in a mumble.

Trying to draw down the economy ? Has anyone noticed the Rangel tax plan ?
Eventually, some Americans are going to notice this happened on the watch of a Democratic Congress, who has done nothing to help reduce gas prices (don’t anyone mention that poor excuse called an "energy bill", it’s strictly a "conservation bill"), as they have done nothing to produce another drop of gas.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
"conservation bill" is too kind. ’Conservation’ implies some reason and common sense to balancing the needs of man with that of preserving nature.

This is an "anti-Global Warming" bill. It is also "Punitive Environmentalism" as well.
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
General Barry R McCaffrey Report
The struggle for stability in the Iraqi Civil War has entered a new phase with dramatically reduced levels of civilian sectarian violence, political assassinations, abductions, and small arms/ indirect fire and IED attacks on US and Iraqi Police and Army Forces.
This is the unmistakable new reality —and must be taken into account as the US debates its options going forward.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
I just hope that the Republicans can hold their own this cycle. It has started off looking good with the special elections held just recently. If the Republican leadership can’t figure out that immigration is a good issue for them after that they deserve to have their heads handed to them.
Written By: southdakotaboy
URL: http://
This just goes to show that the Democrats have no unified message beyond "not Bush." They can’t run on Iraq anymore, so they’re trying to draw the conclusion that the sub-prime mortgage "crisis" means an economic downturn.

This is probably a big miscalculation. a) It doesn’t really effect that many voters, particularly the swing voter demographic (which is another way of saying that many foreclosures are people who’d be voting Dem anyway), and b) it’s too topical. The media fixation will probably pass come Nov 2008, and then what?

As always, the GOP needs to stick to its CORE MESSAGE: limited government. For example, the national conversation about health care can shift from "how to regulate" to "deregulate." A 1980s-airline-style-deregulation of the health care industry.
Written By: DayZMN
URL: http://

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