If George W. Bush is shrewd then he will ask that the Congressional debate and vote on the attack on Iraq be held before this November's elections. On the subject of what to do about Iraq and Saddam the electorate is to the right of the Democratic Party. Many Congressional Democrats may vote against war authorization. But enough will vote for it that a small minority of isolationist Republican votes against it will not prevent the authorization from passing. Bush will get the authority he needs. Any Democrats facing close elections in moderate to right wing districts who vote against authorization will face a tougher reelection fight.
Politically the absolutely ideal scenario for the Republicans would be not only to hold the vote but also to attack Iraq before the elections. If enough Iraqi development labs for nuclear and biological weapons could be uncovered before the elections then any Democrats voting against authorization would be faced with powerful evidence that their vote against the attack was unwise.
Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey understands this:
"I think [a vote] is going to embarrass anyone who's not on the right side of liberating Iraq," said Kerrey. "Those who vote for it are going to be glad they did, and those who don't are going to have to carry that vote around for the rest of their lives."
While there may not be enough time to conduct a successful attack before the elections the high profile debate on a foreign policy issue will shift the attention of the electorate toward foreign policy and national security issues and this will benefit the Republicans.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 September 09 11:07 PM|