Interesting (and informed, ho ho) comment from Juan Cole on the Dems and the Iraq Supplemental:
Although everyone is syaing that September is now the potential turning point in congressional support for the Iraq War, I don’t see how things will change much then. Supporters of the “surge” will be able to find some evidence of “progress” even if it is “slow.” Unless there are mass defections to the anti-war side among the Republicans, there is no prospect of the Dems overturning a Bush veto. Thursday night’s vote did not put a resolution of the Iraq quagmire off for only a few months. It put it off until a new president is inaugurated in January of 2009. Bush seems unlikely to significantly withdraw while still president, and the Dems can’t make him if the Republicans won’t turn on their own party’s leader.
Iraq will be the central issue of the 2008 presidential campaign.
As I noted yesterday, the Dems’ mistake was a political one; they could have pressed the issue a bit more, or a lot more, to ensure that Bush rightly took the blame for this stalemate, rather than looking as though they were capitulating. Their mistake was in making it look as though they had a choice. They didn’t. Our pigheaded president and the collection of lunatics known as the GOP Congressional minority have ensured that the war will not be ended, no matter what the Democrats do. Bush will veto; the GOP will stand fast and not give the Dems a veto-proof majority. That’s the long and the short of it.
Their calculation, for whatever reason, was to roll over quickly—and, irrespective of whether that was a good or bad decision, the result is that Iraq will almost certainly not be resolved until a new president is in the White House.
In fairness, that probably would have been the case even had they pressed Bush, because he is truly unique in his presidential capacity for ignoring the will of the American people.