Wednesday, August 8, 2007

As proponents of forced withdrawal from Iraq quarrel in the House, activists supporting forced withdrawal also seem to be suffering some divisions.
As the Politico outlines the conflict:

The two approaches clashed vividly last week in a behind-the-scenes battle among House Democrats over a measure sponsored by Abercrombie, backed by some liberals and many moderates, requiring Bush to report on the status of an Iraq plan. The measure was poised to win the support of many Republicans -- until Woolsey and her allies stopped it cold.

The weeklong legislative tussle underscored the difficulty anti-war forces face in agreeing on political strategy -- a problem that threatens to hamstring Democrats when they return in September and face a series of confrontations with Bush over Iraq.

Woolsey feared that any measure which allowed Republicans to argue that they were holding the administration's feet to the fire -- without actually imposing policy changes -- could be worse than nothing.

"I don't want legislation that takes us backward," Woolsey said, noting that the House had passed a bill several weeks ago calling for a complete redeployment of combat troops by April 1, 2008. "While we're standing here, our troops are dying, and we're not moving the ball forward to bring them home."

Abercrombie argued that his approach would have demonstrated that the anti-war movement is not just a partisan cause.

"We attracted the overwhelming majority of Republicans to go with us, which is the most powerful element working in this right now," Abercrombie said. "If you keep passing bills on issues that have a bare majority, then it becomes Democrats versus Republicans and people make up their own minds as to who is really participating and who isn't."

The game of chicken (no half-way measures) vs. the game of consensus.