Timing is everything
"Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) are expected tomorrow to announce a new coordinated effort to force votes in July to end the Iraq war, according to Democratic insiders," says the Politico. Glenn Reynolds thinks that after having "suckered" President Bush into destroying his coalition they sense the time to strike.
Pelosi and Reid in making the conventional political calculation and headcounts, may be ignoring the underlying reason for the immigration bill's defeat: a concern that the President was not doing enough to ensure national and border security. By making attempting to force a withdrawal from Iraq now, the Democrats seem determined to show that not only are they deaf to that message but don't mind opening themselves to the accusation that having failed to undermine national security one way, they will now proceed to try another. There may be good reasons for supporting a withdrawal from Iraq and as there were good reasons for supporting the defunct immigration bill, but Pelosi and Reid's reported plans will convey none of them.
If the iconic image of Vietnam was the helicopter, its equivalent today may be those of Nancy Pelosi posing in her designer hijab and President Bush appealing for moderation at a Washington mosque. Those images, subliminally transposed onto the immigration debate surely raised the explosive, unspoken, and insidious question: who are you working for? And that unspoken innuendo, magnified by the tone-deaf procedural handling of the immigration bill has already proved politically lethal. Pelosi and Reid can now try it with Iraq, but I am not sure that their calculations will play out. They are playing with a more dangerous element than they seem aware of, and the amazing thing is that they don't even now, seem to have a clue.
And in other news, is it going to be a long, hot summer? Donald Sensing says some Israelis are wondering whether a second round of fighting with Hezbollah will erupt this summer. "From his home in Galilee, Daniel has seen many rigorous military exercises conducted by the IDF over the last year. ... 'I think Iran will not like the response.'"