Anti-war groups are reevaluating their goals:
After a series of legislative defeats in 2007 that saw the year end with more U.S. troops in Iraq than when it began, a coalition of anti-war groups is backing away from its multimillion-dollar drive to cut funding for the war and force Congress to pass timelines for bringing U.S. troops home.
In recognition of hard political reality, the groups instead will lower their sights and push for legislation to prevent President Bush from entering into a long-term agreement with the Iraqi government that could keep significant numbers of troops in Iraq for years to come.
It’s a start. It’s amazing how fast Iraq has vanished as a political issue. The recent successes of the surge have caused Democrats to think twice about raising it. But don’t expect them to say much positive about it. As Mort Kondracke notes:
None of the Democratic presidential candidates — or Congressional leaders — will acknowledge that the troop surge in Iraq creates the possibility that the United States could actually win the conflict and that their calls for hasty troop withdrawals may be misguided.
Indeed. Although the Democrats will still pander to their base (which is staunchly anti-war), they have toned down the rhetoric considerably. That’s not to say that it’s a winner for Republicans–President Bush’s unpopularity is due in large part to the Iraq war, but all sides seem to now recognize that it’s much more complicated than the talking points we get from the partisans of both sides. The issue will probably be a mild benefit for the Democrats in the 2008 elections, but they must be careful not to overstep. And it won’t win them the election, as it largely did in 2006.
Cross posted at Tennesseefree