Doall those Democratic Senators running for President really want to vote to disapprove the surge even as it seems to be showing some initial, tentative, possibly illusory positive effects? Or, as Instapundit suggests, would a “no surge” vote put them in the position where a military success would be “politically … dangerous?” I’ve previously argued that the wording of an anti-surge resolution would leave the Dems some escape routes–but what if the public doesn’t pay attention to the wording? What if they just pay attention to the vote? What if it comes up in a debate: “And you opposed the increase in troops which is what finally brought relative peace to Baghdad…”
If I was paranoid and/or crazy, I would think the troop surge was a ploy to make the Democrats own the failure in Iraq. It’s December 2006, and Bush and his advisors are huddled around a desk, palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. If they listen to James Baker, they pull out, Iraq continues imploding, and Bush et al get the blame. But if they try sending more troops, the Democrats will obviously try and block it. Hell, maybe defund it. And when that happens, they get blamed when the inevitable happens, we pull out, and Iraq continues imploding. Easy spin: “We were this close to winning the damn thing and the liberals stabbed us in the back! Again!”
However, I am not crazy. This didn’t happen. Bush clearly thinks the surge has/had a chance, for pretty clear psychological reasons. But there are obvious political benefits to what Bush decided, and they’ll be benefits even if (I think when) the violence in Iraq continues and we start to pull out. It doesn’t need to be “the surge that finally brought relative peace to Baghdad.” It can be “the surge that was working until Murtha and the hate-America first crowd plunged the knife into Bush’s back.” This will be the case unless the surge obviously has no impact whatsoever, which doesn’t seem likey.