Biden, Agreeing With Overwhelming American Majority, Says He'll Oppose Effort To Increase Troops In Iraq
Incoming Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Joseph Biden (D-DE) said today he would oppose any effort by President Bush to increase U.S troops in Iraq as part of a new war strategy.
"Absent some profound political announcement . . . I can't imagine there being an overwhelming, even significant support for the president's position," he told reporters during a telephone conference call.
And of course, he's right. Conservative television pundits and radio ranters spin that only "cut and run" liberals with "San Francisco values" oppose Bush's gameplan for Iraq. But the truth is that a poll this month from CNN found just 11 percent of Americans supported the idea of sending more troops to Iraq.
Biden is going against incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who said earlier this month he would be open to a short-term increase in troops.
Why is Reid wrong? As liberal pundit Rachel Maddow noted recently, Reid is incorporating a "triangulation" strategy -- trying to find a middle ground between an option almost no one favors (a surge in troops) and one that a majority supports (beginning redeployment within a year). The result is mush. Maddow correctly said that Reid should stop acting likely a minority party representative, and recognize why the Democrats regained control of both Houses of Congress.
Biden warned that congressional Republicans — not Democrats — would suffer in the 2008 elections if they do not join him in speaking out against Bush and opposing troop increases in Iraq.
That remains to be seen. But a number of Senate Republicans up for election in 2008, including Gordon Smith (R-OR) and Norm Coleman (R-MN) clearly oppose the plan to add more troops. It's not beyond reason to think these two have one eye on their re-election campaigns.