Thursday, May 24, 2007

Practical vs. Tactical politicking

By Libby

Jim, my co-blogger at The Impolitic, came up with one bright spot in the otherwise dismal Democratic Capitulation Bill. Amendments to the bill will direct about $17 billion tax dollars into domestic programs that have been woefully underfunded by the Republicans.

As a practical matter, I'm pleased to see the money spent on constructive assistance to Americans rather than on destructive policies in the Middle East, but I find it puzzling on a tactical level. It's just one more giveaway to the GOP.

Bush wouldn't dare veto it on the grounds of this spending so it will pass, but the Republicans will get credit for passing it when they in fact opposed the funding in the first place. I don't see why that's not just as damaging to the Democratic party's interests as any short term rhetorical hay the Republicans might possibly have made of a supplemental bill that reflected the will of the people and called for an end date to the insanity in Iraq.

So not only will the Democrats lay down and play dead for the Republicans in the short term with this toothless wonder, but they're also handing the GOP a set of hob-nailed boots so they can trample them in the long run as well. Jim may well be right that this is the best we can hope for, but it's certainly not the best they could do.

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