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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Kos Overreacts to Obama Comments

If President Bush vetoes an Iraq war spending bill as promised, Congress quickly will provide the money without the withdrawal timeline the White House objects to because no lawmaker "wants to play chicken with our troops," Sen. Barack Obama said Sunday.

"My expectation is that we will continue to try to ratchet up the pressure on the president to change course," the Democratic presidential candidate said in an interview with The Associated Press. "I don't think that we will see a majority of the Senate vote to cut off funding at this stage."

Kos of Daily Kos, a popular liberal blog, responds:

What a ridiculous thing to say. Not only is it bad policy, not only is it bad politics, it's also a terrible negotiating approach.

Instead of threatening Bush with even more restrictions and daring him to veto funding for the troops out of pique, Barack just surrendered to him.

Let me repeat that -- Obama just surrendered to Bush.

That is a serious charge from Kos. Is Obama surrendering to Bush? What's going on here?
Blake Dvorak from Real Clear Politics lives up to his blog's name, and clears up the situation:

It's tempting to take all this at face value and accept Kos' disappointment with Obama as genuinely substantive -- as opposed to genuinely political. But Kos, like the rest of the left, can read the field as well as Obama and so must know that what Obama admitted is nothing less than honest truth. Rather, what's upsetting to the left about this is that Obama isn't being a good partisan, much as the right has admonished Sen. John McCain for base-angering moves like the whole "Gang of 14" business with judicial nominations.

Obama's admission might have hurt the Democrats' negotiating position, as Kos suggests, if Bush was at all concerned that the Democratic leadership would cut off funds. But as much as that is the hope of the Democrats' antiwar base, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have never so much as intimated that's what they might do -- and even if they tried, they wouldn't have the votes.

So Obama was merely acknowledging political reality. Judging from the outcry from the leftwing blogosphere, he might try to be a little more nuanced in the future. But for now, Obama doesn't have to seriously worry about losing his antiwar base.

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