Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Republican Strategy on Iraq Debate: Distract and Dissemble. Republicans are fucking cowards.

Leaked Letter Reveals GOP Strategy: Talk About Anything But Escalation

So this explains a lot. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's office has obtained a letter that GOP Reps. John Shadegg and Peter Hoekstra sent out to House GOP colleagues about escalation. The letter gives GOP members pointers on how they should approach the battle over it on the House floor this week.

Hoyer's office has now posted the letter on his Web site, and it lays bare the GOP's strategy for dealing with debate over the House's anti-escalation resolution and reveals just how worried party leaders are about having a genuine discussion about the "surge." The letter says:

We are writing to urge you not to debate the Democratic Iraq resolution on their terms, but rather on ours.

Democrats want to force us to focus on defending the surge, making the case that it will work and explaining why the President's new Iraq policy is different from prior efforts and therefore justified.

We urge you to instead broaden the debate to the threat posed to Americans, the world, and all "unbelievers" by radical Islamists. We would further urge you to join us in educating the American people about the views of radical Islamists and the consequences of not defeating radical Islam in Iraq.

The debate should not be about the surge or its details. This debate should not even be about the Iraq war to date, mistakes that have been made, or whether we can, or cannot, win militarily. If we let Democrats force us into a debate on the surge or the current situation in Iraq, we lose.

Yep, so the advice here is this: GOPers shouldn't allow themselves to be lured into a "debate" about the single most important policy question facing us right now, because they might lose. Never mind how all this might impact the troops who actually have to go to Iraq. Healthy priorities, huh?

Also amusing is the letter's assertion that "Democrats want to force us to focus on defending the surge." Now why on earth would Dems want Republicans to justify a policy that will directly impact tens of thousands of people and their families? How unreasonable!

Wouldn't you know it, but during the House debate today many GOPers did indeed "broaden the debate" to the threat posed by "radical Islamists." Say this for your House Republicans: They're good at following orders.

Update: More from Think Progress.

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