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Iraq

 

The New York Times: "Only hours after Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander in Iraq, told lawmakers he needed more time to gauge the effectiveness of a troop buildup there, the House voted 218 to 208 to pass a measure that sought the removal of most combat forces by next spring. Mr. Bush has said unequivocally and repeatedly that he will veto it… On the final vote, 216 Democrats and 2 Republicans supported the bill; 195 Republicans and 13 Democrats opposed it."

The AP: "Passage puts the bill on track to clear Congress by week's end and arrive on the president's desk in coming days as the first binding congressional challenge to Bush's handling of the conflict now in its fifth year."

As one of us writes on MSNBC.com: "As the Democrat-controlled Congress and the White House clash over an Iraq spending bill, with President Bush vowing to veto it because it contains withdrawal deadlines, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that a solid majority of Americans side with the Democrats… 'They don't see the surge working,' says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart… Instead, they are saying 'we need to get out.'"

But GOP pollster Neil Newhouse adds: "'The Democrats risk overplaying the Iraq issue by tying the president's hands on funding. Yes, Americans want Congress to put pressure on the president for a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq, but that doesn't mean they want Congress to sidestep the president and do it on their own.'"

Joe Lieberman has an op-ed in the Washington Post defending his Iraq position. He'll be one of the few Democrats siding with the GOP in today's Senate Iraq vote.

As the Republicans have been turning up the heat on Harry Reid and trying to turn his "war is lost" comments as a negative for some incumbent senators up in 2008, the DSCC does a turn on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who also happens to be up for re-election in 2008. On the eve of the Senate vote, the campaign committee released a Kentucky poll claiming that by a "more than two to one margin, Kentucky voters favor the Democratic plan to end the war in Iraq by redeploying U.S. troops within a year… By a plurality of 39 percent to 34 percent, they say that Senate Majority leader [sic] Mitch McConnell does not represent their views on Iraq, and they say that McConnell votes too often with President Bush by a 61 percent to 24 percent majority. Kentuckians also overwhelmingly oppose Bush's escalation of the war." (By the way, you read that quote correctly, the DSCC actually referred to McConnell as majority leader. Shhh… don't tell Harry Reid.)

Speaking of Senate leaders, the Washington Post's Broder unloads on Reid, calling him the Democrats' Gonzales. "It has been impossible for his own members, let alone the White House, to sort out for more than 24 hours at a time what ground Reid is prepared to defend… The Democrats deserve better, and the country needs more, than Harry Reid has offered as Senate majority leader."