THE BLOG
05/03/2007 04:16 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Where To Go Next On The Iraq Debate

I understand and appreciate the sentiment, but I personally think the approach as to what Dems should do next regarding Iraq as highlighted in the new Edwards ad -- just keep sending Bush the same bill over and over -- is politically dumb. Yes, we should keep standing up to Bush on the war, but to just keep sending him the same bill over and over strikes me as a cheap political gesture that people will get tired of really fast. What we should be looking to do instead is to come up with a new approach that keeps narrowing Bush's options and keeps pushing him into a place that is more and more isolated. Here is what the Democrats should be pushing:

1. Benchmark language with real teeth. Even the Republicans in Congress are talking about benchmark language. Let's take them up on it but write language that is tough and specific and aggressive about what will happen to the Iraqi government and the Bush troop deployment if real benchmarks aren't met soon.

2. Certification that the troops are well trained, fully supplied and well rested. Nothing less is acceptable.

3. Very short term spending extensions. If Bush wants to keep this damn war going, he should have to come back time and time again in the coming months to justify why we should do that even though no progress is being made.

4. Pay for it by rolling back tax cuts for millionaires and big oil companies. If Bush wants this money so badly, he should have to compromise on who pays for it.

Sending back the exact same bill may be satisfying, but makes the Democrats look stubborn and way too cute politically. Let's send him a new bill that has good public policy provisions and forces Bush even further into his corner.

Mike Lux is the president of American Family Voices, an issue advocacy group sometimes described as the "free safety" of the progressive movement, and consults for progressive organizations and donors through his consulting firm, Progressive Strategies, L.L.C.