THE BLOG
05/24/2007 01:33 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Dems' Iraq Funding Vote Was Practical Politics -- For Now

Like most of you, I want the overwhelming majority of American troops home from Iraq starting today. They had no business being deployed to Iraq in the first place.

It's an emotionally intuitive jump from that strong conviction to a wish that majority Congressional Democrats draw a line in the sand- no more money for this war except for the cost of redeployment and maybe a few troops left over for training purposes.

The fact that the majority Democrats pretty much gave Bush what he wanted yesterday has many bloggers riled up over here. And if you think they are riled up, you should have seen Keith Olbermann breathing fire yesterday. He did everything but call for the recall of Pelosi and Reid from their leadership positions.

While I was cheering Keith on, I am able to understand why the Congressional Democrats did what they did yesterday.

In politics, raw anger is seldom a wiser strategy than looking at electoral practicalities.

These practicalities are that the Democrats won their majorities in large measure because attractive candidates were recruited in normally conservative districts.

It may come as a shock to the Netroots, but Rahm Emanuel- a firebreathing anti-war Democrat- recruited more of these candidates than Howard Dean did.

The voters in these districts may be sick of the war, but these districts have a long history of military service that the latte-sipping districts where most Netroots types (including me) come from.

For a Representative of one of these patriotic districts to come home over Memorial Day and be shouted at about a vote that "doesn't support our troops" might serve to put him or her on the defensive in reaction to some of the same citizenry to vote him or her in.

These swing districts want moderation and practicality.

The best way to do this is start squeezing the Administration a little tighter, bit by bit- not by deadlines and benchmarks that could not sustain a Presidential veto.

If you try and ask for everything all at once, it may be satisfying to the Bush-despising, war-despising NetRoots, but it could throw swing seat districts back to the Republicans next year.

So give it time.

Regrettably, such a holding strategy will mean more of our young people will come home in boxes- but come fall when it is even more apparent than now that the surge will and has failed, then let's see how many Republicans will come along with us and take steps to defund this damn war.

I look forward to the day when our anti-Iraq War arguments will not only have the strength of truth.

I look forward today when our anti-Iraq war arguments will have the strength of numbers.