July 19, 2007


Why pick March 2008 as the date for an American reversal of fortune in Iraq?

The anti-war democrats who – for the moment – control their party’s debate on the Iraq War seemed to have settled on March of next year as the drop dead, drop out date for:

(a) The absolute end of the surge;

(b) The decisive end of our active engagement with the insurgency there;

(c) The beginning of a clear reversal of our commitment to defend the elected government there; or all three.

I think we are entitled to ask: Why that? Why then?

Here is the game. The democrats-in-charge have decided that their best option is to force the president, and by extension – his party, to own defeat in Iraq but for the democrats to be in the optimum position to rescue America from W’s mistakes and even to own victory should the defeatists have miscalculated.

Because of the president’s veto power and the danger of utter chaos surrounding any politically forced American stand down in Iraq, I believe that the democratic leaders (who are in close consultation with Senator Clinton, their front runner) want a symbolic demonstration here, but not (God forbid) actual consequences.

This is an unusual election year in that, by “Super Tuesday”, it is in almost every candidate’s interest to have successfully fudged on the Iraq Project’s ultimate prospects so that they can have it both ways as the exigencies of events and the campaigns dictate.

Good luck with that.

Super Tuesday is February 5th of next year. On that single day, caucuses in Colorado (9 Electoral College votes) & North Dakota (3 EV), and primary elections in eighteen other states will allocate party preferences among the candidates in states that control 266 Electoral College votes (recalling that 270 will be needed to elect).

Those Super Tuesday primaries and EC votes are as follows:

Alabama (9), Arkansas (6), California (55), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), Georgia (15), Illinois (21), Michigan (17), Missouri (11), New Jersey (15), New Mexico (5), New York (31), North Carolina (15), Oklahoma (7), Oregon (7), Pennsylvania (21), Rhode Island (4) and Utah (5)

On March 4th, Primaries in Massachusetts (12), Minnesota (10), Ohio (20), Pennsylvania (21), Texas (34) and Vermont (3) will take place. The Electoral College total for that single day is 100.
[Readers are invited to check my math.]
So by the first Tuesday in March, the overall trend in what democrats hope (or fear) of the Hillary juggernaut will be evident. Party contests affecting the allocation 370 Electoral College votes will have been allocated, most of them pro rata.
Senator Clinton will have been established as the first ballot pick – or as very close to that goal. Failing that, she will be perceived to be in trouble.
No US Senator running for president could rationally want any additional “war drama” in the US Senate between that date and the Democratic Party convention in Denver, August 25-28. [The GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul is September 1-4.] This is because the next president will actually have to deal with Iraq and the larger jihad for four challenging years – 2009, 10, 11 and 2012.
Whatever happens in the US Senate between now and the new president’s inauguration in January 2009, you can be sure of at least three things:
(1) The jihadists will have killed thousands more people.
(2) Iraq will be a terrorist storm center.
(3) Iran will be the linchpin of the entire struggle.
Stay tuned…
Appendix I:
The Electoral College
Alabama * 9
Alaska * 3
Arizona * 10
Arkansas * 6
California * 55
Colorado * 9
Connecticut * 7
Delaware * 3
District Of Columbia * 3
Florida * 27
Georgia * 15
Hawaii * 4
Idaho * 4
Illinois * 21
Indiana * 11
Iowa * 7
Kansas * 6
Kentucky * 8
Louisiana * 9
Maine * 4
Maryland * 10
Massachusetts * 12
Michigan * 17
Minnesota * 10
Mississippi * 6
Missouri * 11

Montana * 3
Nebraska * 5
Nevada * 5
New Hampshire * 4
New Jersey * 15
New Mexico * 5
New York * 31
North Carolina * 15
North Dakota * 3
Ohio * 20
Oklahoma * 7
Oregon * 7
Pennsylvania * 21
Rhode Island * 4
South Carolina * 8
South Dakota * 3
Tennessee * 11
Texas * 34
Utah * 5
Vermont * 3
Virginia * 13
Washington * 11
West Virginia * 5
Wisconsin * 10
Wyoming * 3

Appendix II:

Primaries & Caucuses

January 8: District of Columbia

January 14: Iowa (caucuses) – date under review

January 19: Nevada (caucuses)

January 22: New Hampshire (primary) – date under review, Wyoming (GOP caucuses)

January 29: South Carolina (Dem primary)

February 2: South Carolina (GOP primary) – date under review

February 5:

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado (caucuses), Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota (caucuses), Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah

February 9: Louisiana

February 10: Maine (Dem caucuses)

February 12: Maryland, Virginia – date under review

February 19: Wisconsin

February 26: Hawaii (Dem caucuses), Idaho (Dem caucuses)

March 2: Hawaii (GOP caucuses)

March 4:

Massachusetts, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont

March 11: Mississippi

March 21: Maine (GOP caucuses)

Alaska – date under review

May 6: Indiana

May 10: Wyoming (Dem caucuses)

May 13: Nebraska (primary), West Virginia

May 20: Kentucky

May 27: Idaho (primary), Washington

June 3: Montana, South Dakota

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