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Friday, Feb 29, 2008, 4:55 pm

Iraq Campaign 2008

By Adam Doster
If you ignore Spencer Ackerman's revisionist dismissal of the Vietnam anti-war movement, his piece on the newly-formed Iraq Campaign 2008 is informative. What is this new coalition?
A coalition announced Monday and called Iraq Campaign 2008 seeks to tie anxiety over the faltering economy to anxiety over the duration of the war. Part of its agenda is targeting what it calls "obstructionist" members of Congress—Democrats as well as Republicans—that don’t seek a rapid withdrawal from Iraq.
There's been talk of this framing going around, and on it's face it's a little problematic. For one, it's clear that Bush would not have been rebuilding the safety net if we didn't go to war, so the opportunity cost comparison isn't necessarily apt. And Paul Krugman has pointed out the small jolt the war has given to our economy more broadly. But overall, I think it's an effective frame in that it contrasts what good Democrats and Republicans value. How do we build make sure our society is prosperous and just? Endless war or sound investments that benefit a broad swath of the populus?

Edwards is the frontman of the campaign, which I think is a good position for him. Sure, he's vulnerable for his war vote, but he's owned up to it and this allows him to use his populist platform on a larger scale. And targeting vulnerable Senators from Dem-trending states is highly cost-effective and smart. Let's hope these folks make an impact.

Adam Doster, a contributing editor at In These Times, is a Chicago-based freelance writer and former reporter-blogger for Progress Illinois.

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