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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

“Foreign Bank Bailout”

By the time you read this, it’s possible that the U.S. House will have already voted on a conference committee report for a supplemental appropriations bill mainly dealing with funds for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
But whichever way the vote goes, it’s very interesting to watch Republicans line up to vote against the bill in the teeth of years of harsh rhetoric they deployed against Democrats for failing to “support the troops” by voting for Bush-era war supplementals. Yes, they claim they are voting not against “the troops” but against non-germane amendments, but then they voted for bills with non-germane amendments in the Bush supplementals regularly. Democrats voting against war funding in the past weren’t voting to defund the troops, either, but were trying to influence the overall war strategy in Iraq.
If I had to guess, it’s the nature of the “non-germane amendment” this time around that is proving to be catnip to GOPers. It involves money for the International Monetary Fund to help countries hurt even worse than we are by the financial meltdown. And so, before you can say “Frank Luntz,” they’ve come up with a term for the IMF money that looks like polling dynamite: “foreign bank bailout.”
It’s not often that you get to demonize a piece of legislation using a combination of three very unpopular words. That’s probably at least one more than they could resist.

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