The Washington Post is running a story today headlined “Democrats Back Down On Iraq Timetable.”
Greg Sargent says that’s not so (emphasis added).
Check this out — the offices of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are denying a Washington Post story today saying that Congressional Democrats have backed down to the White House by offering to remove Iraq withdrawal language from the now-vetoed Iraq bill.
Pelosi just went before the Democratic caucus and informed them that the story’s false, a Pelosi aide tells me. WaPo is standing by the story, and the lead writer of the Post piece, Jonathan Weisman, told me that leadership aides told him that the withdrawal language had to go. But the WaPo story goes further than that, saying explicitly that Dems have already “backed down” and offered the concession of removing the withdrawal language. Those aren’t the same thing.
Why report that Dems have already caved in the negotiations if they haven’t yet?
Jonathan Weisman, the lead writer of the WaPo piece, says that Pelosi staffers told him the timetable language would have to go. And perhaps they did say that. But Greg Sargent points out that the offer hasn’t been made yet. So why is WaPo reporting as if the offer were already made? Serious negotiations haven’t started yet.
This all gives rise to a bigger question: Why is much of the media’s coverage of this focussed on the Democratic dilemma the veto creates, while so little of it is focussed on the fact that Republicans, too, are in a bind, are trapped between public opinion and their unyielding President, and are going to have to make concessions towards a compromise?
Well, we know why, don’t we?