0-for-40 on Iraq? Not quite

The Politico may be right about the Democrats' failings, but it's wrong on the math.

Published November 13, 2007 2:23PM (EST)

We're usually right at the front of the line when it comes to criticizing the Democratically controlled Congress for failing to do more to stop the war in Iraq, but the Politico's Jim VandeHei and John Harris jump ahead of us this morning: Adding up the math, they say that, "since taking the majority, Democrats have forced 40 votes on bills limiting President Bush's war policy. Not a single one has passed both chambers, even though both are run by Democrats."

It's a depressing number, one the Politico's Mike Allen is promoting as a "never-before-reported, debate-changing figure." Unless we're missing something, it's also wrong. In April, the House and the Senate both approved a bill that tied additional funding for the war to a timetable for ending it. The president vetoed it.

Update: We sent an email to VandeHei this morning pointing out the error, and he just responded with a message saying that he "agreed" and that the story has been "updated." In the new version, the headline that read "Democrats Zero for 40 on Iraq" has been replaced by one that says "Democrats Stalled on Iraq," and the Politico now acknowledges that the Democrats have succeeded in getting one bill through both houses of Congress. There is no acknowledgment, however, that the original story was wrong or that it has been corrected, and Allen's Politico column still features the false "zero for 40" statistic.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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