299 | President Bush wants a congressional vote authorizing an attack on Iraq's dictatorship by mid-October, when Congress will want to adjourn so members can return home to run for reelection: "I will seek congressional support for U.S. action to do whatever is necessary to deal with the threat posed by Saddam Hussein's regime." Democrats who received classified briefings from TeamBush said the information did not persuade them to hold a pre-election vote. Democrat leaders don't want war to overshadow a domestic-spending political agenda they believe will favor them in the fall elections. Senate leader Tom Daschle put his aides to work researching former Sen. Bob Dole's rationale for holding off an Iraq war resolution as the 1990 elections approached. The vote was held in January 1991. In public, Democrats argued the proximity of the fall elections would somehow taint the war debate: "I do not believe the decision should be made in the frenzy of an election year," said Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), who supports ousting Saddam Hussein. Republicans argued there is no more crucial political question, and voters should not be shielded from it: "People are going to want to know, before the elections, where their representatives stand," said Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.). "This could be the vote of the decade, so why wait?" The stakes are even higher for the United Nations: "Will the United Nations serve the purpose of its founding," President Bush challenged the world body in a speech, "or will it be irrelevant?" The president's tough Sept. 12 speech put timid domestic and international leaders on the spot by declaring that Saddam has already "made the case against himself." Mr. Bush said he was prepared to lead the United States to "make that stand" against an Iraqi dictatorship that has engaged in a "decade of defiance" of multiple UN resolutions. "Delegates to the United Nations," he said, "you have the power to make that stand, as well!"