Prelude to the Speech

I guess I’ll watch the speech so you don’t have to.

I’m hearing noises from the cable news bobbleheads that Republican support for the escalation is weak and crumbling. I can’t tell from current news stories how widespread the Republican insurgency might be. If a substantial number of congressional Republicans fall away, and vote no even on a non-binding resolution, this could pave the way for bigger and better things in the future — like a binding vote to de-fund the war. And how’s about impeachment?

Jonathan Turley on Countdown — The president can only spend funds that are given to him by Congress, he says. Go back to the Mexican War to see conditions put on funds. Congress prevented the U.S. to go into Angola and to get out of Somalia. The framers of the Constitution deliberately divided the war powers between Congress and the President. They wanted these two branches to negotiate and cooperate on decisions to go to war.

Non-binding resolutions are the same thing as doing nothing at all Turley says. But Congress can stipulate that no money in an Iraq appropriation bill might be used in a surge. If Dubya tries a signing statement countermanding the clear will of Congress on an appropriations bill, it would be nothing short of theft.

At the Washington Post, Dan Froomkin says the escalation is a change of tactic, not strategy.

Peter W Galbraith explains why the surge won’t work.