8 thoughts on “Reality and Resolve

  1. According to today’s Wapo:

    “Just 39 percent said they approved of the job Congress is doing, down from 44 percent in April, when the new Congress was about 100 days into its term. More significantly, approval of congressional Democrats dropped 10 percentage points over that same period, from 54 percent to 44 percent.
    Much of that drop was fueled by lower approval ratings of Democrats in Congress among independents, liberal Democrats and opponents of the war. While independents were evenly split on the Democrats in Congress (49 percent approved; 48 percent disapproved) in April, that is now down to 37 percent approve, 54 percent disapprove. And among liberal Democrats, approval of congressional Democrats dropped 18 points.”

    The fact is the Democrasts had the choice to move Bush’s “clean” funding bill or not. If they didn’t move the bill then it was Bush who did not have the votes. They chose to do Bush’s bidding. As I said people are bound to question what the Democrats stand for when they choose to follow Bush and his media cheerleaders.

  2. I’m disappointed that Congress wasn’t tougher, too. But what do you imagine would happen if Congress had not passed some kind of appropriations bill that Bush would sign? Do you think Bush would have caved in and brought the troops home? Or do you think he just would have siphoned money from some other part of the budget and told Congress to bleep itself?

  3. Probably the latter. But Democrats would have done the right thing. And Bush would have great difficulty so openly defying Congress on an issue (funding of the war) where even many Republicans had conceded was the prerogative of Congress.

    The reality, as proven by today’s polls, is that doing the expedient thing has proven a political loser for the Democrats.

    The public voted to end the war. It was obviously the number one issue of the last election and the Democrats won. Now they want to wait around until there is some there is some more convenient time to end this. When things look clearer or the polls are in favour by 90/10 instead of 70/30 or some other excuse. .That is never going to happen. They have missed a great opportunity.

  4. Probably the latter. But Democrats would have done the right thing.

    No, that would have been the dumb thing. It would be dumb because, first, it would throw Pentagon procedures into disarray, probably making logistics, supply and procurement generally a bigger mess than it already is. This really could put the troops into increased danger. And you know the White House would siphon more money for the contractors and the permanent bases than the troops.

    Second, this kind of grandstanding would make the eventual goal of a veto-proof majority even harder. Bush has to be forced to either bring the troops home or directly defy a two-thirds majority of Congress. And THIS is important because the ONLY way the troops are going to come home before 2009 is for Congress to kick Bush out of the way and take control of the war itself. Bush will NEVER order those troops home, money or no money.

    I realize that what you suggest would be a lot more emotionally gratifying than what the Dems did, but that wouldn’t have made it the “right” thing.

  5. Maha
    If you want to echo Republican talking points about troops being left out in the field with no food or ammunition, thats up to you, but the effect is to emasculate Congress since it means that in effect they can never cut off funds to end any war. Any President can simply invoke the same logic to keep any war , anywhere, going on as long as they wish.
    Read the Constitution. Is the above what they intended.

    As for getting a two-thirds majority in Congress, take a look at the poll I reference above. The Democrats are down, ergo the Republicans have improved their position.
    The Republican Congress members won’t be going anywhere because their strategy has just been vindicated.

  6. If you want to echo Republican talking points about troops being left out in the field with no food or ammunition, thats up to you,

    If you have to distort what I wrote, I say I already won the argument. The “no funds for the war” crowd seems to think that not funding the war will force Bush to bring the troops home. I say it wouldn’t, because Bush would just siphon money from elsewhere.

    However, I AM saying that NORMAL PENTAGON SPENDING AND PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES WILL BE DISRUPTED, which is an entirely different matter. If you had even a particle of a clue about military logistics, perhaps you would appreciate what I am saying. I guess you don’t. The point is that if money is going through the White House instead of logistics officers, chaos will be the likely result.

    Regarding what the constitution says, I’m way ahead of you.

    You’re done now. Goodbye.

  7. The Democrats have a clear constitutional right to end actions including military actions by the executive through the power of the purse. Instead they throw up their hands and tell us all the reasons why than can’t do what they have the clear right to do (“the logistics” ).
    Yes its messy and risky. And not just because of what Bush might do but because what the Sunnis might do and the Saudis and AQ and the Turks etc. etc.

    Far better just to hand off responsibility to the other party. I’m sure they’ll do what’s right.

  8. NYT — now you’re the one who is repeating Republican talking points. Congress’s constitutional war powers extend to far more than the “power of the purse,” and it’s time more people acknowledged that. Especially Congress. IMO the “power of the purse” talking point is part of a campaign by the Right to keep Congress weak and pliable.

    Your problem is that you only see two opposite approaches to this issue — your way and utter surrender. That’s the way righties think; everything is either all this or all that; black or white. Your way will not end the war, and you’ve acknowledged that, so I don’t understand why you’re so married to it, or why you seem to think the recent vote was the Dems’ last and only chance to end the war. The fact is that there will be several other votes coming up this year regarding Iraq, and every one will be another opportunity to checkmate Bush.

    It’s obvious that the strategy Pelosi and Reid are trying to pull off is to put together a veto-proof majority so that Congress can assert its constitutional war powers and take the war away from Bush. The big “if” is whether enough Republicans will jump ship to accomplish this, but if they do, forcing an end to the war would suddenly get a whole lot easier.If Bush does not comply with a two-thirds majority of Congress, we’d be facing the biggest constitutional crisis since the Civil War. Then things could get interesting.

    In other words, your way WON’T work, but you think it’s the only correct way. What Congress actually is trying to do (I’m not calling it “my” way because I’d do a few things differently) has a chance at ending the war. Yet Congress’s way is “surrender” and your way isn’t. OK, whatever. Now, go away.

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