Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Reid Surrenders

Doug Mills/The New York Times

“Congressional Democrats relented today on their insistence that a war spending measure sought by President Bush also set a date for withdrawing troops from Iraq. The decision to back down, described by senior lawmakers and aides, was a wrenching reversal for some Democrats, who saw their election triumph as a call to force an end to the war.”
“We don’t have a veto-proof Congress,” said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader.

Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the House Democratic majority leader, said the new bill was still being assembled, but he acknowledged the political reality facing Democrats. “The president has made it very clear that he is not going to sign timelines,” said Mr. Hoyer. “We can’t pass timelines over his veto.”
So what? The American people want the troops home. NOW.

The American people want timelines. NOW. Let aWol keep vetoing the bill. It's HIS FRICKING WAR! Let him OWN IT!!! If aWol refuses to accept the will of the American people, you know...the people he and Congress WORK FOR...then aWol is not supporting the troops. Democrats should continue to pass appropriation bills with timelines. Over and over and over, if necessary. aWol would take the political heat, not Democrats. Why is that so difficult to understand?

At least
Russ Feingold contines to get it:
“Under the President’s Iraq policies, our military has been over-burdened, our national security has been jeopardized, and thousands of Americans have been killed or injured. Despite these realities, and the support of a majority of Americans for ending the President’s open-ended mission in Iraq, congressional leaders now propose a supplemental appropriations bill that does nothing to end this disastrous war. I cannot support a bill that contains nothing more than toothless benchmarks and that allows the President to continue what may be the greatest foreign policy blunder in our nation’s history. There has been a lot of tough talk from members of Congress about wanting to end this war, but it looks like the desire for political comfort won out over real action. Congress should have stood strong, acknowledged the will of the American people, and insisted on a bill requiring a real change of course in Iraq.”
Emphasis mine. And Paul Krugman states the case more eloquently than I--"Confronting Mr. Bush on Iraq has become a patriotic duty":
Since the beginning, the administration has refused to put funding for the war in its regular budgets. Instead, it keeps saying, in effect: “Whoops! Whaddya know, we’re running out of money. Give us another $87 billion.” ...

What I haven’t seen sufficiently emphasized, however, is the disdain this practice shows for the welfare of the troops, whom the administration puts in harm’s way without first ensuring that they’ll have the necessary resources.

As long as a G.O.P.-controlled Congress could be counted on to rubber-stamp the administration’s requests, you could say that this wasn’t a real problem, ... just part of its usual reliance on fiscal smoke and mirrors. But this time Mr. Bush decided to surge additional troops into Iraq after an election in which the public overwhelmingly rejected his war — and then dared Congress to deny him the necessary funds. As I said, it’s an act of hostage-taking.

Actually, it’s even worse than that. According to reports, the final version of the funding bill ... won’t even set a hard deadline for withdrawal..., only an “advisory,” nonbinding date. Yet Mr. Bush plans to veto the bill all the same — and will then accuse Congress of failing to support the troops.

The whole situation brings to mind what Abraham Lincoln said ... in 1860, about secessionists who blamed the critics of slavery for the looming civil war: “A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, ‘Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!’ ”

So how should Congress respond to Mr. Bush’s threats? ... Confronting Mr. Bush on Iraq has become a patriotic duty.
Democrats won control of both Houses of Congress with a mandate to change things. The Republican-controlled Congress did nothing against aWol's wishes. The Dems should make the changes. It's their patriotic duty.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., co-founder of the liberal Out of Iraq Caucus, said she will vote against the new measure and predicted that many of colleagues will join her.

"Every time we negotiate, it (the bill) becomes weaker," said Woolsey, D-Calif. "This is a Republican bill, so it better be Republican votes that pass it."
Woolsey's right, no one should vote for this thing. It's a Republican bill, let them pass it.

I'm with Blue Girl.
If this passes the House, there will be an electoral bloodbath in November of 2008, and the carcasses of Republican and Democrat alike will litter the landscape.
Damn straight.