Monday, April 02, 2007

Raise You

Pardon my language, but if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) who has just signed on as co-sponsor of gutsy Sen. Russ Feingold's (D-WI) even tougher anti-Iraq War bill follows through on his threat to pass it next should El Presidente Decidero veto (as he has sworn to do) the current one on his desk, then the Democratic Party will indeed have developed a brand-spanking new set of testicles.

Says Reid:

“I am pleased to cosponsor Senator Feingold’s important legislation,” Reid said. “I believe it is consistent with the language included in the supplemental appropriations bill passed by a bipartisan majority of the Senate. If the President vetoes the supplemental appropriations bill and continues to resist changing course in Iraq, I will work to ensure this legislation receives a vote in the Senate in the next work period.”

Be still my heart.

The bill would give Bush one year -- until March 31, 2008 -- when the tap turns off, "with three narrow exceptions -- targeted counterterrorism operations, protection of U.S. personnel and infrastructure, and training and equipping Iraqi forces," as Feingold writes in Salon. He finds fairly recent precedent for Congress to do so in the 1993 defunding of our botched military action in Somalia (epitomized by Blackhawk Down), and reminds us that the Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of the same thing, a funding cut-off date:

None of those 76 senators, who include the current Republican leader and whip, acted to jeopardize the safety and security of U.S. troops in Somalia. All of them recognized that Congress had the power and the responsibility to bring our military operations in Somalia to a close, by establishing a date after which funds would be terminated.

I love Russ. It's a deep kinda thing. He spends tons of time every year going back and listening to his constituents, and he's working to carry out the will of our nation, at a time when the mainstream media can't even admit to us that Bush, Cheney and Rove are in the minority. And not 51/49 like their elections. From a January poll, right after El Presidente presented his escalation plan to the country:

The poll found that 61 percent of Americans oppose sending more than 20,000 additional troops to Iraq, with 52 percent saying they strongly oppose the plan. Just 36 percent said they back the president's new proposal.

Meanwhile, what tired hacksaw is Grand Inquisitor Cheney recycling:

“It’s time the self-appointed strategists on Capitol Hill understood a very simple concept: You cannot win a war if you tell the enemy when you’re going to quit,” Mr. Cheney said.

That would actually be true if you weren't you and it wasn't this ill-born war, Dick. Or, a happier spin on it, we've already won. We didn't just remove Saddam as originally intended, we got him hung. And guess what, we learned he had no weapons of mass destruction. Mission Accomplished. What the fuck are we still doing there?

Oh yeah, "you broke it, you own it." Well, the source of that quote, Colin Powell, bailed a long, long time ago. So he must figure our responsibility is over there, too.

My opinion isn't quite that. We do have a responsibility to the Iraqi people for the Pandora's Box we opened. But since we failed under Rumsfeld/Cheney to get the post-Saddam country under control in those first crucial six months and stuck with the failed policies so long that we are obviously past the point of no return, no possible win without supernatural intervention, we're responsible to get out and let the Iraq Civil War wrap itself up. Redeploy, stand ready, don't ever move again unless we get a real international coalition, like 80% of the world's governments.

There's the chance that the Dems will not hold together enough to pass the tougher bill, what with Lieberdouche riding the Karl Rove money train to reelection and standing by his Presidente for whatever misguided reasons and maybe not getting the two GOP defections this time.

But isn't it also likely that a George W. Bush veto would galvanize opposition to the President, like who is he to slap Congress in the face? And instead of having to override his veto with 67 votes, they could still win with 51? And how about the fact that the House Dems have an excellent record for not fracturing since the new Congress in January:

There are those who will scoff that putting “Democrats” and “party discipline” in the same sentence is an oxymoron. And over the first three months of the Democratic-controlled 110th Congress, much of the media has tended to focus on issues on which Democratic leaders have had to labor to forge a consensus — especially on how and when to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.

Yet an early Congressional Quarterly study of House members’ voting records suggests that party unity is far more the rule than the exception for the new Democratic majority in the House.

According to an unofficial analysis of House votes performed by senior reporter Greg Giroux, the average “party unity” score of the 233 House Democrats is 98 percent so far.

So Reid's move is smart politics from a legislative perspective -- don't waste time trying to override a veto -- and from a poker playing perspective. Think of it as a game of five-card stud at the final round of betting.

We haven't seen El Presidente's hole card, but he's been losing with the same betting style all night, so odds are it's as lousy as what's showing. He's threatening to up the ante, he may never blink, but he's worthless.

Meanwhile the Dems have U.S. popular opinion on their side. The hole card will reveal whether or not the GOP, through the media, are able to throttle that connection to reality. Bush raises one veto threat, it only makes sense for Reid to raise him one fixed withdrawal date.

Will El Presidente back down...or go all in?


Anonymous said...

What's going on is extremely interesting. There are no doubt 24/7 strategizing & polling sessions going on on both sides here because the real goal (Feingold notwithstanding) is to make sure the other guy gets stuck holding the bag (or as Senator Doubletalk would say "the tar baby") re the loss of the war & coming conflagration in the ME.

IMHO, no matter what happens, we're going to be in Iraq for another 50 years. Nobody says it out loud, but the operative strategy here is to hold the fort until inaguration day 2009, at which point the new president will beg the rest of the world to help out. If he/she's a Dem, they will.

President Dimwit was just on the tube. Didn't see it but I assume he called the Dems traitors, pansies, etc, etc.


Anonymous said...

Uh, oh: There's a new entrant in the race and i've got to say, he's a personal favorite.


Mark Netter said...

Run, Al, run!