It wasn’t really a difficult guess. I said, here, that the Democrats’ proposed timeline for withdrawal from Iraq, which put the end date at August, 2008, indicated that they weren’t really opposed to the war because they didn’t like the war or thought it was hopelessly lost, but actually liked the war — for the political benefits they think it brings them.
- Instead, they are wasting their breath on stuff that wonâ€™t do squat â€” which tells me that, while they might not like the war, they never were serious about actually doing anything about it in the first place.
Besides, theyâ€™d much rather have the war as an issue in the 2008 elections!
The answer is ridiculously simple: the Democrats donâ€™t like the war, but they do like the idea of having it as an issue going into the 2008 elections. And because the legislation contains loopholes, President Bush could extend the â€œdeadline,â€ (which you know the Democrats hope he will do) until right up until the election.
Well, after two appropriations with limitations President Bush would not accept were vetoed, it appears that the Democrats are going to give Mr Bush the money he wants, with some added porcine spending to bring in a few recalcitrant members; they got a fig-leaf of respectability for their base with a minimum wage increase built in (a major campaign promise, but one that really doesn’t mean anything, since the economy is already well ahead of the minimum wage).
Bush lends support for Iraq war spending bill
Presidential contenders now face critical votes on war funds
WASHINGTON – (AP) –President Bush said he supports a $120 billion Iraq war spending bill on track to to pass Congress Thursday, ending weeks of wrangling with congressional Democrats on how long U.S. troops should stay.
The bill funds the war through September as Bush wanted and does not set a date for troop withdrawals. In exchange for dropping restrictions on the military, Bush agreed to some $17 billion in spending added by Democrats to fund domestic and military-related projects.
“By voting for this bill, members of both parties can show our troops and the Iraqis and the enemy that our country will support our service men and women in harm’s way,” Bush said in a Rose Garden news conference.
The bill includes the nearly $100 billion that President Bush requested for military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as billions in domestic spending, including $6.4 billion in hurricane relief and $3 billion in agricultural assistance.
Republicans were unhappy about the added domestic spending, but said they were relieved the final measure did not attempt to set a timetable on the war.
“We cannot and will not abandon the Iraqis to be butchered by these terrorists in their midst,” said Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif. “And we cannot and will not abandon our mission just as real progress is starting to be made.”
While the measure does not include a timetable on the war, it does threaten to withhold U.S. aid dollars for Iraq if Baghdad fails to make progress on political and security reforms. The president, however, could waive that restriction.
Of course, the President has already said that it would be difficult for the Iraqis to meet the benchmarks set — which means that he has set the table for waiving the restrictions.
Our friends on the left are having a hard time with this, as you’d expect: Andre of the Constitution Club simply said Ugh. Blu thought that Andre was referring to the House Democratic leadership by the slang term for female genetalia. Georgia at The Lost Kos is very upset:
Like the good folks over at MyDD and throughout the blogs, I’m stunned that any Democrat would seriously consider voting in favor of a Republican bill.
Democrats just don’t get it.
When I say “Democrats,” I exclude the growing number of Democrats who are calling for defunding or redeployment, such as Senators Kerry, Dodd, Feingold, etc. and the Out of Iraq Caucus in the House. I refer to the Democrats who voted against the McGovern bill, against Reid-Feingold, and those who intend to vote for the Capitulation Bill.
Kos himself was, shall we say, disappointed:
- I’ve never been under any illusion that this war would end before the next Democratic president took charge. But when a party wins control of Congress on ending the war, I thought they would at least work to make that happen.
That way, they’d show the American people that hey — these guys will really fight for what they were elected to do!
And that’s why today is so disappointing. Congressional Democrats made a promise to force change in Iraq. Had they done their job, Bush would’ve found a way around it — signing statements, ignoring them, spurring a drawn-out Constitutional crisis, whatever.
But at least people would have a clear distinction between the Bush party, and those trying to clean up the mess.
But today, that trust of the voters was betrayed. Democrats proved that they won’t fight for what is right, nor will they fight to keep the promises they made the electorate.
They proved that they are as weak, as unprincipled, and as ineffective as Republicans and the media have claimed they are. They reinforced myriad negative talking points, and gave voters a new reason to distrust them.
But hey, they didn’t “relish” being criticized by Mr. 28%. Thank heavens that will now be avoided!
And far-left Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) lamented it as well, also writing on The Lost Kos:
This situation is a collapse for Democrats. We had a strong start, pushed back against the Presidentâ€™s failed policy and held our ground that the supplemental should include binding language to end the war. But now, as Congress gets ready to send the President a bill that does nothing to get our troops out of Iraq, we are just folding our cards.
- (The Democratic) party should be called the Outdoor Chair Party because it folds so easily.
That’s got to be the best line of the day! [Hat tip to Sister Toldjah!]
Some of our friends on the left have simply left the issue alone; as of this writing, neither The Liberal Avenger nor Pandagon has a post on it. I’m speculating here, but they might be just too plain disgusted for words.
The Democrats are caught in a logical conundrum here. If they believe that the war is lost, just flat lost, they ought not vote even a single penny to continue it; such would be throwing away more American lives and treasure, for no good purpose. And if they don’t believe that the war is lost, then they ought to get the Hell out of the way and support the Commander-in-Chief, and try to help win it.