Dems Squirming on Iraq Funding Vote

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As each day passes and it becomes clearer that the improving situation in Iraq may very well lead to success, one is struck by a few notable occurrences:

1. Iraq has fallen off the front pages as a major news story; and

2. The cat has gotten the Democrat's tongues when it comes to talking about Iraq funding.

Democratic leaders are loath to acknowledge they’ve backed off, but lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, as well as congressional aides, say Democrats are trying to find a way to provide continued troop funding while searching for some compromises that show they’re still intent on challenging the president on the war.

The possible conditions for troop funding include anti-torture rules and benchmarks for Iraqi political reconciliation, language sure to upset an impatient Democratic anti-war base that wants immediate troop withdrawals.

According to one senior Democratic lawmaker, there’s a growing discomfort among pro-defense Democrats about linking a $50 billion Iraq measure to troop withdrawal. “We have to come off this lack of funding for the military operations,” the lawmaker said.

“We have to continue the funding. We don’t want to look like we’re against troop funding. ... We should separate the funding discussion from the rest of the war.”
This is a 180 degree turnabout on the debate over the war. The leadership is worried that they can't even hold their own caucus over a timeline for troop withdrawals? And separating the funding discussion from the rest of the war means that the Democrats realize they can't fight success and must attack the Administration from a different angle.

Expect a deal to be reached before Christmas Congressional break that gives Bush everything he wants with few, if any, strings attached.

Remarkable turnaround - both on the battlefield and in the halls of Congress.
As each day passes and it becomes clearer that the improving situation in Iraq may very well lead to success, one is struck by a few notable occurrences:

1. Iraq has fallen off the front pages as a major news story; and

2. The cat has gotten the Democrat's tongues when it comes to talking about Iraq funding.

Democratic leaders are loath to acknowledge they’ve backed off, but lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, as well as congressional aides, say Democrats are trying to find a way to provide continued troop funding while searching for some compromises that show they’re still intent on challenging the president on the war.

The possible conditions for troop funding include anti-torture rules and benchmarks for Iraqi political reconciliation, language sure to upset an impatient Democratic anti-war base that wants immediate troop withdrawals.

According to one senior Democratic lawmaker, there’s a growing discomfort among pro-defense Democrats about linking a $50 billion Iraq measure to troop withdrawal. “We have to come off this lack of funding for the military operations,” the lawmaker said.

“We have to continue the funding. We don’t want to look like we’re against troop funding. ... We should separate the funding discussion from the rest of the war.”
This is a 180 degree turnabout on the debate over the war. The leadership is worried that they can't even hold their own caucus over a timeline for troop withdrawals? And separating the funding discussion from the rest of the war means that the Democrats realize they can't fight success and must attack the Administration from a different angle.

Expect a deal to be reached before Christmas Congressional break that gives Bush everything he wants with few, if any, strings attached.

Remarkable turnaround - both on the battlefield and in the halls of Congress.