« A Merry Media Christmas |
Blog Home Page
| New Newsweek Poll a Head Scratcher »
December 8, 2007
Not with a bang, but a whimper
The Democrats in Congress have all but surrendered on the issue of Iraq War funding:
House Democratic leaders could complete work as soon as Monday on a half-trillion-dollar spending package that will include billions of dollars for the war effort in Iraq without the timelines for the withdrawal of combat forces that President Bush has refused to accept, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said yesterday. And that, dear readers, is that. Despite years of the most foul, false, and fetid rhetoric designed to undermine the American people's support for the war, the opposition party slinks away with its tail between its legs, defeated and demoralized.
In a complicated deal over the war funds, Democrats will include about $11 billion more in domestic spending than Bush has requested, emergency drought relief for the Southeast and legislation to address the subprime mortgage crisis, Hoyer told a meeting of the Washington Post editorial board.
If the bargain were to become law, it would be the third time since Democrats took control of Congress that they would have failed to force Bush to change course in Iraq and continued to fund a war that they have repeatedly vowed to end. But it would also be the clearest instance yet of the president bowing to a Democratic demand for more money for domestic priorities, an increase that he had promised to reject.
"The way you pass appropriations bills is you get agreement among all the relevant players, among which the president with his veto pen is a very relevant player," Hoyer said. "Everybody knows he has no intention of signing anything without money for Iraq, unfettered, without constraints. I think that's ultimately going to be the result."
All they can do to save face is pump the federal spigot for more money, daring Bush to veto wasteful spending that they have tied to funding the war. And the transparent hypocrisy doesn't end there:
The Democrats plan to take a three-step approach to completing the deal. House leaders are considering an initial allotment of about $30 billion, ostensibly for the war in Afghanistan and some other military needs, which all sides in the deal recognize could be shifted to fund the Iraq war. And so, funding for this "illegal and immoral war" will continue with no artificial timelines, no benchmarks that they know the Iraqi government can't meet, no political tricks. Bush gets war funding probably for 3 or 4 months, the Democrats in Congress get to go back to the home folks with a Santa's sleigh full of goodies for Christmas, and business goes on as usual in the Capitol with the taxpayer bringing up the rear in this deal.
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) then would allow Republicans to increase that amount to avert a filibuster of the spending bill in the Senate. The goal of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is $70 billion for the war, more than the $50 billion short-term funding that House Democrats initially proposed but far less than the $196 billion Bush has sought.
The Senate-passed bill would then go to the House for final approval.
And what of the netroots on the left who have failed so miserrably in getting their allies in Congress to end the war and hand Iraq over to the terrorists? Unfortunately for them, they underestimated the brilliance and professionalism of the American military who, finally given a plan for success, carried out their new mission with ruthless efficiency and the intelligent application of strategy designed to bring the populace to our side.
The fact that the counterinsurgency strategy has worked so well is what has destroyed the Democrat's position in Congress. You can't be for defeat when success is staring you in the face. And despite monumental problems that still need to be addressed, it is the Iraqis who will be increasingly responsible for solving them. That, is the real ticket home for our soldiers, not some artificial timetable set by politicians in Washington.