mandate (n): a command or authorization to act in a particular way on a public issue given by the electorate to its representative
The Democrats claim that the November 2006 election gave them a mandate to end the war in Iraq. That isn't what they were saying late last year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said the following on November 30, 2006:
"Now he's the commander in chief, and we're not going to anything to limit funding or cut off funds, even though there are some on the outside who suggest that."
Now, on April 2, 2007, Reid said he supports a new bill that would set a March 31, 2008 deadline for withdrawing all troops and stopping most military spending in Iraq. To that end, both the House and Senate passed an Iraq spending bill that includes a troop pullout date by September of 2008.
Reid may want to consider contacting former trail lawyer John Edwards for some advice on scoring some money from the whiplash he is sure to be suffering from this complete 180.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called the date "completely arbitrary. It was pulled out of thin air. And the terrorists have already marked it on their calendars."
McConnell is correct in his presumption that the terrorists will have this date circled boldly in red on their calendars. But to call the pullout date "completely arbitrary" is either being naïve or too kind. September 2008? With a presidential election two months later? I believe "calculated" is a more appropriate term. And their calculation vaules Democrat control of the White House and Capitol in Washington higher than the cost of retreat and defeat for America in Iraq.
While Reid was boldly defying Republicans at home, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was busy giving President Bush a metaphorical middle finger from overseas as she met with Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, despite repeated requests from the White House not to do so. Syria was peing punished with a cut off of diplomatic relations due to Syria's support of terror operations throughout much of the Middle East, including supporting Hezb'allah.
Yet Pelosi, who wore a scarf and black abaya robe on her visit to the Omayyad Mosque, obviously had no qualms about the message of submission her trip surely sent to those who eagerly anticipate America's demise. That she would so brazenly advertise the political divide at home gave hope to our enemies that America will cease to be a threat in the near future. This is brazenly close to giving comfort of our opponents.
This 2005 letter from Ayman al-Zawahiri's letter to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi shows that indeed, our enemies have been taking notes:
"Things may develop faster than we imagine. The aftermath of the collapse of American power in Vietnam-and how they ran and left their agents-is noteworthy. Because of that, we must be ready starting now, before events overtake us, and before we are surprised by the conspiracies of the Americans and the United Nations and their plans to fill the void behind them."
Pelosi also overstepped her bounds, as her role as House Speaker has nothing to do with foreign diplomacy. Diplomacy is not within the boundaries of Congress, but the Executive branch. The Executive branch can call upon its experts from the Pentagon, the State Department, and the intelligence community. The principle "expert" Pelosi had at her disposal in Damascus was first term Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to the House - who was born and bred in the United States, and converted to Islam while he was in college.
Is this the mandate that the American people gave Democrats in November? To either pull our troops out precipitously before Iraq is secure, or to pull the funding rug out from under them? Back in February, a poll of registered voters showed that a majority believed our troops should stay until Iraq becomes stable enough for its government to maintain control and security for its own people.
Americans today are less prepared than in the past to hunker down for the long haul in situations like the one we face in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East. Our instant-gratification society, egged on by the impatient media, has weakened us in this regard. Those who fought and supported the wars of our past (Vietnam excluded) would be right to shake their heads in confusion over our short attention span and our media alignment with defeat. Yet despite this flaw, most of us believe in finishing the task we started.
The Democrats cannot understand this. After many years of being the minority party, they are suddenly drunk on the heady intoxicant known as power. They finally have a chance to stick it to the man they believe stole the election in 2000. Talk of impeachment still comes up, which would be retribution for the impeachment of Bill Clinton. It seems that discrediting a man, whose main goal is to protect us from another 9/11 disaster, takes precedence over taking national security issues seriously.
"United we stand, divided we fall." The Democrats' failure to understand this basic idea could be one of their biggest errors in the history of our nation... one that will be very costly to us all.