It doesn't get any uglier than what happened yesterday in Congress. The DC Democrats who led in this direction should be ashamed. It makes you wonder what might have been if Jack Murtha would have been in a leadership position instead of Steny Hoyer. Few led stronger on that fight than the Huffington Post. When you see even Speaker Pelosi likely to back away from the bill that is coming out of Congress, it's rather sobering.
Ms. Pelosi made clear that if money for the war was going to be provided without a timeline for withdrawal, it would be without her personal support. "I would never vote for such a thing," Ms. Pelosi said as she entered the office of Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, to put the final touches on the $120 billion proposal.
Democrats Pull Troop Deadline From Iraq Bill
What happened is really simple.
Democrats were going down on this, because we didn't have the votes. They had two choices, neither one easy, with one less bloody emotionally. Either send Bush a bill he wouldn't like and get another veto. Or send Bush a bill they knew he'd sign, but many Democrats couldn't support, in order to get the funding in place before the Memorial Day recess. Then the ghost of Vietnam reared her ugly head and the shadow she cast put everyone in the dark and took their courage in the cold. It's amazing that a thirty year old curse can come back to freeze you in your tracks.
Jim Moran says, "It was a concession to reality." Not my reality, that's for sure. Because when something is wrong it's simply wrong. Nothing is more wrong than this war.
Rahm Emanuel said, "I view this as the beginning of the end of the president's policy on Iraq." Wherever he's sitting I want that view, because I just don't see it that way and I'm not alone.
There is no doubt that Democrats pushed this process and won some tough victories, getting votes on Reid-Feingold, as well as the McGovern bill. However, in the end it came down to Bush is going to veto it anyway, because we don't have the votes, so sending another bill to get vetoed will only bring on charges that we don't support the troops. We'll live to fight another day.
It will take a new generation of Democratic members of both the Senate and the House to shed that pernicious curse; a haunting from another war era. A generation of people for whom Vietnam is last century's war, with the accusations that come from that time finally killed from age and through the bravery of people who can stand and take a punch. Then take another. As good as our leaders are today, and we've got some good ones, many still haven't shaken the legacy of Vietnam, with others just not up to the job they've got. It will take a generation of fearless leaders who are not held hostage by dead voices of long ago actors who still haunt the halls of Congress because of votes past, reminding the current crop that behind every principled loss is actually a hero; with the person standing up for something just to get it done the real coward. By the time people get to Congress they're supposed to know these differences on their own.
The lack of courage in Congress yesterday was simply stunning.
While this dance goes on between lesser men and women, the build up in Iraq goes on. With reports of 200,000 troops by year end, this isn't ending anytime soon. We've got the largest base on planet earth now being built in Iraq. Hey, but we've always got September. The Republicans can choke on September, which is their date, not mine. Anyone with half a brain knows they're all just buying time. However, they're doing it with American blood, which I cannot abide.
A lot can happen when you give people with power and sloppy impulse control time. Surge turns into an escalation, which turns into a build up, then before you know it the presidential election rolls around.
But at least Bloody Tuesday is over.
One thing left for Democrats in Congress to do: VOTE NO on the bill.
You can sign a petition to send a message.
Oh, and I got an email a little earlier today that asked a very good question. Where's the filibuster? Seriously, if Democratic senators don't like this bill they've definitely got options. Aren't we in charge?
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