The White House is making Congress's job impossible. They've been doing that on several fronts for some time now. But in this case, I refer to the real solution for Iraq.
Every single person, outside of the president and vice-president, realizes the answer to Iraq is a political solution, not a military one. Unfortunately, the only two people who can order diplomacy and look for a political answer are the president and the vice-president.
So, the White House insists on a military solution. Then demands the Congress come up with their own military solution as an alternative, thereby putting them in an untenable situation.
There is no way to "win" in Iraq through addition or subtraction of troops. By getting the Democrats to play on this field, the Republicans force them into a loss no matter what answer they come up with. Unfortunately for the Republicans, their loss will be even bigger. But they seem perfectly content with a lose-lose scenario. That's how they've been running their campaigns for some time now - "I might be bad at my job, but the Democrats will hand you children over to the terrorists and homosexuals" or "I might be a bad candidate, but my opponent is black or has illegitimate black children."
The Republicans make it hard not to have utter contempt for them. Look at their latest strategy. They're going to filibuster a non-binding resolution on Iraq. What happened to up and down votes? What happened to filibusters under only most extreme circumstances? They have proven themselves inveterate liars - once again.
And mighty brave "mavericks" like Chuck Hagel fold like a house of cards again. When push comes to shove, Hagel never votes the right way. All Talk, No Vote Hagel did it again. He helped the Republicans shut down debate on Iraq when he just said a couple of weeks ago that it would be "weak" to not debate this issue. As Markos said, maybe he ought to look into selling shoes instead.
But even if we get this "debate" restarted, it is an unwinnable debate. You can't set Iraq straight by adding or withdrawing US troops. You have to get all the warring parties to the table and cut a deal. But we have an administration completely unable to carry out diplomacy. They don't do nuance and they don't do negotiations.
Dick Cheney is said to have once turned down an excellent deal from Iran because "we don't talk to evil." That is one of the top five dumbest lines ever uttered by an elected official (right up there with, "Russia's big and so is China.").
I think it is imperative to come up with constructive solutions rather than just criticism. So, I normally go out of my way to come up with new suggestions, even if I know there's no way in the world the clowns in the Oval Office will implement the solution. It's just the right thing to do.
Having said that, I am all out of ideas on this one. How do you do diplomacy when the White House won't cooperate? How do we get the United States to start negotiations when our executive branch won't go along?
I'm not sure there is an answer. This is one of the reasons why I have been moved to support impeachment. We can't go another two years without anyone seeking a diplomatic answer to Iraq (or Iran). That's unacceptable. And the guys in the White House are constitutionally incapable of diplomacy. And we are constitutionally incapable of doing diplomacy without them.
If someone has an answer outside of impeachment, I'd love to hear it.