November 18, 2005

Denny Hastert Finds a Spine

Hatched by Dafydd

Or perhaps he simply rented one. In any event, he has wisely scheduled a vote on Mad-Eye Murtha 's document of surrender.

House Republicans, sensing an opportunity for political advantage, maneuvered for a quick vote and swift rejection Friday of a Democratic lawmaker's call for an immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq.

"We want to make sure that we support our troops that are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. "We will not retreat."

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi had no immediate reaction to the planned vote.

Quelle surprise. She's already chewed through most of the rugs in her congressional office suite and is commencing on the furniture. The absolute last thing the Democrats wanted at this juncture was actually to be put in the quandry of going on record about what to do in Iraq -- stay and fight or cut and run, abandon our allies, and lunge at American defeat as if it were the brass ring on the merry-go-round.

The "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party" is in raptures over the Murtha proposal. MoveOn, Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich, our old friend Stansfield Turner (who calls Dick Cheney "vice president for torture"), Ramsey Clarke, Noam Chomsky and the like are always overjoyed when they can make America lose a war; and the fact that we would then assuredly be attacked over and over again by terrorists would just be icing on the cake, since they believe we could only respond then by becoming more socialist, more appeasing, weaker... more like France.

But the AP story has the other horn of the dilemma exactly backwards:

By forcing the issue to a vote, Republicans placed many Democrats in a politically unappealing position - whether to side with Murtha and expose themselves to attacks from the White House and congressional Republicans, or whether to oppose him and risk angering the voters that polls show want an end to the conflict.

Yeah, they wish. There has been no poll whatsoever that has ever showed a majority of the American voter (or even a sizable minority) wants us to bolt from Iraq and make all the Democrats' dreams about Vietnam come true. Not a one. Every poll shows that, regardless of whether they support the war or now believe it was not worth fighting, whether they believe the president was correct, wrong but truthful, or that he "lied us into war," Americans nevertheless recognize that the war has become a war against the most evil forces of terrorism and must be won before we can withdraw. Iraq must be left as a functioning democracy that has the ability to defend itself.

And that is the other side of the coin for Democrats: they can either vote against Murtha and infurate the leftmost branch of the party, which happens to be the only branch left with political energy (and necessary cash)... or they can vote with Murtha and reinforce, all over again, exactly why they can never again be trusted with the reins of power. "The Democrats were absolutely right to compare Iraq to Vietnam," the Republicans should argue: "because in both cases, the Democratic Party wants America to surrender to evil and withdraw from the world, hoping that appeasement causes our enemies to take pity on us. They were wrong to cower before Ho Chi Minh in 1974 -- and it's just as despicable to crawl before Zarqawi in 2005."

The other excellent outcome of this vote today -- and I truly hope the argument stretches on over the weekend and into next week, so we can milk this terrible error by the Democrats for all it's worth -- is that it will put all House Republicans on record as well: and I expect that each and every one, the entire 232-member extended family (weird uncles and crackpot cousins included), will vote to defeat John Murtha's craven proposal. They have no need to appease appeasers, as there is no MoveOn wing of the GOP.

This gives them a golden opportunity to get that "mulligan" we all want on the stupid Senate vote: the House can redeem the other side of Capitol Hill. And just because they're not voting, don't expect the Senate Republicans will keep their mouths shut about this; they can erase by their denunciation of this bill the taint of their slap at President Bush a few days ago.

Finally, the Bush administration had better pounce on this over the weekend and beat the Democrats like a taiko drum for the next several months. The meme is obvious: "For three years now, the Democrats have been obsessed, even possessed, with trying to prove that the president lied us into the war, despite all the evidence that convinced even the Democrats themselves just three years ago. And what is the result of this derangement? They become so intent upon making their 'Iraq equals Vietnam' rhetoric into a self-fulfilling prophecy, they're now actually demanding that America surrender to the terrorists, just to enhace the Democrats' political prospects in 2006 and 2008."

Speaker Hastert has shown the excellent political instincts that propelled him into the big chair in the first place. Go, dawg, go!

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 18, 2005, at the time of 2:41 PM

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The following hissed in response by: larwyn

Right after the FNC's panel finished and ads came on I surfed to next in line CNN to be greeted
by an internet poll taken by Lou during 6PM EST
broadcast. Hold on to your hat:

Poll by Lou Dobbs on CNN shows 87% want withdrawal within 6 months.
Think poll shows that only 13% of those still in sanity zone watch CNN.

The above hissed in response by: larwyn [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 18, 2005 4:13 PM

The following hissed in response by: beebop

I just saw Murtha interviewed in Chris Matthews' Show "Marshmellow" and he was backpedling furiously, saying this resolution is an insult to his proposal because he didn't say withdraw immediately, he said withdraw as soon as practicable -- oh,o.k., I'm glad he cleared that up.

The above hissed in response by: beebop [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 18, 2005 4:26 PM

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