March 23, 2007
It's easy if you try...
This is quite remarkable: The Washington Post, normally a pretty good newspaper, published a front-page article about the Democratic House and Senate caucuses wrangling with their wayward members. They tussled over how to enact legislation that would begin to force an American surrender in Iraq within the next few months -- by hanging that legislation like an albatross around the neck of the president's emergency supplemental war-funding bill.
The Post managed to get all the way through the story... without ever once mentioning the Republicans in the Senate, who will almost certainly filibuster the bill to death. In fact, the Post seemed unaware that Republicans in either chamber would get to cast a vote.
For that matter, they never even mentioned that President Bush fellow, who would naturally veto it, if it ever came to his desk. Rather, the Post implied that passing the Mount Everest of roadblocks -- getting the liberals to agree with the Blue Dogs to agree with Squeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Haight-Ashbury, 95%) -- meant that the bill would immediately become law!
What, have we suddenly become invisible?
"Liberal opposition to a $124 billion war spending bill broke last night," begins the story...
...when leaders of the antiwar Out of Iraq Caucus pledged to Democratic leaders that they will not block the measure, which sets timelines for bringing U.S. troops home.
The acquiescence of the liberals probably means that the House will pass a binding measure today that, for the first time, would establish tough readiness standards for the deployment of combat forces and an Aug. 31, 2008, deadline for their removal from Iraq.
A Senate committee also passed a spending bill yesterday setting a goal of bringing troops home within a year. The developments mark congressional Democrats' first real progress in putting legislative pressure on President Bush to withdraw U.S. forces.
Progress? Oh, please. They managed to get nearly all the Democrats to agree; I suppose that's progress of a sort... but it's like me saying I'm making "real progress" towards winning the Pullet Surprise this year because I convinced a few of my friends that I really deserve one.
This isn't the FDR era, when we had essentially one-party rule, and even Bob Hope (D-Hollywood, 120%) joked that there must be a Republican hiding in the bushes somewhere. "After all, somebody's buying all that caviar!"
Here is the only mention of the word "Republicans." It's not in the context of the Senate; they only mention House Republicans, who are powerless. I don't have a print edition in front of me, but I wouldn't be surprised if even this pair of grafs comes after the jump:
To the surprise of many antiwar activists, House Democratic leaders have been able to keep their conservative Blue Dog members largely onboard as they ratcheted up the bill's language. But with Republicans virtually united in opposition, Democrats can afford only 15 defections.
Bush and congressional Republicans have done their best to exploit the divisions, repeatedly mentioning that the Democrats are not united.
The editorial board of the WaPo aside, they still have to pass the bill in the United States Senate... where, contrary to the Post's fantasy, Republicans are still allowed to vote on the issue. There are 49 Republicans, 50 Democrats, and one Independent, Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT, 75%); but Lieberman is certain to vote against the timelines and readiness standards and forced troop withdrawals. That makes the score 50-50... and since Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD, 85%) is likely still medically unable to vote, that makes it 50-49 against passage.
On the last go-round, one Republican senator, Gordon Smith (R-OR, 72%), voted in favor of Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Caesar's Palace, 90%) previous attempt to surrender. But two Democrats, Sens. Mark Pryor (AR, 75%) and Ben Nelson (NE, 35%), voted against the bill. (Had Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, 65%, voted, it would have been 51 to 48 against, for an absolute majority.)
If the Democrats manage to get both Pryor and Nelson to flip back, and if they retain the vote of turncoat Smith, the absolute best they can manage is 51 to 49 in favor. But the vote will never even occur, because the Republicans will filibuster it. And the Democrats are lightyears away from the sixty votes needed to break a filibuster.
So just like every other Democratic attempt to starve the troops out of Iraq, binding or non-binding, the result will be a possible victory in the House -- swallowed up by the Senate. No bill will even reach the president's desk for him to veto.
But you'd never realize that from the Washington Post article. If that were all you read, you'd think it was a done deal, and the troops were already on their way home!
The more intriguing question is what will happen after the supplemental funding bill dies in the Senate. Will the House Democrats have the guts to refuse to bring up a clean funding bill? I'm skeptical that they're willing to face the American people and say, "Yes, b'gad, we are cutting off all funding to the troops in the field! Screw them; let 'em all die." If they did that, they certainly could never claim any credit for a victory... but boy, would they own the defeat.
The Democrats are poltroons. They know that if they cut the troops off at the knees, the Democrats would hemorrhage seats in 2008, likely losing one or both chambers of Congress and the presidency. And Bush would find a way to keep the war going anyway. The Democrats are not willing to go to the mattresses for their "ideals;" not if it means sacrificing their majority.
Look at the ADA ratings for Pryor and Nelson: 75% and 35% (!) respectively, and they both represent red states; Ben Nelson is the Democrat's version of Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME, 36%). What is the advantage for either of them in throwing away everything, just in order to force a defeat and withdrawal on America?
Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi may have the burning desire to recreate the Vietnam debacle, but I doubt Pryor and Nelson do... especially when there is zero chance of it passing -- but a 100% chance of a vote against the troops coming back to haunt them. Nelson is much more conservative, and he's safe until 2012; but Mark Pryor is up for reelection in 2008.
How many times are the Democrats going to go replay this commedia dell'arte farce? Have they enacted any substantive legislation through both chambers of Congress yet? I suppose they plan to gallop pell-mell through the entire 110th Congress, doing nothing but trying to cram defeat down the throat of victory in Iraq.
That's fine with me. They won't succeed in doing anything but pâté-ing their own foie gras... and I can live with that.
But next time, maybe Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY, 84%) can give Washington Post Executive Leonard Downie, Jr. a call and sort of, you know, jog his memory a bit. I'm sure forgetting the very existence of Republicans was just an oversight.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 23, 2007, at the time of 4:15 AM
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The following hissed in response by: Tomy
There is also the Independent Senator from Connecticut; the Angle on Reid's Right Shoulder.
The following hissed in response by: hunter
This is the one-party assumption of the MSM in full display. For decades the MSM, from the networks to the press to NPR, regularly frame their stories very frequently fromt he pov of 'what is the dems need to do to get issue "X" right?' or, ' what did the dems do wrong to permit the rascally Republicans to sneak *that* one in on the American people?'
Or, as here, pretend that there is only one party that matters.
The fact is the dhimmie majority is extremely narrow, cynical, and is rapidly sailing into oblivion. They have pased nearly nothing at all. The defeatocrats are all posture, sound and fury; signifying nothing at all. They have long left patriotism, caring for America and seeking victory. All they can see is defeat and they resent like crazy any distraction or detour from that being rapidly attained.
Think on this:
For purely cynical reasons they voted for the war in large majorities from the begining. For purely cynical reasons they turned against the war almost immediately. They think it was the war that got them their tiny majority in the 2006 election. So now in their madness they think what the American people voted for is a declaration of American defeat.
They will be terribly surprised.
If they would reflect on what happened in 1972, when a Republican was faced by a strong anti-war democrat, they might learn something.
But the dhimmies are spending energy that could have shown America united and led to an early victory, instead on sewing disunity at home and hope for enemies abroad.
They ahve made the choice. History will judge them harshly for it.
The following hissed in response by: Dana Pico
This is an absolute disgrace. The democrats pushed through a bill requiring withdrawal by August 31, 2008 -- two months before the election.
Now, if they really believe that the war is lost, why wait so long? The Democrats don't have to do anything, and they force us out by September 30, 2007, the end of the current fiscal year -- and that's nothing that the President can even veto. If the Democrats really think the war is a lost cause, then they are deliberately sacrificing every soldier killed between September 30, 2007 and August 31, 2008, just to keep the war as a political issue for the next election.
And if they don't believe that the war is lost, then they just lost it for us; all the enemy have to do now is to wait out the deadline. If the Democrats don't believe that the war is lost, then they need to get behind the president to help us achieve victory.
But, of course, they don't want that!
The above hissed in response by: Dana Pico at March 24, 2007 8:16 PM
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