May 22, 2007
Dems Agree to Allow Possibility of Victory In Iraq
Staving off the feverish Democratic attempt to force defeat on America, President George W. Bush held firm, threatened vetos, and backed up the threats by actually vetoing a troop-funding bill that included a timetable for surrender.
And today, the Democrats finally blinked, as we knew they eventually must:
Flinching in the face of a veto threat, Democratic congressional leaders neared agreement with the Bush administration Tuesday on legislation to pay for the Iraq war without setting a timeline for troop withdrawal.
Several officials said the emerging compromise bill would cost about $120 billion, including as much as $8 billion for Democratic domestic priorities - originally resisted by the White House - such as disaster relief for Hurricane Katrina victims and farmers hurt by drought.
I cannot see how this can be spun, without inducing laughter, as anything but victory for Bush and the mainstream of the GOP and defeat for the defeatists in Congress. But that doesn't stop Majority Leader Harry "Pinky" Reid (D-Caesar's Palace, 95%) from trying:
Despite the concession, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told reporters that the legislation would be the first war-funding bill sent to Bush since the U.S. invasion of Iraq "where he won't get a blank check."
Reid and other Democrats pointed to a provision that would set standards for the Iraqi government in developing a more democratic society. U.S. reconstruction aid would be conditioned on progress toward meeting the goals, but Bush would have authority to order the money to be spent regardless of how the government in Baghdad performed.
If Democrats want to claim "victory" for forcing the president to decide whether to condition reconstruction funds on political progress -- which he already has authority to do -- let them, so long as they cease trying to force a U.S. surrender in Iraq. But look at it this way: Sen. Reid has now agreed to continue funding, and sending men and women to die in, a war that Reid said we have already "lost."
This should tell us just how much Reid actually believed what he said when he said it.
And for what have the Democrats sold out the nutroots, thrown in the towel, and agreed to allow the war to continue? Why, for a great and noble purpose that certainly transcends the trivial matters of war and peace:
Several officials said the emerging compromise bill would cost about $120 billion, including as much as $8 billion for Democratic domestic priorities - originally resisted by the White House - such as disaster relief for Hurricane Katrina victims and farmers hurt by drought....
[So] Republicans paid a price, too, in terms of billions of dollars in domestic spending that Democrats wrung from them and the administration....
The bill would also include the first increase in the federal minimum wage in more than a decade.
Well! I can see how such a momentous victory as increasing the minimum wage and adding $8 billion to the previous many billions of dollars for the whiny Hurricane Katrina victims would certainly justify the dreadful step of allowing American victory in Iraq -- as horrible a prospect as that might be.
However, in the House (but not the Senate), Democrats even have a solution for that angst-ridden requirement, for those Democrat representatives whose souls would be pained by having to break faith with their constituents... to whom the Democrats promised a horrific American defeat. Squeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Haight-Ashbury, 95%) appears to have decided to split the authorizing legislation in the House (not Senate) into two pieces: one funding bill for all the urgent domestic spending and the minimum-wage increase, the other for the troops.
The House (not Senate) Democrats would enthusiastically vote for the first. But for the second bill, all but the most conservative Blue-Dog Democrats (in the H., not S.) would vote against funding the troops... which would still allow it to pass, albeit by a narrow margin, with the expected, near-unanimous Republican support. Thus in the House of Representatives at least -- if not in the Senate -- "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party," as the late Sen. Paul Wellstone used to say, needn't taint its dainty fingers by being on the same side as America.
Then both bills would be merged when they arrive at the Senate, leaving Harry Reid without succor for his bruised conscience; but by great good fortune, his scruples have harder calluses than hers.
The really interesting question is whether the Republicans who have been pushing defeat for so many months will vote for this bill... or whether they will turn out to be more liberal (and un-American) than even the Democratic Party leadership. Only time...
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, May 22, 2007, at the time of 4:13 PM
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The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist
Doesn't our Congresspeople ever listen!!!
Does that mean that 30% of the public wants to stay in Iraq forever? Perhaps the public is confusing the Congresspeople...
Here's my favorite (though Dem Congresspeople may disagree w/ me, i suspect...):
We traded in the "Rubber Stamp Congress"...and all we got was the "Rubber Spine Congress". It's useless.
The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist at May 22, 2007 5:37 PM
The following hissed in response by: Pam
This is of course great news; I hope the Bill is on the President's desk by Friday. And I hope you're right about the Surge, not yet Surge, and the good Gen. will have something positive to say this Sept.
Thanks for your detailed posts.
The following hissed in response by: snochasr
What is this shenanigan about splitting the bill? Where in the Constitution (not that that ol' rag matters to Democrats) say that can be done? If splitting it is a good idea, why not just pass two bills, and give the Senate and the President the same opportunity?
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