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April 30, 2007

Comments

Polman again:

Longer term, the Democrats still need to work out some serious issues (what's the most responsible and feasible plan for managing Iraq, in the wake of a massive troop pullout?), but most Americans seem prepared to give them a chance to make their mark on national security. For that opportunity, the Democrats can thank George W. Bush.

And for those who just want to do the right thing and decry the politics (especially on the right), fuggedaboudit. Bush and the GOP are incapable of doing the right thing. he's too stubborn, they're too tied to his being president.

Democrats figure that ongoing Bush obstinacy and GOP fealty will benefit them politically. Swing-voting independents bailed out on Bush several years ago, and they haven't returned: In a recent Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, 80 percent of independents said that Bush's "surge" has either had no impact or made matters worse. Every poll indicates that roughly 60 percent of Americans favor tying the war money to a troop withdrawal timetable (again, with independents tipping the balance). And there's even broad support for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid's recent contention that the military war in Iraq has been "lost": An NBC-Wall Street Journal survey, conducted after Reid spoke, suggests that most Americans, by 55 percent to 36 percent, believe that victory in Iraq is no longer possible. In other words, Republicans seeking reelection next year are stuck with a defiant president who still fires up the conservative base - but alienates almost everyone else.

I've got a problem with Dick Polman. He thinks that Democrats shouldn't cut off funds. In fact, that's the ONLY way they can end the war. They don't have the votes to override a veto. They can't legislate us out of the war.

But they can take away the money.

No money, no war. Let Bush explain why he vetoed the spending bill leaving our troops allegedly unsupported. (Of course, Congress is happy to provide funds to bring them home—that's what people elected a Democratic Congress for...to end the war, and bring our troops home.)

Publicus

Do you suppose the Democrats are no more united than the Republicans?

Perhaps they too are politicians.

Jodi is a sock puppet.

Publicus has it exactly right. Altenately, the Dems should pass a bill which includes funding for the war (and the war only), and attach language which says that they will not be passing any more Iraq war funding bills in the future.

Every single funding bill MUST include timetables and benchmarks, as well as designated funding for body armor and veterans' care. After Bush vetoes the third funding bill, the Democrats can quite rightly say that there will be no more appropriations for the Bush/Cheney adventure. Cut the purse-strings. Hang the responsibility for the disaster firmly around his neck and use a dab of superglue to keep it there.

If the Democrats offer to fund the war until September and the preliminary estimate of the effectiveness of the escalation, Petraeus will delay the accounting and the Democrats will be pressured to fund for a few more months, and a few more after that... and the escalation will continue.

How may F.U.s does it take before even the generals figure out that the war was lost before the first bomb was dropped, the first woman raped, the first man tortured, the first museum looted, the first town leveled into rubble? It was lost when they went in without cause except to show the world their military might. Well, "shock and awe" obviously wasn't a winning ploy, but hubris in any form never is.

An unnecessary war is a great evil, and the price will be paid for decades.

how we have become stuck in the mire. where expectations are lowered. standards are reduced. nepotism before competence, no child left behind.
it is a simple world. believe in religion because there is no reason behind it. eat the dead, because they no longer care. kill the invader, because it will take your stuff. distrust everyone that doesn't talk just like you do. we have a moron as a mouthpiece and he doesn't even know what is going around him. it is a perfect choice by those that would want a shadow government. people got tired of a president that could express emotions, and most assuredly, that could inspire the masses. that they could not tolerate under any circumstances. they quickly grew tired of their first leader that wasn't a moron for 12 years.
our congress is a conspiracy to promote only one thing. their continued employment. otherwise, why would they still support the most criminal regime we have ever had? why is no one asking?

and does anyone really believe the bushit is going to veto the only bill he will get? if this congress puts forth any legislation that has been changed from this original, washed out and watered down as it is, then I would have to accuse congress of all being traitors and clearly not on the same side as the people of this country. are these little part humans really going to go back and give this subhuman what it wants to continue killing and lying and destroying the planet? that the hell kind of sense would this make? how would you explain this to any sentient being?

oldtree, I think one reason for such seemingly inexplicable attitudes is that over the last 50 years the majority of US citizens have grown to expect a comfortable standard of living as their right. Today fewer people face the kinds of real hardships that were much more common before WWII. As a result, people in general have forgotten (or, for most, never had to learn) what politics is really about, and why it matters to them. So instead of interest and participation, the predominant attitude is disinterest until things are plainly and irretrievably awful, followed eventually by anger, frustration and rejection.

But it is not at all certain that, after their anger and rejection has led to a change in government, whether it will then be followed by a renewal of interest and participation in politics and the processes of government. If people come to regard the events of present administration as historical aberrations caused by "a weak/poor/bad president," and nothing worse affects their lives, then little will change for the better. They will soon go back to sleep until the next crisis.

Things have to get worse before they can get better. And (sadly), despite all his failings, I don't think Bush will be really bad enough to produce the kinds of changes that are needed to fix the problems you are describing. Eventually, of course, reality and the rest of the World will prevail and people in the US will be forced to cooperate and share the resources more fairly. And ironically, the World's reaction to Bush and his blunders is going to help us move in that direction. But I doubt that his malign influence will be enough. I hate to be so pessimistic, but that's how I have come to see things lately.

There are two funding bills involved. The Supplemental is for the remainder of FY 2007 (Oct 2006-Sept 2007) and then the regualr Defense Appropriations Bill is for FY 2008, which runs from Oct 2007-Sept 2008.

The Bush Admion never put the wars into the regular appropriations bills because it would have busted the budget, they didn;t want to reveal what long wars they were planning for, and there are hearings and muich more scrutiny in the regular approps bills.

So every year at some point they conme in with an "Ooops!" supplemental bill asking for money they didn't accurately budget for, and insist it is an emergency. This is the war funding for the remainder of the fiscal year, but they probably pad it a bit.

So really Congress doesn't have to fund for more than to September, when Petraeus says he will be reevaluating etc. They can move the debate to the regualr Defense Approps Bill and conduct hearings etc. The Supplemental isn't all there is. In the regular approp bill they can add all sorts of qualifications and timetables and Bush would be facerd with vetoing the WHOLE defense budget just to perpetuate his war. This is probably the end game.

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