I see alot of rhetoric about defunding and troop deployment from people that either do not understand the ramifications of losing the war on terror, or simply do not care about those same ramifications.
Some in the Democratic party actually do get it though. There IS nothing that congress can really do about what the President of the United States decides about the war. Period.
They can scream, yell, threaten and cry, but they have no power to do a single thing as of yet.
Frustrating for them? Personally I do not care how frustrated they are considering their bright ideas consist of one thing...cutting and running.
Think Progress has a lovely, feel good piece for the Democratic party, with Grandma Nancy and her big talk, but that is exactly what it is...big talk from little people.
Fact is, the President decides what the policy on Iraq is, and according to Barney Frank the Democrats are very aware of their limited options.
OLBERMANN: Are you fearful that if you were to cut the money off, if you were to actually refuse to bankroll it, as a Congress, that the money would be spent, there'd still be money spent to send them there, without protecting them, or...
[REP. BARNEY] FRANK: Well, that's the problem. It could be spent. The fact is that the Pentagon budget could--other money could be taken from other purposes and spend it. You couldn't do it just by voting no money. You would have to say--you'd have to pass something that said, None of the [money] that we're voting can be used for this. But it's too late for that. We've already voted for the defense budget for the year....
He already has hundreds of billions of dollars legally in his possession to spend. So there is, in fact, no way, I think, to cut off the money, unless we were to pass a law and he would veto it. So we are frustrated in that extent.
Based on Frank's assessment, cutting off funds sounds like a truly pointless crusade for Democrats. It won't work, the base will remain frustrated, and it could alienate even some moderate anti-war voters. Which leaves driving public opinion--and making Congressional Republicans as uncomfortable as possible--the Democrats' best, if limited, option.
Grandma Nancy Pelosi also knows this, which makes her assertion that she will not cut off funding for the war, here in this MSNBC article another "feel good" and "lets not admit we have no other options", statement, that is made because as per Franks assertions above, they cannot do it anyway.
No matter how you cut it, the President has plenty of time to do as he thinks is best, no matter what the Democrats in Congress think.
Bush is President, voted in to office twice.
Bush has the funds he needs to escalate if that is, indeed, what he plans on announcing.
They can all play this bipartisan game and make statements such as Pelosi's, that means absolutely nothing, in an attempt to make it "look" like she actually has any other options, but there are no actual, viable options for them.
As for President Bush, I sincerely hope that along with the "surge", there are also mandates for these troops that will allow them to do their jobs without hindrance and without their hands tied behind their backs.
Either give them the mission and let them complete it, give them the power they need to win, or do not send them.
I said yesterday there were too many cooks in the kitchen, and that must change also or the mission will fail. I for one would like to see our troops triumph, succeed.....have victory.
[Update #1] Just ran across this from KOTV:
But Pelosi's second-in-command in the House Democratic leadership, Steny Hoyer, told Fox News he doesn't ''want to anticipate'' that possibility. And the Democrat who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden, says Congress doesn't have the power to second-guess Bush's military strategy -- because lawmakers had voted to authorize him to wage war. Biden appeared on NBC's ''Meet the Press.''
The Senate's top Republican, Mitch McConnell, agreed, telling Fox News that Congress can't ''micro-manage'' the tactics in Iraq.
When asked about Pelosi's remarks, a White House spokesman said Bush welcomes any ideas on Iraq that ''lead to success.''
I also would not be so critical of the Democrats if instead of simply wishing to cut and run, they actively tried to help to "win". I am sure they could come up with some good ideas on the topic if they would get out of the mindset of giving up and put on their thinking caps and get into the mindset of winning and how to go about it.
Even if their suggestions went against Bush's ideas, it would put some variety on the table.
[Update #2] MyDD genuinely seems to not get it as the latest post says.
There's a whole lot more here that's very very wrong. Progressives worked to end this war, the public accepted these arguments and voted to end this war, and ending this war means less death and destruction. I'm sure there's more context here, and I'm sure there are ways that Obama could justify himself that I haven't thought of. At this point, though, I'm just confused. I really don't get it. Where is this coming from?
For once, I am not going to be a smartass here and answer Matt Stoller sincerely.
Matt, the problem started before the elections when the Democratic party insisted to their voters that they would end the war in Iraq if you voted them into power... they did this KNOWING there wasn't anything they actually could do about it.
I am not being sarcastic here or mean in answering you this way, I am saying that when they ran on their platform which consisted of nothing more than "we want out of Iraq" and " we will end this war in Iraq"... no one stopped and asked them the one question that would have told all... HOW??? How do you propose to do this?
As I pointed out above, Barney Frank has made it clear that the budget for the year has already been approved, the President has the money legally to do as he thinks is best, whether you agree with him or not, he IS the President and it is HIS choice how to handle Iraq.
They lied to you, pure and simple. Not your fault, but they did. They still are. If you read Pelosi's words, then compare them to the reality of the situation, you will see she is still being disingenuous to say the least.
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