Keep in mind a couple things that make this even more amusing.
First: David Obey is a Democrat. Second: He is the Chairman of Appropriations.
Tina Richards, identified as a military mom: (Introducing herself to Obey). Tina Richards. I had left a poem that my son had written (unintelligible) and I was wondering if it had ever gotten to you. He's a United States Marine. He's done two tours in Iraq. And he's ready to be deployed for a third tour.
OBEY: I honestly don't know...
[Richards discusses son's suicide attempts and problems with the VA.]
Richards: Are you going to be voting against the supplemental?
OBEY: Absolutely not. I'm the sponsor of the supplemental.
Richards: For the, um, to continue to the war?
OBEY: (Getting agitated). It doesn't--we're trying to--the President wants to continue the war. We're trying to use the supplemental to end the war. But you can't end the war if you vote against the supplemental. It's time these idiot liberals understand that. There's a hell of a difference between de-funding the troops and ending the war. I'm not gonna deny body armor. I'm not gonna deny funding for veterans' hospitals and for defense hospitals so you can help people who have medical problems. And that's what you do if you vote against that bill.
Richards: But there should be enough money in the regular defense bill...
OBEY: Well, there isn't...
Richards: ...without continuing the funding for the war.
OBEY: There isn't. There isn't. That's not the way it works. The money in the defense bill -- it pays for a standing army. But it doesn't pay for these recurrent costs. We're going to add over a billion dollars more to it than what the President was asking for in that bill so we can deal with some of exactly the problems here you're talking about. How the hell are you going to provide money to the hospitals if you don't provide the money?
Richards: Well, then, are you going to be in support then of--
OBEY: I HATE THE WAR! I voted against it to start with. I was the first guy in Congress to call for Rumsfeld's resignation. But we don't have the votes to de-fund the war. And we shouldn't. Because that also means de-funding everything that you've got in that bill to help the guys who are victims of the war.
Richards: Well, there's an amendment to the supplemental that's being proposed to fully fund the withdrawal of the troops [Ed.: The Lee Amendment] --
OBEY: THAT MAKES NO SENSE! It doesn't work that way.
Richards: Well, so that the funds--
OBEY: (Gesturing with arms wildly) The language we have in the resolution ends the authority for the war. Makes it illegal to proceed with the war. You don't have to de-fund something if the war doesn't exist!
Richards: Oh, I didn't know that was in the--
OBEY: That's the problem! That's the problem! The liberal groups are jumping around without knowing what the hell is in the bill! You don't have to cut off funds for an activity that is no longer legal. We're shutting it off.
I am going to interrupt here to make a point I have made before. Liberals and those to the far far left are so busy spouting out talking points that they hear from other far left idiots that they do not bother to learn for themselves whether what they are saying is true or even possible.
They seem to think if you want something you should be able to get it...they do not understand that wishing for something doesn't make it possible to get.
Second man in hallway interrupts: Congressman, what about the Church Amendment that helped end the Vietnam War in, what was is, '72-'73.
OBEY: It took us 31 different efforts to get there. I was here for that!
Man: Didn't that help end the ground war in Vietnam?
OBEY: No, it didn't. The political pressure on the administration finally ended the war. The amendment that finally ended the funding was the [unintelligible] amendment. I was the sponsor of that--
Man: But if you pass a resolution, isn't he still the commander-in-chief?
OBEY: (Gesturing wildly again) WE DON'T HAVE THE VOTES TO PASS IT! WE COULDN'T EVEN GET THE VOTES TO PASS A NON-BINDING RESOLUTION ONE WEEK AGO! How the hell do you think we're gonna get the votes to cut off the war?!
Man: You stop the funding.
OBEY: (Shouting) HOW IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE VOTES?! It takes...
Man: Filibuster his supplemental request.
OBEY: There is no filibuster in the House!
Man: Well, in the Senate they could do it.
OBEY: I'm sorry...No, I'm not gonna vote for it [Lee amendment].
(Pointing finger) I’m the sponsor of the bill that’s going to be on floor. And that bill ends the war. IF THAT'S NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU, YOU'RE SMOKING SOMETHING ILLEGAL!
Man: No, I'm not, sir.
OBEY: You’ve got your facts screwed up!
OBEY: We can’t get the votes! You see a magic wand in my pocket? How the hell we going to get the votes for it? We ain’t got the votes for it. We do have the votes if you guys quit screwing it up. We do have the votes to end the legal authority for the war. That's the same as de-funding it--YES IT WOULD!
Walks away. Slams office door.
Here is the video for those of you that want to hear David Obey losing it.
So amusing I listened to it three times just for the laughs.
WSJ also has an article up showing how the anti-war liberals are endangering the "Pelosi Democrats" as well as Murtha managing to unite the Republicans. More amusement.
Seems Nancy Pelosi is playing monkey in the middle while the clowns are running the show.
Ms. Pelosi has been backed into a tight corner over President Bush's $100 billion request for war funding. Hoping to quell a revolt from a liberal bloc that wants out of Iraq, pronto, the speaker unveiled a new, new plan yesterday that includes a timetable for withdrawal--to begin as early as July. Ms. Pelosi needs to win this vote, the first real showdown over Iraq. But it's becoming increasingly clear she can do that only by sacrificing her moderate wing, which opposes her plan and could pay heavily for it in next year's election.
Talk about a downward spiral from just a few weeks ago, when Ms. Pelosi stepped in to save Senate Democrats from their own Iraq irresolution. Ms. Pelosi's own approach was politically clever, if nothing else. The House resolution criticized the troop buildup, making Congress look as if it were taking a stand against President Bush--even if it had no binding force. Yet it also contained a sop about the "bravery" of those troops and vows of "support," words designed to coax war-weary Republicans into joining with Democrats. Republican leaders were privately admitting they were beat, and even the White House was bracing for as many as 70 GOP defections.
Had Ms. Pelosi served up that vote quick, she may have presided over a stinging bipartisan rebuke to the administration's troop buildup and gained some breathing room. Instead, Madame Speaker gave into the lure of a Bush-bashing event, stretching the resolution "debate" over a week. That delay was more than enough time for her liberal base to get beyond her control.
Or rather it was enough time for Pennsylvania antiwar vet John Murtha to wrest the debate away from Ms. Pelosi and let the faithful know what they could expect under his sway. As the House debate got rolling, Mr. Murtha crowed to a liberal blog that the non-binding resolution was just the "first step" in cutting off funding for the troops. He also laid out his strategy for avoiding accusations that Democrats were abandoning soldiers in the field. Instead of just cutting off the money, his party would create new backdoor "readiness" standards that the administration would be unable to meet. In one fell interview, Mr. Murtha put Ms. Pelosi in a box.
Republicans who might have been tempted to vote for the resolution thought better of signing up for Mr. Murtha's "slow bleed." Only 17 jumped ship on the resolution vote, far fewer than even the giddiest White House official might have hoped. What might have been seen as a Congress-wide rebuke of Mr. Bush fizzled into a party-line vote by the opposition. Poof went a key Pelosi victory.
Mr. Murtha managed to do much more than just unite Republicans--he blew apart his own party just as it turned to the war supplemental. The sizable Blue Dog and moderate wing might have been willing to stick with their leadership on a non-binding resolution, but made clear they couldn't vote for anything the public might perceive as cutting off troop funding. Some, such as Blue Dog leader Allen Boyd went further, voicing wariness of any bill that micromanaged the war.
Between the anti-war left and Pelosi's poster child, Murtha, the Democrats are doing exactly as we predicted.... imploding from the inside out.
Then this paragraph:
Her withdrawal plan of yesterday was therefore a capitulation to her liberal bloc. And the only folks truly delighted were Republicans. Minority leader John Boehner has had good reason to worry about the political consequences of his party voting down its own president's request for war funding. By yesterday afternoon, the GOP had declared the new Pelosi plan a troop funding cutoff that equaled "retreat" and felt confident they could lay a supplemental defeat at the door of the Democrats. Mr. Bush jumped in with cover for the shakier elements of his party by promising a veto.
Game. Set. Match.
In the meantime, Iraq the Model tells us how things are going politically in Iraq.