Congress sent President Bush a new Iraq funding bill yesterday that lacked troop withdrawal deadlines demanded by liberal Democrats, but party leaders vowed it was only a temporary setback in their efforts to bring home American troops.Elected last November to stop the war, they just voted to keep it going yet again. The reaction was predictable. For an example of righteous anger pithily expressed, here's The Master: Adam Lipscomb at A Violently Executed Blog.
War opponents dismissed the bill as a capitulation to Bush and said they would seek to hold supporters in both parties accountable. But backers said the bill's provisions -- including benchmarks for progress that the Iraqi government must meet to continue receiving reconstruction aid -- represented an assertion of congressional authority over the war that was unthinkable a few months ago.
I'm not happy that the Democrats backed down on the war funding bill. So Bush was gonna veto - big fucking deal! That puts the blame squarely on him, because - get this - 70-fucking-percent of the American public is on their side in this. Sure, there's that 25-30% that would support Bush if he raped and ate babies on live TV, but they're not going to support the Democrats anyway.Which would certainly be good advice if this were in fact "capitulation" to the weakest president in history and a classic example of Democratic cowardice. It's capitulation and cowardice, alright, but not to Bush.
So I'm not happy about that, not at all. But maybe, I figured, maybe they knew they didn't have the votes to pull it off again. Maybe. But according to the NYT, the Democrats were afraid Bush would speak harshly about them.Democrats said they did not relish the prospect of leaving Washington for a Memorial Day break — the second recess since the financing fight began — and leaving themselves vulnerable to White House attacks that they were again on vacation while the troops were wanting. That criticism seemed more politically threatening to them than the anger Democrats knew they would draw from the left by bowing to Mr. Bush.Let's parse that out, shall we? The American public wouldn't have been angry at Congress over the funding bill not being passed. They'd be angry at Bush. Which they are already. DOY! Then, there's the vacation thing. Reid was worried about the appearances of that? Hell, the American public already think you jokers in DC get too much vacation time. Jeezy-creezy! The way to contradict that is to say, "OK, we tried to get you to understand that the American people want this war to end, but you're too stupid. That's OK. We'll stick around here in Washington and make sure you get it." Then, when Bush goes down to the Sack-O-Shit Dude Ranch in Crawford, he shows himself to be even more of the slacker and lazy ass he is.
To its own right-wing Democratic Leadership Council.
The DLC has a backstage bullwhip named Rahm Emanuel, and Rahm likes to win. But even more than he likes to win, he likes collecting money - campaign money from corporate contributors, many of which feature long-term membership in the upper echelons of the MIC (military-industrial complex) as integral elements in their portfolios, and/or a right-wing support for the war. Rahm is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, fundraisers in the Democratic party (it's the source of his power) and a major behind-the-scenes playa in the DLC leadership.
For the past week, probably longer, Emanuel has been button-holing benchmark supporters and haranguing them with every argument he can think of to bolster the [stifling sarcastic chuckle]"compromise"[/stifle] on the Iraq supplemental. I don't know what the arguments were but it isn't hard to guess:
- We don't have the votes to win a confrontation. Let's take what we can get and call it a victory.
- We promised a lot more last November than we delivered. The minimum-wage bill - very popular with the base - is stuffed into a provision of the Iraq supplemental. If we do what the president wants, he'll sign it with the provision intact and voila! Victory from the jaws of defeat.
- And we've got cover: we can always say the president was right and the military is going to run out of money next week instead of in June. That means we had no choice. We had to "support the troops". Because if we inmsist on a bill with benchmarks, we'll lose and the Republicans will be able to accuse us of abandoning the troops instead of supporting them.
I know what you're thinking. "but...but...Hillary voted against it!" And Hillary is a Charter Member of the DLC. Yeah, I know.
But that's the point. Hillary has no - zero - credibility problem with the DLC. As a candidate, however, she has a credibility problem the size of Siberia over her support of the war for the past 6 years. She had nothing to lose with the DLC and everything to gain with the base if she voted against the supplemental. It wasn't going to pass anyway and she gets points, finally, for standing up for something when it didn't cost her anything or even threaten to cost her anything.
No, as long as the DLC runs the Democratic party, THIS WAR WILL NOT END until things get so bad that the corporate support for it melts away.