Rahm Emanuel Rejects Defunding with a Red Herring

(By Armando.. More evidence of the utter cravenness and betrayal of the Democratic Leadership in Congress on Iraq. – promoted by Armando)

From Real Time with Bill Maher 9/28 (full transcript here)

here is the video.  Sorry, the embed is a little screwy. You’ll just have to search a little bit for the beginning.


MAHER: Yeah, I don’t think he’s going to go there. But, let me ask you this about funding the war, because the Congress has an 11% approval rating. Now, I know that’s not the same thing as saying the Democrats have an 11 – but it is a Democrat-controlled Congress – and I think the reason why is because people thought when the Democrats got in, in the 2006 election, that they would do something to stop the war.
[. . .]

MAHER: Now, President Bush has asked for another, I think, around $200 billion to keep the war going. Okay, and I hear all the time-

EMANUEL: This would be – make it $680 billion.

MAHER: Okay.

[. . .]

MAHER: But, what I hear all the time is Democrats would love to stop the war, but we don’t have the votes.

[. . .]

MAHER: But, to keep the war going, Bush has to get money. And the only place you can get money is from the Congress. That’s in the Constitution, some of which, I believe, is still in effect. [laughter] [applause]

[. . .]

MAHER: So, why don’t you not just bring a funding bill? You’re the only ones who can bring up the bill. Why don’t you just do that?

EMANUEL: No, well, if the question is why we just don’t bring up – don’t bring up the funding – first of all, that’s not a way to get the kids out of there. Bill, I’m telling you, that may sound good and be a little sound bite, but the fact is, you have – I have constituents there. Let me tell you what’s a part of this. Okay, this is a very tough call for a lot of members of Congress. At least a number of those who oppose this war: $48 billion of the recent request is for the best Humvee now to protect kids.

We made a real argument when this war started that we had kids go over there with no Kevlar vests; parents were buying their own Kevlar vests for the United States Army. Humvees that were not protected. This is the best Humvee. You have constituents over there, kids over there; they’re serving – no, wait a second-do you not get that Humvee there that can save a life?

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Bring them home! [voices overlap]

MAHER: But-but-

EMANUEL: No, no, wait a second. I’m all for bringing them home. You want to know how you bring them home? We need a new president, because this president will not-[applause] [voices overlap]-that’s what we need to do.

[. . .]

EMANUEL: Here’s what you’ve got to do, though. What we need to do – you know, we have sent up there – there’s been three vetoes by this president. One was the end of the war-

MAHER: I know.

EMANUEL: Wait a second. One was-

MAHER: [overlapping] He’s – we know you don’t have the votes for that.


[. . .]

MAHER: I’m saying, don’t send the bill to begin with.

[. . .]

MAHER: It seems like you’re playing a game of “chicken” with who supports the troops, and you guys always blink. It’s about – come on – it’s about being attacked on “you’re not supporting the troops.” That’s what you just said to me is that we’re not – and I’m saying, instead of sending them the best armor so they can go out and get killed with the best armor-

[. . .]

MAHER: [overlapping]-somebody has got to starve the beast. [applause]

[. . .]

EMANUEL: [overlapping] And that is – and that is – and that’s exactly what – that is exactly – that is exactly what we did. Which is, we sent up there exactly that, to have a firm date-

[. . .]

EMANUEL: [overlapping]-one of the first things we did in the Congress was a firm date to get them out, and the President totally vetoed it. And we’re going to continue to send that up there until we get a president who’s going to work with the Congress to bring those kids home. That’s exactly what we’ve got to do. [scattered applause]

HAMILL: But, Rahm, why can’t they do pieces of this? Why can’t they de-fund Guantanamo? They close Guantanamo down, take the money-[applause]

EMANUEL: [overlapping] Absolutely.

HAMILL: [overlapping] Nobody can say that’s hurting the troops in Iraq.

EMANUEL: [overlapping] No, I absolutely agree with that.

HAMILL: [overlapping] It’s saving our reputation.

EMANUEL: No disagreement with that.

MAHER: [overlapping] As long as the war goes on, I think the Democrats say to themselves, “We win votes every day, because it’s an unpopular war.” Which is sort of almost more cynical than they’re probably-

EMANUEL: [overlapping] No, that is not – that is not – absolutely not, Bill. That’s wrong.

DYSON: [overlapping] Well, whether they intend – well, here is the point – whether they – whether they intend to or not, the reality is the consequence is as – right?

EMANUEL:  [overlapping] You don’t think – you don’t think – wait a second. You don’t think Jack Murtha, when he came out his position about redeploying was – knew that – he was just doing it, letting this war go on, and everything like that. People aren’t doing that for that reason. People ran – the people we got – some of the Iraqi war vets that ran – and then decided to go – and there were Democrats, some of them weren’t by party, before that, we Democrats – they ran because they knew this party that wanted to end this war and bring these kids home. And that is exactly what we have to do.

I have very little to add to this, save the following. The audience did NOT buy it. Not for a second. You’d think that Rham had killed at cat on stage. Shame on him for not being honest. If he really believes that Bush won’t be forced to withdraw the troops absent funding, he is worse than some of the biggest conspiracy theorists here.

I will also quote myself from last August:

I am convinced that all of this leads to one essential conclusion, if we don’t want to “stay the course” in Iraq for five years or more, the Congress must act quickly to set a date certain to defund the war. If they do not, Democrats will continue to adopt the rationalizations we see in this article for staying.

There will also be others. To begin with, some Democrats will fear that Republicans will be able to successfully blame us for “losing Iraq,” as happened with Vietnam. We will, it will likely be argued, have to suffer another generation as being branded the “weak party.” But just as with the FISA capitulation [. . .], there is no strength to be had in admitting that your political opponents have a better argument. That is especially true when they do NOT have a better argument.

Finally, some will, if we win in 2008, begin to worry about the next mid-term elections. If we pull out, they will wonder, could that mean that we will lose seats. . .somewhere?

So Congress must make a choice, and, I would argue, take a risk. Speak now on Iraq, or forever hand the issue over to Republicans.

  (The editing and emphasis are mine)



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  1. from Daily Kos

  2. to the top.

    • snud on October 1, 2007 at 05:26

    and like you, thought the audience was gonna come up on stage and kill him. That part was amusing.

    I thought about ya’, Armando. 😉

  3. “He TOTALLY vetoed that!”

  4. at the Big Orange Satan’s place.

    Go give it some love.

  5. i’m just going to say this:

    we need new congressional leadership.

    • dkmich on October 1, 2007 at 10:59

    Rahm is.  I wish the rapper guy would have shut up some because I think Maher was doing a much better job of driving the point home.  All that needed to be said was “they won’t need your stupid armor plated humvees if you bring them home.” The Dems don’t end the war because they don’t want the war ended.  It’s as simple as that, and it is way beyond, they are afraid or don’t get it.  No more excuses from them on anything.

  6. all involved have contempt for for democracy except the process part of politics, including MoveOn and ActBlue. Some are more obvious then others. Rahmn is such a transparent ass hole that is easy to spot. The Humvee talk is the same as Bush’s. If they supposed opposition had any interest in ending this war, or changing this horrific foreign policy, they would be speaking out and not using exactly the same faulty premises that the Republican propaganda spouts. Our problem is not cynicism but gullibility. The political realities being used are false, and both sides are using them. From Fiengold’s “It would be too trying to the people’, to this absurd argument of constituents and Humvees. The look of disgust on Bill’s face was priceless. 

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