On Iraq: Create Contrast By Standing Up To Bush

Matt Yglesias writes:

Dana Goldstein remarks after watching the Republicans debate that they “are terrified of the words ‘George W. Bush.’ A smart Democrat would force her or his Republican opponent to face up, as often as possible, to the legacy of his party’s leader.” . . .  I think Democrats need to worry about a possible Republican blurring strategy on Iraq especially if the Democratic nominee voted for the war. . .

Just so. What always is missing from Yglesias’ analysis on this is what the current Congress can do – stand up to Bush on funding the Iraq Debacle:

President Bush sternly pressed Democrats to approve money to fund the Iraq war “without strings and without delay” before leaving town for the Christmas holidays, something congressional leaders have already indicated they will not do.

I liked Harry Reid’s response:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., responded that Democrats will get troops the money they need as part of a “war strategy worthy of their sacrifices.” “Bush Republicans have indefinitely committed our military to a civil war that has taken a tremendous toll on our troops and our ability to respond to other very real threats around the world,” Reid said.

Now the hard part, just saying no. That is what Democrats need to do. It is good policy. It is good politics.


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    • OPOL on November 29, 2007 at 23:57

    I’m convinced they’ve joined the other team.  

    “You can just imagine my neighbors’ reaction to all this. If they were poor and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they would be arrested for loitering. But because they have ‘Impeach Bush’ across their chest, it’s the First Amendment. … So I’m well aware of the unhappiness of the base.” – Nancy Pelosi “has candid talk with reporters” 10-10-07

  1. It will never happen as long as Democrats have the unconditional support of their base.  Jonathan Turley said it best, via Arthur Shrillber:

    So if you didn’t believe it when I said it, listen up. Here is what Turley had to say. The Democrats will never pursue hearings or investigations of the Bush administration beyond a certain point the Democrats consider “safe,” they will not object to the administration derailing any case of moment by invoking the state secrets privilege, they keep telecom immunity alive, and the Democrats act in countless other ways to bury and cover up the crimes of the Bush gang, because there is one eventuality they fear more than any other: if there were ever to be a finding — by a court, in Congressional committee, or anywhere else — that the Bush administration, including the president himself, in fact ordered criminal acts, then they would have to begin impeachment hearings. It is inconceivable that even this repellent Congress could ignore, for example, a court determination that Bush had ordered torture — which, as Turley pointed out, would constitute a war crime as defined by U.S. courts. The same would be true of any finding that the administration, perhaps including the president himself, had committed a crime by ordering illegal domestic surveillance.

    Turley additionally noted that this is why the Democrats went out of their way to “save” the administration on the Mukasey nomination. The Democrats, or at least key Democratic leaders, didn’t want Mukasey to say that water boarding constitutes torture. That would mean that administration officials had committed a war crime — again, as defined by U.S. courts. They would have to begin impeachment hearings, once the meaning of the admission sank in. So the Democrats made certain that the question could be avoided, and that Mukasey was confirmed by a comfortable margin (see, “There Is No ‘Lesser’ Evil Now”).

    The broader point that Turley went on to make is the one I’ve made repeatedly, in the essays linked above and in others as well. “These are not principled people in this city,” Turley correctly noted. He said he was sorry to have to say it, but it’s the inescapable truth. Turley said that, with regard to the most critical dynamics in play, party designations don’t matter much at all:”They don’t believe in principle. They believe in power.”

    War.  Criminality.  Constitutional subversion.  The topic does not matter.  Democrats will do NOTHING.  I don’t know why people continue to hold out hope for these corrupt bastards.  I do not.  My plan is to give them a fucking to remember.  It’s the only plan with teeth.  Everything else is simply begging.  Promise to fuck them in 2008 if they fail to deliver now.

    That’s the inescapable truth.  The rest is pure denial.

  2. But he always has a great quote.


     I think Democrats need to worry about a possible Republican blurring strategy on Iraq especially if the Democratic nominee voted for the war. . .

    …is already happening.  Last night I saw, to my utter, stunned amazement, Karl the Rove saying that…

    … the dems should be held accountable for rushing us too quickly into the war back in 2003!

  4. I don’t think the Dems give 2 sh*ts whether we in left blogistan support them or not.  I don’t think they care if we withhold money from them.  I don’t think they care if we don’t work for them.  I don’t think they listen to us at all, no matter what we say. I don’t think we matter to them in the slightest.  Since 11/06, they’ve thrown us under the bus repeatedly on the war and as far as I can tell on every single important Constitutional issue.  I think they take us for granted.  Virtually nobody here is going to vote Republican.  No matter what the Dems do or don’t do.  That would be a vote for 8 more years of fascism.

    We could talk about what the other alternatives might be.  I have no serious idea what they are.  I don’t know how we get weak Dems to do their jobs.  Only one alternative comes to mind: maybe we could find a new, softer, more ergonomic bus, so when we get thrown under it again after 11/08, it won’t hurt as much.

  5. I’m sick of hearing Dave Obey and others say the Dems don’t have the votes.  They have the votes NOT to pass anything and to cut off money for the war.  But they won’t do it.

    In the Senate, by default the Dems have said they can’t do anything unless they have 60 votes to cut off debate, so all it takes is the threat of a filibuster for them to cave.  Why not make the Repubs have their damned filibuster, tie things up for days, and make it clear to everyone in the country who’s standing in the way of ending this war.

    OK, so that’s a rant.  How do we get them to do it?  I wish I knew.  But some of the discussion here and elsewhere suggests the Dems will take the antiwar majority for granted at their peril.  Ask Hubert Humphrey.

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