Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Congressional "Compromises" on Iraq

It seems to me too many Democratic Congresscritters, especially Senators, have been listening too much to the punditocracy, et al. They seem to be in fear of making a strong statement on Iraq because it'll be seen as playing politics with the war effort and divisive.

The problem is that, as far as many Americans, even or perhaps especially of the mushy middle, are concerned, we elected the Dems. to Congress to do something. That Democrats are carefully calibrating what they are doing -- and more often not doing -- is seen, quite correctly, as "playing politics".

As I've long said, the Democrats appear more partisan precisely because they are so afraid of being partisan they fumble the ball. Democrats in Congress seem not to have played much football -- 'cause if you are afraid of the ball, the worst thing you can do is not throw your body at it but rather try to catch it gingerly -- that is how you break fingers catching footballs ... you don't break fingers just going for the ball.

I do think it would be smart politics to throw the ball back at the President: he doesn't want a timeline? well, give him something else (that he'll like even less) to make him keep to some sort of plan for progress. But let's stop with these political stunts(**) that are designed to demonstrate opposition to the war but not in such a way as to make it seem like the Dems. are going to do something that could backfire politically and ultimately do nothing and hence do backfire politically. If the Dems. wanna catch the ball, they should throw themselves into catching it. Otherwise they should get out of the way. Right now, they are just breaking their fingers.

(*) it might not be politically smart for a Dem. to do this as it would seem as if that Dem. were supporting stupid Bush CO policy (pardon the redundancy), but why isn't say a moderate Republican making the point about Bush's opposition to even certain kinds of benchmarks being linked to funding that Bush supported the same thing with regard to school funding with "No Child Left Behind"? If the war in Iraq is too important to defund 'cause of failure to meet a few benchmarks, isn't education no less important? Why does Bush hate our children?

(**) c.f. a no-confidence vote on Gonzales? Oy vey ... that's a Yurpean thing bound to make the Dems. look like effete Yurpeans (it's no wonder that effete GOoPer Specter is so all fired up about a no-confidence vote). Either impeach him or do nothing. If y'all wanna take a page from a parliamentary system, make funding for the war contigent upon the Pres. answering a few questions about the war's progress, Prime Minister's Questions-style.

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