A Million Little Iraq Policies


The president's scoffing at war opponents and their lack of an awesome plan to fix Iraq has evidently  rankled anti-war Democrats and Republicans. Dana Milbank spent Wednesday shuffling back and forth on Capitol Hill listening to them propose their own plans. Oh, and here's the funny bit: Because none of these people think they can stop the war or the surge, they're not actually doing the groundwork to pass the bills.

[Connecticut Sen. Chris] Dodd, who last week declared his presidential bid on "Imus in the Morning," was the first to demonstrate McHugh's thesis. "It is time," he said at his morning news conference, to "offer meaningful action." He would require a new war authorization.

So would he enforce this by cutting off funding for the war?

"No, we've stayed away from the funding here," Dodd answered.

Any co-sponsors? "I haven't asked."

How about supporters in the House? "I haven't talked to anyone on the House side about it, either."

There is an effort in the House of Representatives to introduce a bill cutting off funds to continue the war, introduced yesterday by liberal House Democrats and given zero media coverage. But according to Republicans I talked to, that's because any bill to actually defund the war "would go down in flames." So we get posturing and the revelation that the average senator doesn't actually seem more presidential than GWB.

NEXT: Lay Down Your Arms

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  1. Bunch of gutless pukes.

  2. Not actually doing anything seems to be working out great for Obama.

  3. Haven’t the past four years taught us anything about rushing into a fight without laying the proper groundwork?

    The last thing we need is for the Peace Party to lose this fight. If the War Party succeeds in casting a funding cutoff as an effort to abandon the troops on on the ever of victory, this war is going to go on for another half-decade or more.

    Congressional action to force the president to bring this war to a close has to be done in a deliberate, strategic manner. A poorly thought out but emotionally satisfying charge runs the risk of failing, and no war opponent wants to see that.

    It’s time to drop the third party/dissident mentality. The fact that anti-war politics is starting to look like politics as usual on the Hill is a good thing. It means we’re winning.

  4. Every now and then, instead of wide ranging debate, we get, on certain topics, this push by major players to keep the debate “responsible” (which usually means immediately dismissing many reasonable alternatives). We’re seeing that now. It seems while many people bitch about the war (rightly so I should say), folks in the establishment do not want us to aim that resentement into any kind of push for ending it promptly. The Washington Post, C-Span, etc., have all been offering up one ‘expert’ after another either a. pushing for Bush push or b. criticizing the Bush push but adding that only symbolic action against it is either possible of, you got it, ‘responsible.’ This is like mackerel by moonlight, both stinking and shining…

  5. Joe don’t associate too many of us with a Peace Party. If anything we’re the “Is it worth it?” crowd. Some wars fought by this government over the last 100 years have been (at the least) not worth the cost to Americans:

    Other “wars” have been complete wastes of time, effort and money:
    War on Drugs
    War on Poverty

    Still others, the jury’s mostly out, but highly likely that the costs will exceed the benefits:
    War on Terror
    War on Fat
    War on Smoking
    War on Child-Porn

  6. chef,

    I know. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not exactly singing “Imagine” and carrying puppets myself.

    I was just referring to the fact that the Dem/Rep divide has been transcended by the war/anti-war divide. The terms “Peace Party” and “War Party” go back to Japan in the 30s and 40s. The “Peace Party” wasn’t a bunch of hippies – they represented people from a broad spectrum of beliefs who, for whatever reasons, came down against the government’s imperialist war policy.

  7. What if we don’t think Iraq is “fixable”?

    If a house can’t be fixed, do you stay inside until the roof falls in?

  8. joe,

    Funny, in the runup to the 2006 elections, I don’t recall the “Peace Party” (many of whom voted for the war in Iraq) agaipromising a slow, deliberate process of deciding how and when to take action about Iraq.

    It seems to me that they’re dedicated to keeping the Iraq issue a going concern, and a stinking albatross about the Republicans’ necks, till 2008.

  9. If the Congress doesn’t grow some balls, GWB will win this one. He has the courage of his convictions and the balls to stare down the Congress.

  10. If the Congress doesn’t grow some balls, GWB will win this one. He has the courage of his convictions and the balls to stare down the Congress.

    It’s true – the man actually stares with his balls. I’ve seen it on C-SPAN.

  11. crimethink,

    What do you recall?

    I recall them talking about holding hearings, about the current strategy not working, and about the need for a change of course.

    Sounds pretty deliberate to me.

  12. joe: There’s a simple fix. Fund the war and raise taxes to pay for it. That is, attach to each “supplementary defense appropriation” an amendment that strips away some of Bush’s beloved tax cuts to pay for it. Marvel at how quickly the pork disappears from these atrocious bills! See how quickly the Republicans start clamoring to end the war now! And the best part is, you can claim to be “supporting the troops” the whole time you’re doing it.

  13. Holy shit! David Wiegel wrote an anti-Bush piece on H&R!

    I’m marking this day on my calendar as special.

  14. Holy shit!

    Some dumbass noticed that a libertarian had a problem with Bush!

    Red-letter, baby. Red-letter.

  15. So basically not only are democrats cowards but they are bad at politics too. How hard is it to make the argument “We support the troops, not the war, that’s why we’re cutting off funding, so they can be brought home. If Bush keeps them there without the funding and therefore without the needed equipment, then he’s the one against the troops.” This is no less plausible of an argument than the opposite spin Bush would want to make that cutting off funding means not supporting the troops. Only an idiot thinks that supporting the troops and supporting the war is the same thing. Any semi-intelligent person can appreciate the difference and understand the argument to cut funding, without thinking that means we’re not supporting the troops. Instead, they don’t even want to make the case; they’re too afraid of coming off as “anti-American troops.” So they’re just going to do symbolic gestures and ultimately play dead until ’08 at which time Bush and the Republicans would have finished politically hanging themselves on this issue. Cowardly and selfish, that’s the Dems for ya.

    Iraq isn’t fixable and even if it was, it isn’t fixable by US. Only the Iraqis can make the tough political compromises that MIGHT scale back the revenge killings and the escalating civil war. My guess is that even the political compromises (no matter how reasonable) will not contain the civil war. It’s beyond fairnes and what’s politically reasonable. Now it’s about anger, revenge, killing the blasphemous infidels of the other sect until the every last one of them is dead. Meanwhile Bush and his idiot cronies still think they can dictate something in Iraq. Why not? To admit otherwise is to admit that they’re wrong. After all, it’s other people’s lives and other people’s money they’re gambling to desperately try to salvage their political careers/reputations. Democrats and Republicans and the whole political scene in US just makes me want to puke.

  16. Loundry,

    How many “pro-Bush” pieces have you found on H&R?

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