My War Will Go On

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The Democratic Congress is ducking a fight over Iraq withdrawal and working on a watered-down war funding bill.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi will present a plan to House Democrats for a war funding bill that won't include a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq but will feature benchmarks with consequences, according to Democratic leadership aides.

The bill also would raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour from $5.15 per hour, and fund other domestic spending programs, which were still being negotiated.

… Leadership aides said the benchmarks would be tied to Iraq reconstruction aid and would require President Bush to present to Congress 18 reports before August.

Great plan: The White House may not answer the subpoenas coming out of Congress, but it'll surely file 18 timely reports.

Over at RedState, Mark I (not be confused with Deep Purple Mark I, the soulful artists who gave the world "Hush") is ready to declare victory over the real enemies: Nancy Pelosi, anonymous Democratic sources, and some birds.

NEXT: Would You Like Some ESPN With That?

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  1. So the Democrats have decided to support this unjust war, after all, after playing to the galleries with their posturing about cutting off funds. No-one could have seen *that* coming.

    Now the Dems will have to think of other reasons to criticize the President, now that they’ve given up on opposing his war. They will now oppose Bush for not spending recklessly enough on federal giveaway programs, and not being sufficiently enthusiastic about letting mothers kill their own children.

    But remember – Ron Paul is outside the mainstream. So don’t even think of voting for him.

  2. In b4 defeatocrats.

  3. Dear Ms. Pelosi
    research effects of price floors
    sincerely, Reinmoose

  4. I wish I could say I am surprised and outraged by this.

  5. The bill also would raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour

    huh? – wha – wtf?

  6. You buried the lede, Dave.

    The bill cuts off funding after September 30.

  7. There are enough Republicans ready to jump ship as soon as “the Surge” has officially failed to stop a fillibuster, and probably to override a veto.

    The surgers have made September the do-or-die date.

    That’s when we’ll see Congress pass a bill mandating the end of the war – when enough Republicans are willing to join the entirety of the Democratic caucus in ending it that they can make their decision stick.

  8. That’s when we’ll see Congress pass a bill mandating the end of the war…

    In the future we’ll all be driving flying cars.

  9. Joe,

    All funding bills cut off funding September 30th. Its called the end of the fiscal year. The Democrats will have the same problem in September they have now. They won’t have enough votes to override a veto and the public won’t let them defund the troops that are there. The Dems in Congress sold you out. Joe. You can spin it anyway you want but that is what they did.

    This is why I wasn’t upset when they won the election in November. It is not so simple as cutting funding and walking away and that was not going to happen no matter who is in Congress.

  10. That’s a pretty thinly-sourced article, on close reading. I can’t find an actual human being, with a name, who is saying this is actually going to be filed.

    False reports about what will be in the funding bill came out before the last one (the one Bush vetoed), as I recall, which resulted in a wailing and rending of garments among Congressional Democrats, and statements by the leadership that the stories were incorrect. The bill that actually came up was quite different than the earliest stories reported.

    It might be a good idea to blog these as “So and So Reports That…” until you have a reliable story.

  11. “The Democrats will have the same problem in September they have now.”

    Too many Republicans have gone public with “We’ll know by September” for that to be true.

  12. Ah, John. Nothing dents your confidence in your ability to predict the future regarding the Iraq War, does it?

  13. The bill cuts off funding after September 30.

    They all do, joe. They all do.

    Of course, the fact that no federal agency has funding appropriated for it beyond the end of the current fiscal year doesn’t exactly mean that Congress is planning to shut them all down.

    Dammit.

  14. Go back and look Joe. I was very circumspect on this in November. I knew there was no way the Democrats were going to get us out of Iraq. We are in Iraq until 2009 and a new administration. You can live in denial all you want but the 2006 elections didn’t change anything other than Democrats get to feed at the government trough a little bit more than Republicans do. That is about it.

  15. John,

    Don’t worry, I do remember you taking that position – it stood out against the “The Defeatocrats will surrender to the terrorists!” language you were using before it became clear that the Democrats were going to take over.

    RC, normally, I would agree. However, the “we’ll know by September” statements that nervous Republicans have been putting out make that date more meaningful. This surge was sold as the last, best chance, and the effort to require an immediate start to the withdrawal fought off with the argument, “Give the surge a chance to work.”

    We’ve been hearing empty “six more months” statements from war supporters for some time, but the specificity of the timing and the linking of the time frame to the Baghdad security plan indicate to me that this is the one that will actually take.

  16. “By the time we get to September or October, members are going to want to know how well this is working, and if it isn’t, what’s Plan B.”
    House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH), May 6, 2007.

  17. All of which is perfectly consistent with my point that a September 30 funding cutoff is, by itself, completely meaningless.

    Sure, there are other political pressures building that may impact what happens in Iraq, but the September 30 funding cutoff would exist even in a bill coming out of a Congress composed completely of bloodthirsty right wing chicken hawk death beasts.

  18. RC,

    I believe you are mistaken. This is not a departmental funding bill. THOSE cut off at the end of the fiscal year.

    This is a supplemental. The sunset dates in those bills are whatever is written into the bill.

    You may recall, last week there was a bill voted down which would have funded the wars through the end of July.

    If the leadership presents a bill that funds the war through the end of October, it will be because they decided that that is when they want to take up the issue of war funds again.

  19. BTW, how sad is it that we don’t even bother to discuss the fact that this bill funds operations in Afghanistan, too?

    Just one more example of how the Iraq War has shoved aside the global fight against al Qaeda.

  20. Um, wasn’t the old Democrat position “the will of the people”? Did something happen when they babbled that “will of the people” crap, that they just made up anyway, and became less popular than the Presdent?

    Could not have anything to do with all of those Heath Schular types that do not share the San Francisco values of the Reasonids and the other 2% of the nation, could it?

  21. Congress as a whole is less popular than the president, Guy.

    The Democrats in Congress are much more popular.

  22. If the Democratic Congress can’t stand up to a weakened, lame-duck, unpopular President…
    How can we expect them to stand up to the Islamo-Facist fanatics?

  23. “The bill cuts off funding after September 30… This is a supplemental. The sunset dates in those bills are whatever is written into the bill.” – joe

    Which just happens, coincidentally, to be the same date as the end of the FY? C’mon, what are the odds on that being a stunning coincidence vs. a FY consideration?

    I’d love to wager $50 against each of joe’s predictions:

    1. “There are enough Republicans ready to jump ship as soon as ‘the Surge’ has officially failed to stop a fillibuster, and probably to override a veto.” – joe

    I’d say there’s at LEAST a 50% shot that enough Republicans won’t jump ship, regardless of whether the surge is considered a failure or not. A filibuster is a tough thing to maintain, and the Congress (Senate ESPECIALLY) isn’t overwhelmingly Democrat enough to pull this off. (Technical point: BTW, a filibuster is not what overrides a presidential veto.)

    2. “we’ll see Congress pass a bill mandating the end of the war”

    I’d give that about a 10% chance of happening. In other words, if the weatherman said there was a 10% chance of rain I wouldn’t even carry an umbrella.

    3. “when enough Republicans are willing to join the entirety of the Democratic caucus in ending it that they can make their decision stick.”

    I’d say this has MAYBE a 20% chance – the overwhelming likelihood is that there will never be enough Repubs willing to join Dems on the Iraq War. The two parties have made the war the most divisive issue since abortion. There’s a far higher likelihood that the Dems will come around to the Repub viewpoint on the 2d Amendment than that they’ll get together on the Iraq War – and I wouldn’t hold my breath for either.

  24. The bill also would raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour from $5.15 per hour, and fund other domestic spending programs, which were still being negotiated.

    If anyone but Congress did this it would be called “extortion.”

  25. “Which just happens, coincidentally, to be the same date as the end of the FY? C’mon, what are the odds on that being a stunning coincidence vs. a FY consideration?”

    No, not a coincidence. As I wrote before, I think they are planning on significant Republican defections come September.

    I wouldn’t bet on #1 – that’s my reading of the thought process behind this bill. As the last bill demonstrates, the capacity of Republicans who have come to recognize that this is debacle to be cowed by cheap rhetoric and party discipline should not be underestimated.

    “the overwhelming likelihood is that there will never be enough Repubs willing to join Dems on the Iraq War.”

    Actually, a number of Republicans joined the Democrats last time, and the momentum is all in one direction.

    The Democratic leadership wants the political cover of being able to claim a bipartisan bill. They think they will be able to get it in September.

    As rob points out, though, they may not.

    “The two parties have made the war the most divisive issue since abortion.”

    No, one of the parties made the war the most divisive issue since abortion. The other party bent over backwards for years to minimize partisan difference.

    Remember Karl Rove’s speech after 9/11 vs. Tom Daschle’s “change the subject to health care” strategy?

  26. “No, not a coincidence. As I wrote before, I think they are planning on significant Republican defections come September.” – joe

    Hmmm… the fact that they’re putting in a date that happens at exactly the end of the FY is just a coincidence, though?

    “I wouldn’t bet on #1 – that’s my reading of the thought process behind this bill. As the last bill demonstrates, the capacity of Republicans who have come to recognize that this is debacle to be cowed by cheap rhetoric and party discipline should not be underestimated.” – joe

    Ah, so your prediction, though written as though it was “future history,” should have had a big asterisk next to it… Y’know, like, if Marty McFly doesn’t get his Mom & Dad together in “Back To The Future.”

    “Actually, a number of Republicans joined the Democrats last time, and the momentum is all in one direction.” – joe

    Yup. That’s what’s needed. Momentum. Like that Kerry/Edwards campaign. How many Repubs crossed the aisle on the war last time?

    “The Democratic leadership wants the political cover of being able to claim a bipartisan bill. They think they will be able to get it in September. As rob points out, though, they may not.” – joe

    Again with te asterisk. In fact, it might not happen in this lifetime… momentum or not. I have occasionally noticed a certain amount of inertia between the parties that doesn’t seem to allow for a lot of shifting. (Unless it’s a complete polarity shift, in which the Dems and Repubs trade places entirely.)

    “No, one of the parties made the war the most divisive issue since abortion. The other party bent over backwards for years to minimize partisan difference.” – joe

    Two to tango, joe, and they both use the War for as many political points as they can score with it – only you could be surprised by this, because you truly sell the idea that one of those parties represents all that is good and decent in the world and the other is all that is Evil, and enjoys regularly bludgeoning kittens with a canoe paddle.

    “Remember Karl Rove’s speech after 9/11 vs. Tom Daschle’s ‘change the subject to health care’ strategy?” – joe
    Yeah, it was rank (by which I mean stinky) political maneuvering by both sides. Why do you mention it?

  27. “Yeah, it was rank (by which I mean stinky) political maneuvering by both sides. Why do you mention it?”

    Because one side – not both, one – was working to make the war a partisan wedge issue (that would be Rove’s party), and the other was working to maintain as much unity as possible, and let politics end at the water’s edge (that would be Daschle’s party).

  28. Yeah, remember how the Democrats kept using the war to score political points?

    Man, look at how they went out of their way to screw the Republicans and look good to the public yesterday!

    And let’s not forget how Tom Daschle used to commandeer the Senate floor and show slide shows of collateral damage.

    In rob world, the fact that the Republicans acted like partisan hacks means that the Democrats must have acted like partisan hacks, too. Because that’s what his gut tells him.

    (And yes, it is really obvious that you recycle my comments. Gut. Feels right. Etc.)

  29. “In rob world, the fact that the Republicans acted like partisan hacks means that the Democrats must have acted like partisan hacks, too. Because that’s what his gut tells him.” – joe

    Actually, I remember lots of Democrats trying to keep from getting wedged into appearing to not support a war they’d authorized and wanted to claim they hadn’t so they could simultaneously pander to the anti-war left crowd. Your selective memory is impressive.

    In my world its unsurprising that both sides act like that. Only in joe world is there shock at this concept…

  30. “Actually, I remember lots of Democrats trying to keep from getting wedged into appearing to not support a war they’d authorized and wanted to claim they hadn’t so they could simultaneously pander to the anti-war left crowd.”

    So in other words, the strongest evidence you can offer that Democrats have used the war as a partisan wedge issue is…um…that they tried not to stake out clear positions in opposition to it.

    Stop the fight, ref. This guy’s got no legs left.

  31. “So in other words, the strongest evidence you can offer that Democrats have used the war as a partisan wedge issue is…um…that they tried not to stake out clear positions in opposition to it.” – joe

    Not what I said at all, joe. But if you think that it’s better to not stand for anything, well, you’re in fine company with the rest of the politicians clogging up the halls of power inside the Beltway.

    “Stop the fight, ref. This guy’s got no legs left.” – joe

    Maybe that might be true if you’d ever laid a glove on me, instead of performing your patented “Human Pinata” routine. You always want to jump up and declare victory after you’ve been beaten senseless AND thrown in the towel. Of course, I guess that’s kind of like voting for the war before you voted against it before you voted for it. Pandering – a sure sign there’s a politician in the room… So when are you actually going to run for office, joe?

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