Is A Democratic President The Only Way To End the War?

As Matt reported earlier today, willpower to end the war is collapsing in Congress. The plan to rewrite the AUMF has turned into a lame, useless, piece of non-binding legislation. The Murtha plan to restrict troop deployments has been dumped in favor of a plan designed to embarrass Bush. Of course, it is unlikely that such a plan will even embarrass Bush, as Lynn Woolsey notes:
House Democratic leaders are developing an anti-war proposal that wouldn't cut off money for U.S. troops in Iraq but would require President Bush to acknowledge problems with an overburdened military.

The plan could draw bipartisan support but is expected to be a tough sell to members who say they don't think it goes far enough to assuage voters angered by the four-year conflict.

Bush "hasn't to date done anything we've asked him to do, so why we would think he would do anything in the future is beyond me," said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., one of a group of liberal Democrats pushing for an immediate end to the war.
Of course, she is absolutely right, and that Bush will never make the signing statements, considering that only a few days ago Condoleezza Rice said the following:
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged the Democratic-controlled Congress not to interfere in the conduct of the Iraq war today and suggested President George W. Bush would defy troop withdrawal legislation.
If he would defy troop withdrawal legislation, defying a requirement to make signing statements on the lack of troop readiness isn't hard to believe. Not to mention that Republicans in the Senate will probably filibuster even these flimsy pieces of legislation. In the end, whether these bills pass or not, Democrats will have failed to do anything substantial to end the war whatsoever.

It is hard for me to decide what pisses me off about this the most. It angers me to no end that Democrats are crushing aside a strategy, the Murtha plan, which has overwhelming popular support. The Democratic majority in congress, when considered as a whole, is clearly far behind the public on Iraq.

It also angers me that one of the main reasons Democrats are backing away, if not the main reason, is that Democrats are too scared of Republican talking points to do anything that might anger the Republican Noise Machine. Even though the public never did, Democrats on the hill bought so thoroughly into the "cutting off funding" for troops in the field line that they were too scared to do anything. Clearly, Democrats are far more scared of the Republican media machine than they are of the people who put them in power.

It further angers me that we won't even get a roll call vote on Murtha's plan, or on binding legislation to rewrite the AUMF. If they are not going to push for a roll call vote, I can only assume that there is no majority for Murtha's plan in the House. We need to know which Democrats are in opposition to it, but we are not going to. Instead of pushing members to support Murtha's plan, the leadership is dumping the plan altogether, and not even forcing the Democrats who oppose it to stand up and be counted. The leadership is covering for these cowardly Democrats, rather than leading them.

It is now difficult to see another opportunity for Democrats in Congress to restrict and / or end the war in Iraq for another year. I don't know who is behind this, but I strongly suspect Steny Hoyer. No matter who is behind it, it is clear that many Democrats in Washington, D.C., do not view their position as derived from the electorate, but rather than conditional upon their favor within beltway circles. As long as that attitude persists, you will never see a populist, much less a progressive, majority in Washington, D.C.

The opposition to this plan now comes from the progressive wing of the party, rather than the Blue Dogs. Even though the progressive caucus is much larger than the Blue Dogs, 71 to 44, I don't imagine that the leadership will hold up the bill because of their concerns. In the end, liberals and progressives are taken for granted on the Hill just as much as they are taken for granted within the base. The progressive caucus needs to step up, get organized, and start showing some more teeth. I would be happy to help with any such effort.

It seems to me now that the only way to end the war will be by electing a new Democratic president in two years time. Not only is that nowhere close to a guarantee, considering Giulinai's strength, but if Clinton ends up as President I don't particularly trust her to actually end the war. Remember that she is one of only four Democratic Senators who do not regret their Iraq war vote (Schumer and the Nelsons were the others). She can introduce whatever legislation she wants that supposedly will start troop withdrawal and that has no chance of passing, but the trust factor is lacking. Actually, I think that would be a far more useful line of attack against Clinton than her refusal to apologize: how can we trust her to end the war?

At this point, about the only presidential candidates who we can trust to end the war if they take office would be the candidates who attack this backslide by the Democratic majorities on the grounds that it does not go far enough. On this front, Biden has no credibility, since he is one of the primary backsliders. We have to wait and see what the other candidates do, because right now we need a leader or leaders we can trust to end the war. Unfortunately, right now, such leaders are few and far between in Congress.

Tags: Democrats, House 2008, Iraq, President 2008, Senate 2008 (all tags)

Comments

33 Comments

Re: Is A Democratic President

Clinton has stated repeatedly that she would end the war as soon as she became president. I will be voting with that premise in mind.  She also is on record to ask for troop redeployment within 90 days.   I don't see where you get any traction with an attack on Clinton for perhaps "not ending the war" when she has stated clearly that she would do so as soon as she is sworn in.  You are basically accusing her of bold-facedly lying to all of us, her potential constituents, the entire population.   An accusation of that magnitude requires some reasoning behind it that goes beyond just a mere hunch.

by georgep 2007-02-28 08:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Is A Democratic President

She's in a faction that is allowing the war to continue!  Period...  Her outward weak response, does not hold up to the HARDLINE response that is coming from the REST of her DLC caucus and think tanks behind the scenes.

Our Democratic party boils down to this:

DLC Senator Ben Nelson On Iraq: 'Whatever'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melinda-he nneberger/senator-ben-nelson-on-ira_b_42 303.html

"...laid out his position in a way that could really be boiled down to one word: Whatever...

Of the push to set a deadline for bringing the troops home, Nelson noted that "Not everyone agrees you can set a date in advance. If you don't, you'll be criticized. But, this is a town where if you say up, somebody else says down. And they're probably both right."

..."We'll take up the Iraq war again and again and again," he said amiably. And get it right eventually?

VS.

NON-DLC Feingold: Dems' Iraq Proposal "Reads Like New Authorization" Of War
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/02/27 /feingold-dems-iraq-prop_n_42252.html

"Wisconsin's Russ Feingold says the Iraq bill his fellow Senate Democrats are working on is so weak that it "basically reads like a new authorization" of the war.

"I am working to fix the new proposal drafted by several Senate Democrats," Feingold said in a statement this afternoon. "I will not vote for anything that the President could read as an authorization for continuing with a large military campaign in Iraq."

He hasn't given up on "using our Constitutionally-granted power of the purse to bring this catastrophe to an end," he said, though the Senate leadership has not only rejected that approach, but said it would be tantamount to abandoning the troops..."

Those senators that won't backdown on their war vote are as delusional as Bush, and do not care about the use of our troops.  They are so far up AIPAC PAC's funding backside that you really can't look at where AIPAC stands without looking at where those candidates stand on the war.

AIPAC does NOT want our troops to leave.  Israel does not want to be left on its own in the ME = Get it.  Think! AIPAC: what does it stand for?  Where has it put its money? Who is LOYAL to AIPAC?

I'm sick of the dancing around the question that NEEDS to be asked --  Are we still there because of oil AND ISRAEL?  Are they prepared to have a debate about that?  When they say we (the US) will always stand beside Israel, is this why you will not START WITHDRAWING our troops?

What the hell does the Democratic Party think will happen in the next two years when Hillary says she will stop the war... How the hell does know what the situation will be like by then?  That having our troops occupying the region for another two years will set off a whole slew of terrorist attacks, because of our military is protecting oil and Israel's diplomacy interests.

The situation NOW is getting worse, it will only GET worse - the public knows this - the Generals know this.  The DLC are playing along with the republicans.

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-02-28 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Is A Democratic President

Her HillCast doesn't actually say that she'd end the war as soon as she was in office, just that she'd end the war. Nor does she say when or how she'd end it.

She's calling for a start to redeployment within 90 days (from 17 February) or passage of a deauthorization.

That's just punting the ball down the field.

http://www.hillaryclinton.com/feature/hi llcast/1.aspx?sc=8

by darrelplant 2007-03-01 10:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Is A Democratic President

plus, this:

"She can introduce whatever legislation she wants that supposedly will start troop withdrawal and that has no chance of passing.."

The vote threshold would be 50 in the Senate, not the 60 hurdle we have now.  Besides, chances are good we will pick up a few more Senators to boot.   If she introduces legislation to withdraw troops, why would there be the notion that it would not get the 50 votes needed to pass?  They are there TODAY, except that we need 60 to get past cloture and Bush.  

by georgep 2007-02-28 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Is A Democratic President

They are there TODAY, except that we need 60 to get past cloture and Bush.

Minor Correction.  We need 60 to get past cloture.  We need 66 to overcome a presidential veto.
by maddogg 2007-02-28 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Is A Democratic President

She wouldn't need legislation, she could do it be executive order.

Thanks,

Mike

by lordmikethegreat 2007-02-28 12:37PM | 0 recs
Congress were usually Abominable No-Men

When has the Congress ever been proactive with pep in advancing reform?

My historical knowledge is patchy; but I'm struggling to think of any big change that originated in the Congress.

In the 20th century, the two periods of sustained liberal reforms (New Deal and Great Society) would not have happened except for dramatic external events, and powerful and highly motivated presidents to harness and direct the energy unleashed by those events.

Plus - if you were to list Congressional majorities in descending order of likelihood of taking big risks to make big improvements, I suspect the 110th Dems in either House would not be close to the top of the list.

Therefore - the answer to your question: a Dem prez (with continued Dem control of Congress) is a necessary condition; sufficient? Dunno: the toughness of the decision of a Dem prez pulling the plug on the Iraq disaster shouldn't be underestimated.

The TV coverage will not be pretty. A prez with a steely resolve and heart of granite essential for the task.

Who's that, I wonder?

by skeptic06 2007-02-28 08:20AM | 0 recs
Will A President Clinton End the War?

The meme of "limits-on-funds = dead troops" started with the Steny Hoyer types among DC Democrats.  In Oct. thru Dec. 2006, there was a cynical effort by certain Democrats to accomplish two things: (1) that the war would continue until Nov. 4, 2008 and (2) that the nation would not blame the House Democrats, who will be just as responsible as Bush for this outcome.

There will be a vote before the end of April on an essentially no-strings-attached no-end-in-sight Iraq funding bill.  The candidates who vote no/advocate no votes are going to prove themselves trustworthy on this issue.
 

by McFrederick 2007-02-28 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Will A President Clinton End the War?

1 and 2 are mutually exclusive.  I don't see how you will achieve number 2, if you look like you don't give a damn about number 1.

Mr. Hoyer better rethink his position.  It is a losing strategy.

Thanks,

Mike

by lordmikethegreat 2007-02-28 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Will A President Clinton End the War?

Which war will you be talking about come 2009?

by darrelplant 2007-03-01 10:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Is A Democratic President The Only Way To End

Chris,

Biden's reauthorization effort is hardly non-binding.  It ties the president's hand and begins to bring our troops home.  How can you even non-bindingly repeal a use of force resolution?  There is a reason the only source you can cite is one reporter with the army times.

You're right that the margins in the senate are thin, but any house bill will likely be faced with the same veto threat.  We'll need republican support to end this war so get working on pursuading them, not attacking our own.

by TWest 2007-02-28 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Is A Democratic President The Only Way To End

We have to get the asshats like Steny Hoyer on board before we'll get any Repubs on board.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-02-28 08:36AM | 0 recs
Chris, did you believe

that anything short of a Democratic president would stop these criminals?

They have already telegraphed their intentions to defy congress if push came to shove.  That would leave us with one option, impeachment.  And even assuming we could put together an effective impeachment proceeding (and I'm not sure our team would be that good with it) I'd lay odds on them refusing to acknowledge its legitmacy, even up to and including a possible conviction.

I hate to say this, because it sounds like conspiracy mongering, Bush has assumed the powers of a tyrant.  It has been heretofore masked because a compliant congress did not press him on these matters.  A somewhat less compliant congress runs straight up against this fact: Bush will do what he wants.  And won't countenance attempts to stop him.

Fortunately the damn fool does not appear to have "decidered" that it is in the best interests of the country for him to retain the White House indefinitely.

by Teaser 2007-02-28 08:46AM | 0 recs
Memo to Congress
"Which one of you nuts has got any guts?"
-- Randall Patrick McMurphy
by RT 2007-02-28 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Is A Democratic President The Only Way To End

Yes

by sck5 2007-02-28 08:59AM | 0 recs
Chris, as Edwards supporter

you should mention that Edwards support the Murtha plan.

by david mizner 2007-02-28 09:26AM | 0 recs
Hillary will end the war, but

Your premise that Hillary's refusal to regret her war vote means she's unlikely to end the war doesn't make sense.  Hillary is getting her ass kicked all over the place for her refusal take back her vote, I hardly think that she wants Iraq which she called "an oozing sore" to continue to ooze should she get elected.  Her willingness to say she wants the troops redeployed in 90 days and she wants to cut off funding to the Iraqi government if they don't show progress tells me that this a woman who is pissed as hell.  She is mad at Bush because he messed up her "tough on terror" platform, and she is mad at the Iraqi's because she thinks they are ungrateful bastards.  IMO, of the three candidates, a President Hillary will be most aggressive about redeploying out of Iraq.  

Since I am offering my non-expert opinion on Hillary, let me go further.  The sense I get from the netroots is that should there be a Democratic President, other than Hillary, there is going to be an "end" to the war.  The troops are going to redeploy and Iraq will just be a memory.  This is not going to happen.  I think you will see a reduction of troops, a la Edwards of maybe 50,000 or even 70,000 if you add in the 20,000 from the inevitable surge.  They will move another 30,000 or let's say 50,000 to Kuwait and Qatar, US friendly countries, with rest remaining in Iraq for training.  Expect to see further draw down of European bases with a shift of these soldiers to the Middle East.  Iraq and its ramifications will continue to suck up money, energy, and troops for years to come no matter who is President.  

by Kingstongirl 2007-02-28 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary will end the war, but

Uh, I don't feel like Hillary is pissed as hell. Practical as hell, is more like it.

She is probably against the Iraq war (like everyone else), but is more concerned with consolidating the perception of her as a centrist. So, she shows mild criticism in order that she can't be accused of hurting the troops.

God forbid that she actually get pissed and chew out Cheney and Bush. I mean, that might get 20,000 people to your political rally.

by MetaData 2007-02-28 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Hillary will end the war, but

I agree with the practical point, but I don't think of Hillary as a yeller, she doesn't want to risk being called shrill, as Chris Mathews(the shrillest man on TV) is quick to do.  I think she has more of a seething get even kind of anger.

by Kingstongirl 2007-02-28 02:03PM | 0 recs
Democrats couldn't end Vietnam war, either

At this point, it desn't matter which party pulls the plug. In fact, I'd put my money on the Republicans over the Democrats out of pure strategic interest.

All the responsible, establishment, bi-partisan strategists (Iraq Study Group, ex-generals, contributors to Foreign Affairs) have realized that Iraq is a total disaster. Only the right wing media and the Bush team are still pushing it, and they won't stop until the Republicans themselves throw them out.

It could happen pretty instantly, the moment a critical mass of Republicans realize they are following the "McCain formula for losing elections" over the cliff. The more a Republican supports the war the worse their chances in 2008. This is true at the primary level in red states, or in the general in purple states. It will be 2006 all over again if this continues, and the Republicans will lose another 3 or 6 percent of their partisans.

They are still talking pretty brave, but they are facing deep rot to the Republican brand. So, maybe the (admittedly cynical) strategy of hanging the Iraq war around the neck of all Republicans is the most direct route to actually ending the war. Any compromise legislation just gives them (both parties) cover to criticize the war without actually getting out of the war.

Hillary's (or Reid's) tepid anti-war stance is in the same category. She will get off the fence at the point where she realizes the gaping hole to her left is in danger of getting filled by a stronger anti-war candidate. However, these things have a way of snowballing, so I expect her to realize this a little too late, so we'll see her scrambling to follow rather than lead. In any case, she would surely get out of Iraq if elected, if merely to keep her job in 2012.

What pressure or threats would most cause the Parties (either party)  or individual members of Congress to seriously worry about winning their reelections?

(1) Shake the fence. Drop the compromise resolutions. Bush will veto them anyway and they will just give cover to the fence-sitters. Just do things that play well to the press or public, like calling for a straight "up-or-down" vote of no confidence. "The war is a disaster, the Presidency has failed it's political contract with the public".

(2) Produce early, vocal, anti-war primary challenges.... for both parties. Obviously, Republicans in purple districts, but also any Democrats in Blue districts who aren't going to the mat with us on Iraq. The Blogosphere and Move-on could give early name recognition and early money to insurgent candidates on the Democratic side.

(3) Public mindshare. Given the saliency of the Iraq debacle on the general public, the louder the attacks on George Bush and Dick Cheney the more you will gain mindshare with the public. The press is moving that way as well. We in the blogosphere can amplify the voices of the good guys. Go for maximum public scorn. We've always had our 33%. The next 33% is already siding with us, so let's solidify their rejection of Bush, make it rub off on the rest of the conservatives and we'll have a better shot at consolidated an electoral transformation.

Cynical? Well, not nearly as cynical as Bush, Cheney and Liberman. Besides, I just told them how to save their political skins.

by MetaData 2007-02-28 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Is A Democratic President The Only Way To End

Congress can't end the war no matter strategy they use. They just don't have the votes in the Senate to do anything meaningful and that is that. Harping on the Democrats being spineless or not really wanting to end the war is ridiculous because they can't do it. They don't have the votes. Why push the Democrats in Congress to embarrass themselves in pushing legislation for which they do not have the votes? It's pure silliness and also incredibly irresponsible. It doesn't matter what the majority of Americans believe. They don't have the votes.

Even if they did have the votes Bush would veto any bill. And they don't have those votes to quash a veto. So, Chris, what is point of this exercise? Seriously. What is the point of getting so upset about something that cannot and will not change now?

Whoever the Democrat who is elected will move to end the war. I don't doubt that Clinton would end the war. I don't doubt that Obama would end the war. All of the other Dem candidates would likely end the war as well. So what you have to do is work extra to beat more Republicans in the House, beat more Republicans in the Senate, and ensure that, no matter who our candidate is, he/she wins the White House. Focusing on what Congress can't do right now is pointless; a waste of energy and a waste of your considerable talents. Attack the Republicans and get Democrats elected. That's the only way to end the war.

by ECLE 2007-02-28 09:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Is A Democratic President The Only Way To End

I think we'd do well for ourselves to not put all our eggs in one basket, like, say, a candidate. The end of the war will come due to a variety of different forces.

As anti-war people, we'll do well for ourselves to keep one eye on strong, anti-war candidates, while working to establish an effective anti-war movement on the ground

---

STFUATPPAHETW

by MarkRistaino 2007-02-28 11:41AM | 0 recs
NO!!!

In fact the assumption made is that the Democrat president in 2008 would see Congress controlled by Dems too! Think about the other situation Dem Prez and GOP in charge of at least one house of Congress. The Republicans would be all too glad to break off the steam lever on the locomotive and cause the President, the government, etc. all to derail on their watch by Iraq.

What people are ignoring is that it's true Bush isn't going to end the war on his own. But the next President actually will probably pull the plug in one way or another...unless he or she genuinely believes that victory (real victory) is at hand before they run for reelection.

Moreover, the Republican Senators who are defecting now on the resolution are all hearing the footsteps from their 2008 challengers. Depending on how it plays out, the GOP Senate might be so tattered by the end of the year that the Dems will get their big prize. But Reid's issue is that he's relying on incrementalism to get what he wants...and that may backfire. Keep in mind too, before Bush leaves office he wants bombs over Tehran.

by risenmessiah 2007-02-28 11:49AM | 0 recs
On what front is Biden credible?

Just curious since the idea was mentioned that Biden might be credible on some front or other.

by jcjcjc 2007-02-28 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Is A Democratic President The Only Way To End

To be fair to the Murtha plan opponents.  General Gates has basically said that if the Murtha plan were to pass they would shift funding around to keep everyone in Iraq, and then cut funding in other "politically sensitive" areas.  In other words, they are going to do everything in their power to make democrats look like they are cutting funding of the troops.  So, it is more than just the right wing noise machine.  The administration would manipulate the situation to our political detriment.  

Knowing this fact, the Murtha plan is probably not a good idea.  The senate Iraq War deauthorization bill makes a hell of a lot more sense.  It is direct and not "sneaky" like Murtha's plan, but I don't see how anyone believes it even has a chance of passing in the Senate.  I guess it doesn't need to.  We just keep bringing it up again and again, like Republicans used to do.  Force Republicans to defend Bush and Iraq.

Speaking of Republicans, lets remember that the republican grassroots got very, very little of what they wanted the last 12 years.  They never got tax reform.  They never got real abortion restrictions.  They never got the gutting of Social Security.  their government "grew" instead of shrunk.  They didn't even get most of the tax breaks they were hoping for.  They did manage to get their court nominees, but only after 11 years and only after a massive revolt of wingnuts derailed the original candidate.

It's never easy... even when you are in charge.

Thanks,

Mike

by lordmikethegreat 2007-02-28 12:51PM | 0 recs
Democrats on way to losing the country

Over and over since this war was launched, people have said things about it like "Vietnam on steroids." And insofar as being FUBAR from day one, there is truth in this.

But there has been one central difference: Vietnam was a Democratic war. This is (still) a Republican war. Because Vietnam was a war of the "liberal" party, people attacked it from outside the party. A whole generation of our best and brightest, most moral, citizens learned from Vietnam that toiling in the innards of the Democratic party was a waste and corruption of their energies. So they didn't. Dems got the ambitious strivers and the merely mediocre. DC is littered with these people.

Iraq is a Republican failed war so a new generation of the well meaning has turned to the Democrats to stop it. We've infiltrated the party apparatus and given energy to tired structures. We helped turn over Congress. But if the Dems can't find a way to come through (and I don't trust any of the present Presidential candidates to have to guts to extricate us when push comes shove), the Democratic party will once again lose the energies of its idealists. The drive to end the war is MUCH stronger, more widely felt, than the partisan drive to get the Dems in.

Democrats have to deliver or November 2006 will be a blip.

by janinsanfran 2007-02-28 01:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Democrats on way to losing the country

People who say Iraq is Vietnam on steroids haven't got a clue, no matter how alike they are FUBAR-wise.

Vietnam was a far larger conflict, with 4 times the number of troops on the ground and much greater casualties.

Not that Iraq couldn't end up with Vietnam-scale troop losses, still. In fact, that's sort of what I worry about.

by darrelplant 2007-03-01 10:11PM | 0 recs
Power of the Purse = Don't Need 60 Senate Votes

Fercryinoutloud, how many times do I have to say this?!

I'm getting bored listening to myself.  C'mon, guys, catch on.

If you stop the war by defunding it in some way (Murtha's way would do fine), you don't need a filibuster-proof or veto-proof majority.  All you need is a House majority that will stick by its guns.

Because if the Senate Republicans and Bush don't cave, they have no money for their war.

To pass a new AUMF (or a repeal of the old one), we'd need the Republicans.  But to fund the war, they need us.

Unfortunately, the House Dems mostly don't have more of a spine than they did this time last year.

Aaaauuuggghhh.

by RT 2007-02-28 03:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Power of the Purse = Don't Need 60

I'm getting to where you are...

However, with the Murtha plan I'm not sure if it's a setup for a Draft.

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-02-28 05:03PM | 0 recs
Democratic President The Only Way To End the War?

2 points that need to be said:

1) Dems have the slimmest majority in the Senate. When they tried to make a real stand on Iraq, they lost.
2) Everyday the Iraq war continues, Dems gain politically. Nobody can say that: Republicans can't say it because it would point to the awfulness of the war and their ownership of the awfulness and Dems can't say it for obvious reasons.

I want the Dems to make a stand to end this war but they're not going to.

by vadem935 2007-03-01 03:23AM | 0 recs
Consider this

There are several points that need to be kept in mind when discussing this matter. One is that the person who commented that Congresses rarely lead the way on change is correct. Congress almost never leads, rather groups put pressure on them by molding public opinion outside of Washington, which then influences what happens in Washington.

Second, the politics of this aren't that clear cut, imho. If funding is cut off, and there is a blood bath in Iraq between Shias and Sunnis, then the Democrats will get blamed. Also, you will have the right-wing attack media pointing out that never before in the history of the U.S. has a Congress cut off funds for troops in the field until now. Not necessarily a winning theme for Democrats in 2008.

Third, members of congress and senators are politicians who are in touch with their districts and states. I suspect that most of them feel that cutting off funding is not a good thing for them politically. If they thought it was, they would be doing it.

It is possible that a Dem Congressperson from say Illinois knows more about the sentiment of his or her constituents than people blogging on this website. If our hypothetical congressperson is not rushing out to adopt certain positions, maybe it is because they know more than a lot of people who comment on blogs give them credit for knowing.

by mrgavel 2007-03-02 02:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Is A Democratic President The Only Way To End

It's worse than that. Unless something really new happens in Washington, this war will end only when the Green Zone falls. Try to imagine the scenario. That is what we are waiting for.

by ralph 2007-03-02 03:51AM | 0 recs
Unrealistic Expectations

>It seems to me now that the only way to end the war will be by electing a new Democratic president in two years time

That was always the case, and it was completely unrealistic to think otherwise. That the US will be in Iraq until Bush leaves office was decided in 2004, and the Democratic win in 2006 (which left the Dems with a bare majority in the Senate) didn't change that. There are reasons to want the Dems to take a harder line and be frustrated they aren't-but those are political reasons (to firmly saddle the GOP with the war in 2008) not because the Dems are missing an opportunity to actually halt the US involvement in Iraq. (The phrase "ending the war" is incorrect regardless-the war will go on, with or without us.)

by tdraicer 2007-03-02 07:44AM | 0 recs

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