Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

The continuation of the Obama: Congress Will Fund Iraq War After Veto headline into Monday in Iowa is not good news for Obama. Alongside the headline saying that Reid may move to cut Iraq war funds, it pits Obama into the position of defending funding of the war, while other Democrats move forward to cutting off funding of the war, including the Senate leader:

WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday he will try to cut off funding for the Iraq war if President Bush rejects Congress' proposal to set a deadline for ending combat...

Bush has said several times he would veto the measure, and Republicans say they'll back him. On Monday, 154 House Republicans sent Bush a letter promising to stick with him in opposition to the legislation.

Mindful that they hold a shaky majority in Congress and that neither chamber has enough votes to override a presidential veto, Democrats are already thinking about the next step after Bush rejects their legislation.

Reid said Monday that if that happens, he will join forces with Sen. Russ Feingold, one of the party's most liberal members who has long called to end the war by denying funding for it. Reid and others have previously been reluctant to propose cutting funding out of fear it would leave troops in the lurch.

"Congress has a responsibility to end a war that is opposed by the American people and is undermining our national security," Feingold, D-Wis., said.

Reid said Monday he was willing to take the tougher tack in light of Bush's refusal to begin pulling out troops.

"If the president vetoes the supplemental appropriations bill and continues to resist changing course in Iraq, I will work to ensure this legislation receives a vote in the Senate in the next work period," Reid said in a statement.

I'm glad to see that Feingold's bill will get a vote if Bush does veto. That vote will be a good test to see who supports the ongoing war, and who wants to end the war.

Update [2007-4-2 19:18:9 by Jerome Armstrong]: Obama is already staking out his position:

Obama.. said that neither he nor "the vast majority of Democrats" are interested in cutting funding for troops in the field.... troops should have "night vision goggles and armored Humvees and other equipment they need."
That's the talking point? I don't think he's correct about that assumption about where Democrats stand either.

Obama's position on ending the war has been strong, but he seems to be displaying caution now. It's sparked the quote in the paper that: "Other campaigns privately pointed out the Associated Press report and questioned if Obama has changed his stance." He says he hasn't, but supports funding-- the question is whether the effort to end the war has moved to the point of taking on the question of ending the funding of the war. Obama is not there, but other Democrats, and I think its significantly more than Obama portrays, are already there.

Update [2007-4-2 19:39:46 by Jerome Armstrong]: Obama fans, there's no condemnation in this post. Obama's got a position and I'm merely asking if that position is really in line with where Democrats are now. Cutting off the funding of the war is much more of a recognized plan of action than he portrays, especially among Democrats outside the beltway; and increasingly inside the beltway, with Reid now joining Feingold.

mcjoan:

Reid/Feingold should become the new unity position for Congressional Democrats. Clinton and Obama can demonstrate their commitment to seeing an end to this war and cosponsor the legislation, and Pelosi should sponsor the legislation in the House.

Update [2007-4-2 20:17:45 by Jerome Armstrong]:

I've been looking around for actual poll numbers on cutting off funding for the war. I did find a reference to it in regards to the Bush/McCain surge:

Congressional Democrats strongly oppose the plan to send more troops and are weighing a series of steps to confront the president, with some advocating action to deny funding for the additional brigades being sent to Iraq. On that issue, the Post-ABC News poll found that 53 percent of Americans support Democrats' efforts to cut off funds for additional troops, with 44 percent opposed.
If 53% of Americans supported not funding the surge, it's likely that a unified Democratic party against the funding of the war would sway the public opinion; even more so it would seem a year out from now.

Update [2007-4-2 22:5:13 by Jerome Armstrong]:

Here are the poll numbers:

Would you favor or oppose Congress taking each of the following 
actions in regards to the war in Iraq? How about Denying the 
funding needed to send any additional U.S. troops to Iraq?"
              Favor    Oppose    Unsure
3/23-25/07     36        61         3 	  	 
3/2-4/07       37        61         2 	  	 
2/9-11/07      40        58         2 	
I don't have the partisan breakdown, but can break it down in general. We know that Republicans are 80-90 percent still in favor of this war, full funding, even escalation, and it's likely the independents split about 50-50 over the issue, or maybe 40-60. If that's the case, and I strongly would predict it is, than at the least, Democrats are divided over the issue of cutting off funding of the war, but the numbers point toward a strong majority of Democrats, along the lines of 60-40 percent of those polled, are in favor of cutting off funding. In all likelihood, the vast majority of Democrats would favor cutting off funding to end the war.

Tags: Harry Reid, Reid-Feingold Iraq Bill (all tags)

Comments

94 Comments

Obama

does not have limitless credibility from his stance against the war back in 2002.  Today, he is not a credible opponent of the war, and on the issue of the Iraq supplemental and cutting off funds, it currently appears that even Senator Clinton is a better progressive than Obama.  Of course, Edwards is still best.

by lorax 2007-04-02 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

he said "cutting funding for troops in the field"

all agree on that talking point. it is protection against wingnuts saying we're doing a slow bleed.

He didn't say a vast majority of democrats are against cutting funds by a certain date.

by dpg220 2007-04-02 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Democrats want to end the war I agree... but can you say that Democrats don't also want to make sure that our fighting men and women have all necessary equipment and such in the event BUSH forces them to stay out in the field.  Can you provide polling to say that a vast majority of democrats feel cutting off funding is the best and only option?  

I still think you, Kos and the rest are taking this the wrong way completely.  You and others will disagree, but since I can't write a front page story about it, saying it here is the only outlet I have.

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-02 03:29PM | 0 recs
Yeah, I don't get it either.

It seems to me perfectly reasonable to bring up that Democrats want to make sure that the troops have all the necessary equipment they need, especially because Bush hasn't been providing it.

Also, Democrats aren't going to cut off funding for the war.  They're going to try to end it in a responsible manner, unlike this President.  Seems like an obvious fact.

by rashomon 2007-04-02 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah, I don't get it either.

I thought it was recently exposed from a CRS Report that the administration does have the money -- to last at least until the summer?

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-04-02 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

lorax has the right of it. Obama makes a lot of good sounding noises, saw him speak in Oakland, but he's not prepared to break with his bud Joey the Liarmann and all that sweeeeeeeeeeeeet DLC cash.

Centrist fool is Obama.
.

by Pericles 2007-04-02 03:29PM | 0 recs
This is not fair

 I don't think Obama is guilty of anything but poor messaging. He's most resolutely NOT Joe Lieberman. Joe is a lying, dishonest, conniving warmonger; Obama's just a clumsy messenger, on this particular issue.

 

by Master Jack 2007-04-02 04:15PM | 0 recs
Re: This is not fair

As an Obama supporter, Thank you.  THIS post is valid criticism... the one you replied too is simply trollish trash.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-02 05:44PM | 0 recs
he is too cautious

He's been playing not to lose for some time now. I think he is too worried about offending the DC pundit crowd, and therefore is being too cautious.

This is another example. Yes, it is poor messaging, but the reason his messaging is poor is that he does not want to risk taking a stand that could be caricatured as "cutting off the troops."

by desmoinesdem 2007-04-02 07:33PM | 0 recs
His caution

is a bit of a mystery to me. How could he let Edwards get to the left of him on every single big issue, including Iraq, which he opposed at the outset? A political blunder of huge proportions.

He and his consultants seem to be thinking only about the General Election. Maybe they'e worried that his candidacy, because of his race, will be polarizing enough so that on actual matters of policy he has to be a moderate.

by david mizner 2007-04-03 05:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

   Does Obama have a strategy that doesn't involve giving Bush another blank check?  I'm waiting...

by cilerder86 2007-04-02 03:32PM | 0 recs
Yes, But You Won't Find It Here. LOL

The Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd ?bill=s110-433

by ObamaEdwards2008 2007-04-02 03:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, But You Won't Find It Here. LOL

  And when will that proposal be getting to the floor?  I know Obama is anti-Iraq War.  But there is one thing I don't know, why is he playing into Bush's hand?  Reid is now playing ball with anti-war Democrats who do not want to give Bush a blank check to extend the war, where is Obama?  He's spouting right-wing talking points about defunding the war.  

by cilerder86 2007-04-02 04:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, But You Won't Find It Here. LOL

No... He is saying he doesn't trust Bush to remove soldiers simply because Congress didn't give him money and he doesn't want to even leave a remote chance that Bush would put those kids out there without the proper tools... something Bush has already proven he would do with the lack of Body Armor and Bulletproof shielding on Humvees.  He doesn't want it on his conscious, which is why he has never full out supported defunding the war.  If it was Clinton who was President or even Reagan or Bush 41, I would say he wouldn't hesitate because those Presidents weren't so scummy as to put out Soldiers without the proper gear.  But Bush has proven he can't be trusted and this is NOT the first time Obama has said it.

Did Obama not articulate himself well enough in the CNN and AP story?  Yes, I agree with Master Jack that he screwed up his message and made a mistake.  He has said time and time again that only continued pressure from the Public on congress will end this war before Jan 20, 2009... something which is very true because Bush has proven that he will do illegal things to keep his pet war going... even if we completely defunded, I guarentee Rove and Cheney have a plan of questionable legality which will take months and months of court rangling to decide.  Unless, the public puts pressure on REPUBLICAN SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN, we get a veto proof majority AND those GOPers are willing to back impeachment as an option if Bush continues to break the law, the war will not end unless a Democrat is elected President.

As far as continuing strategy, the 3 month funding bills are probably the best option without the veto proof margins.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-02 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Do we want to commit presidential suicide?

Obama's message is fine:  support, support support the troop. NOT the war.  Since Democrats were blamed for the disturbing film footage of Americans being chotically rescued from rooftops in Saigon, Replublicans have largely succeeded in convincing americans that dems are weak on defense.  Any video of our democratic nominee saying anything else and the whole right-wing machine will use it against the nominee mercilessly.  Remember, Americans oppose defunding by 61 to 36%.

by pamelabrown 2007-04-03 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Do we want to commit presidential suicide?

Typos: troops, chaotically

by pamelabrown 2007-04-03 06:24AM | 0 recs
The "strategy" myth...

...is firmly embedded in blog lore when it comes to articulating a post-supplemental world. No one is articulating anything beyond simply leaving.  The "strategy" is just to abandon the Iraqi's to their own mess and deal with whatever happens later.  If someone actually has postulated something more positive than this, I've missed it.  

by DetCord 2007-04-02 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: The "strategy" myth...

   "Post-supplemental world."  Funny, I don't remember it having been signed into law.  We are still fighting to pass legislation with withdrawal language.

by cilerder86 2007-04-02 05:38PM | 0 recs
My point exactly....

...since no one seems to be looking beyond that and answering the "Now what?" question.  

by DetCord 2007-04-02 07:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

If the Reid-Feingold bill doesn't pass, and I frankly doubt it will, the caucus is likely going to find themselves faced with another Gregg-authored piece of crap that gets us absolutely no further, and then the pressure will be on the House and the Conference Committee to compromise with the abjectly pro-administration Republican alternative that will probably win passage if Reid-Feingold fails.

However, if someone with the media-grabbing abilities of Senator Obama offers another alternative, one that offers funding only until this fall when (according to Andrea Mitchell and a number of rumors I've heard from friends on the Hill) the Republican Caucus is likely to fracture for good over Iraq.  Then the debate gets REALLY good, as the Presidential primaries will be nice and violent (can't wait to hear what Fred and Newt have to say!) and the President will be forced to explain just why exactly the Surge has been so unsuccessful at stemming the Iraqi Civil War.

I wish Obama hadn't set this frame, I think it was an error.  But if it turns out to be part of a larger strategy to get a more favorable scenario for the vote to withdrawal at a later time, I'd consider that a good decision.  A vote to get out now will give us a sybolic framing victory.  A vote to get out in the fall might get us to a point where Bush will realize he has to sign the bill as passed.  I hate the idea that the war would continue for another five or six months, but if that's the earliest we can get a winning measure signed and enacted, then so be it.

by Jay R 2007-04-02 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Very good criticism and excellent post.

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-02 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Thanks, though I now notice that one of my sentences is not actually a sentence...

by Jay R 2007-04-02 06:03PM | 0 recs
ah yes, in a Friedman unit it will be different

The Republicans are always saying we need to give it one last chance in Iraq.

Do you really think that in six months they will be any more willing to hold Bush's feet to the fire than they are now? They all know this war was a mistake already. They all know that the surge is pointless. But they march along anyway.

If this is Obama's strategy, I don't think it is a good one. Meanwhile, his frame plays into Bush's hands.

by desmoinesdem 2007-04-02 07:35PM | 0 recs
It will be different in DC

Hey, I don't always take Andrea Mitchell at her word, but she seems pretty certain and has offered a confirmation of her previous reporting that Repub Senators are planning on defecting over the war if the surge hasn't worked by August.  

Besides, I'm not saying the situation in Iraq will be any different in another Friedman Unit, but the untenability of the Republican stonewalling of the timeline in Washington will increase--do you really think the political situation in DC in late summer/early autumn is going to be anything but worse for Congressional war supporters?  On what would you base such an assumption?  

Do you think that Gingrich and F.Thompson, should they enter the race, should get a pass on this issue?  Do you think the other Republican presidential candidates (with the very likely exception of McCain) aren't going to try and move themselves as far away from Bush's Iraq position, as publically as possible, as often as possible?  Would having the most visible Republicans in America taking sides against the President and in support of a timeline not affect the positions of congressional Republicans?

I think you've dismissed the idea prematurely.  Like I said, I don't think Obama made a good call, but if the Reid-Feingold measure fails, the best option we have strategically is to punt until we think we'll have greater Congressional support and a weaker opposition from the Republicans, because the more isolated this President is the more likely he'll be forced to cave by his own party.

by Jay R 2007-04-03 09:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

It will take that long to get them out safely.

by pamelabrown 2007-04-03 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

It does not matter. This is just noise. How many real voters read dailykos and MYDD. I love Jerome  so it had for me to say this. But some we netroots get over ourselves.

Obama controls the news. Is anyone talking about Hilary's $26m. No, because they are waiting for Obama's numbers.

by mdiogu 2007-04-02 07:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war
Just because he is looking at things from a grown up point of view doesn't mean he is a centrist.
Actually, he is not known to be wedded to an ideology but, has the most liberal record of the candidates.  More than even Dennis!
by vwcat 2007-04-02 03:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Can we please wait for something a bit more explicit before condemning Obama?

by Ramo 2007-04-02 03:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

   We are always having to wait for explicit statements from Obama.  His position so far is that, we can't help but give Bush the blank check that he wants.  Not good enough.

by cilerder86 2007-04-02 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

That's not true. He had the same bill in January. You are making yourself look silly.

by ObamaEdwards2008 2007-04-02 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

It is the same thing Obama proposed. The vote for cutting off the fund is not there? It is just a means of ratcheting up the pressure on the Shrub like Obama said. If you think that Durbin, Obama advisers didn't know about Reid's proposal before it became public you must be kidding.

Why are you not watching the NCAA finals. Is it Iraq 24/7? Can't progressives walk and chew gum? There other things just as important as Irack.

Kos and Jerome should be attacking the GOP not eating our own. The Clintons must be loving this. Keep it up guys. It is like biting your nose to spite your face.

Go Gators

by mdiogu 2007-04-02 06:01PM | 0 recs
Early, reasonable, criticism

may encourage Obama to say something more constructive. This is actually a significant test of his suitability as a Presidential nominee. A nominee has to be able to motivate his own party, and Obama is discouraging the (probable) majority of Democrats who support even defunding to end the war. On this subject he can simultaneously both motivate the base and sway the moderates, and he needs to learn that now.

by curtadams 2007-04-02 09:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war
Since you are so impatient and expect everyone to deliver to you on demand, maybe you should look elsewhere, Cilerder.
You will be surprised to find all of the candidates are not perfect but, human beings.  And politicians.
by vwcat 2007-04-02 03:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

  To Edwards you mean?  I don't hate Obama, but he's clearing failing us with his messaging here.  This may be a surprise, but he still might get my primary vote.

by cilerder86 2007-04-02 05:32PM | 0 recs
Very disappointing

Why dont he say that.....

If Bush vetoes the bill, Bush is the one cutting off funding for the war.

Dare Bush to veto and cut off funding.

by jasmine 2007-04-02 03:42PM | 0 recs
This Bill Embraces Obamas Original Bill

Senator Obama introduced legislation in January 2007 to offer a responsible alternative to President Bush's failed escalation policy. The legislation commences redeployment of U.S. forces no later than May 1, 2007 with the goal of removing all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008 -- a date consistent with the bipartisan Iraq Study Group's expectations. The plan allows for a limited number of U.S. troops to remain in Iraq as basic force protection, to engage in counter-terrorism and to continue the training of Iraqi security forces. If the Iraqis are successful in meeting the 13 benchmarks for progress laid out by the Bush Administration, this plan also allows for the temporary suspension of the redeployment, provided Congress agrees that the benchmarks have been met.

The Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd ?bill=s110-433

by ObamaEdwards2008 2007-04-02 03:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war
I used to think that Obama was good enough to support in the primaries even if he was not my favorite candidate.  I don't see why he's making the statements he's making.  Doesn't he want to end the war?  The Congress has already approved funding for 'night vision goggles, armored humvees, etc.'  The only people who stand in the way of that funding are Republicans.
How hard is that to communicate?
by McFrederick 2007-04-02 03:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Do you want to read?

Look at his BILL. Who the hell do you think Reid/Feingold got there bill from?

READING: It is ultimately,the most Anti-Ignorance thing one can do.

by ObamaEdwards2008 2007-04-02 03:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

You were saying? (Go read)

by andgarden 2007-04-02 04:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

B or C list blog articles really aren't a great source to make one's point.

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-02 06:03PM | 0 recs
Big Tent isn't c-list

You might remember a guy called Armando?

by andgarden 2007-04-02 06:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Big Tent isn't c-list

I stand by my statement... To my understanding his Blog is not pulling in the numbers MyDD, Kos or some of the wingnut blogs are (I don't speak their names)

But to that point, even linking to an A-list blog post really isn't proving your opinion... Most blogs are not objective journalism (as most Cable news isn't anymore either) but rather editorials... they are wonderful and have a place but they do distort and get facts wrong all the time.

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-02 06:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Big Tent isn't c-list

No.  I usually side with you on the primaries, but this is an invalid criticism based on the discussion at hand.  You can't just say that 'sometimes blogs get facts wrong,' you need to cite which facts are wrong and explain why they're wrong.  You can't sit HERE, on MyDD, and simply cast a huge aspersion on the validity of arguments presented on blogs simply because they're presented on blogs.

And, as was noted above, we're not talking about a no-nothing nobody here.  This is Armando we're talking about--he was FP on DailyKos and withstood an 'outing' by the VRWC for having the temerity to hold opinions.  The fact that TalkLeft isn't getting huge numbers has absolutely NO BEARING on the validity of his argument.

If you have a critique of BTD's position, state it, but if your only problem is that he's a blogger, then you're completely off-base.

by Jay R 2007-04-03 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Obama's bill does not use the power of the purse.  Therefore, it will never become law.  Does he really believe that 17 GOP senators, including Lieberman, would ever support his bill?

His plan is to convince 17 non-Dem. Senators to support his bill, and in the meantime to fund the war, the goggles, the armor, etc.  That is his position.  That may be the endgame, but he is not communicating strategically by talking in this way about the endgame while the first veto (of a SPENDING BILL!) hasn't even happened yet.

by McFrederick 2007-04-02 04:13PM | 0 recs
Mostly more kabuki

Providing that Reid scores at least as well on the Feingold bill as on the motion to table the Cochran Amendment to strike the timetable from the supplemental bill, I can see no harm in going for a vote on it.

(No doubt it would be easier for Sixpack to understand.)

I can't see how passing Feingold in the Senate will improve the Dems position against Bush, though.

It's clear from Rangel on TV yesterday (and the lack of leadership disavowal) that there will be no confrontation with Bush over the FY07 supplemental bill.

The next opportunity to trigger such a confrontation will be when the FY08 defense apps bill rolls along (can't be long now).

Perhaps by then the Dem leadership will be ready to go for confrontation.

Delay allows for events (eg, big casualties) to supervene, and for at-risk GOP to ditch Bush.

But, especially in the House, the Dem coalition that voted for HR 1591 may come under some strain, too.

by skeptic06 2007-04-02 03:55PM | 0 recs
JTA...

If Reid wants to cut off funds, he has to put a timetable into a DOD apps bill.

Already, we 'know' that, when HR 1591 is vetoed with a timetable, the Dems will give Bush an FY07 Iraq supplemental bill without a timetable.

Is he going to put the Feingold text in the FY08 DOD apps bill?

That would do it - Bush clearly won't sign any bill with a timetable - but, by that stage, they would have stripped one timetable in the face of a Bush veto: what's the chance they'd do so again?

Much to ponder here.

by skeptic06 2007-04-02 04:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

If anyone likes the reporter Michael Ware on CNN then maybe you should have seen his report this afternoon on the proposals by both sides on Iraq.  He is so honest and blunt.  But, just like Obama, he is not pie in the sky.  Or irresponsible.

by vwcat 2007-04-02 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Why hide your subtle distaste for Obama?

by aiko 2007-04-02 03:57PM | 0 recs
How Congress ends wars

The American Prospect recently published an excellent history, How Congress Helped End the Vietnam War. It wasn't done by cutting funds, it was done by cutting authority and attaching restrictions to the President in a grinding process that took 2 years. I think things can be accelerated considerably today but we are still only 4 months into a Democratic Congress. We need to peel more than one or two Republicans to end the Iraq War. Just letting the funding run out without passing affirmative legislation calling for withdrawal is a bad, bad idea IMHO.

Democrats main achievement in the 110th Congress has been to solidify their own caucus and attract 2 GOP Senators (Hagel and G. Smith) and 2 GOP Reps. (Walter Jones and Wayne Gilcrest). I think you need more than that level of support from the GOP in order to end funding in a way that doesn't breed chaos.

It's appears to me that Feingold-Reid is replaying the role of McGovern-Hatfield (which failed) but don't be suprised if Obama puts together legislation along the lines of Case-Church that actually can pass over a Presidential veto.

I think this debate will play out with Feingold-Reid failing this go-round, a Blue Dog interim bill passing with 3 months of funding, then Feingold-Reid eventually passing in either one or two quarters. Somebody has to meld the two positions together over time and I think that is what Obama is trying to do with his cautious remarks. All credit to Feingold for being the leader on this issue but somebody has to peel off more GOP support to override a Presidential veto.

by joejoejoe 2007-04-02 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: How Congress ends wars

Good post. I don't think it's going to be a Pres. wannabee though that gets the lead position in the Senate for this, Reid has made it plain that he's leading the Democrats.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-04-02 04:02PM | 0 recs
I Think He's Taking Obamas Lead

Senator Obama introduced legislation in January 2007 to offer a responsible alternative to President Bush's failed escalation policy. The legislation commences redeployment of U.S. forces no later than May 1, 2007 with the goal of removing all combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008 -- a date consistent with the bipartisan Iraq Study Group's expectations. The plan allows for a limited number of U.S. troops to remain in Iraq as basic force protection, to engage in counter-terrorism and to continue the training of Iraqi security forces. If the Iraqis are successful in meeting the 13 benchmarks for progress laid out by the Bush Administration, this plan also allows for the temporary suspension of the redeployment, provided Congress agrees that the benchmarks have been met.

The Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd ?bill=s110-433

by ObamaEdwards2008 2007-04-02 04:04PM | 0 recs
In fairness...

Reid's bill does add an explicit funding cutoff in March 2008 (with plenty of exceptions), but otherwise is pretty much the same as Obama's bill.

What people seem to get pissed off about is they think that somehow Obama's "surrendering" to Bush by mentioning that there aren't enough votes to override a veto.

It should be fairly obvious that Bush is setting up a trap for the Democrats.  I don't know why people don't seem to get that.

by rashomon 2007-04-02 04:09PM | 0 recs
Re: In fairness...

What trap exactly are you thinking of?

by McFrederick 2007-04-02 04:20PM | 0 recs
Bush wants to blame Democrats...

for cutting off funding for the war.  That way, whatever happens down the line is the Dems fault.

Democrats shouldn't play Bush's game of chicken.  If he vetoes the existing supplemental, they should pass a no-strings supplemental that covers a few months, then fight the battle again this summer.  You've got to set up the frame that Bush is getting what he wants, but deliver it with the poison pill of a limited amount of funds.  It's not like the supplemental is intended to fund the war forever...there's a whole new budget that starts in October to fight over.  Make the Republicans fight on ground that favors us.  Time is our friend.

by rashomon 2007-04-02 04:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Bush wants to blame Democrats...

this is EXACTLY what I've been arguing here and over at dKos--no matter how good the Reid-Feingold bill is, it likely will not pass (certainly not with a veto-proof majority) and certainly will not get signed into law.  and once it fails, some shit-ass, Judd Gregg-authored POS bill will pass instead, and we'll be back to square one.  Now, if we punt to this fall, when the Republican caucus is going to be scrambling for cover on Iraq and when the full Presidential field is in place, the ground will be much more fertile for getting Bush to sign a bill that includes a cutoff date.

Played right with a shitload of luck, Reid-Feingold might make it far enough to be vetoed.  If the option is between standing behind Reid-Feingold with no backup plan, or punting until we've had a full fruitless summer for the republicans to get hammered on this issue, then from a strategic standpoint punting would be a better idea.

Much as I hate to say it (and I really do), I don't think this war is legislatively killable until this fall.  I hate that the dems might have to fund it for another Friedman Unit, but if we can't end it before then so be it.

by Jay R 2007-04-02 06:01PM | 0 recs
Which is why it's essential

to put the blame on Bush for cutting off funding. It will be his responsibility - whatever comes out of Congress will be a mild, middle-of-the-American-road bill. Obama's phrasing is putting the potential blame on the Dem Congress, the wrong target. He's a great candidate and I like him a lot but he's got to learn to blame the guilty and excuse the innocent, not the other way around.

by curtadams 2007-04-02 09:51PM | 0 recs
I think you'll find...

...that none of the Vietnam era texts that got enacted affected the operations of US troops then in theater.

by skeptic06 2007-04-02 04:15PM | 0 recs
Congress checked regional expansion of Vietman war

More from the American Prospect history of Congress and the Vietnam War.

On December 16, 1969, Congress finally used the power of the purse. In a closed floor session, Church and Cooper offered an amendment to a defense spending bill to prevent the further use of money in Laos or Thailand. The amendment received the support of 73 senators. Church called the amendment a "reassertion of congressional prerogatives" on foreign policy. It survived the House-Senate conference committee, and Nixon signed the legislation.

That checked the regional expansion of the War. Webb is pushing similar legislation now with regards to Iran.

I think the best course of action is to get the President to sign a quarterly funding bill with clear, basic accountability measures for tranparency and readiness. When the President breaks his word like he does every time it gives cover for the same people that voted to fund for a quarter to vote to end the war. A quarter or two of funding can be viewed as giving the President enough rope to hang himself with the American people. Since these timetables all start in '08 anyway it doesn't matter if a timetable passes in April '07 or October '07. The US is out of Iraq at the same time in the long run.

by joejoejoe 2007-04-02 04:35PM | 0 recs
No US combat troops in Laos or Thailand

Or none that were supposed to be there. Or not many.

Getting the wording watertight with these blanket statements is always tricky.

If you go through my earlier pieces on this subject, you'll see that where the few of the many legislative attempts to curb the Vietnam War got enacted, it was to stop the expansion of the war, or (as with ground troops in Cambodia) the return of US combat troops to a zone from which they had been withdrawn.

All that (such as it was) was what was achieved legislatively.

That's not to say that the barrage of riders on curbing or ending the war didn't have a political effect.

But my recollection (I link a 1972 CRS report from the Virtual Vietnam Archive in one of the pieces) is that a good many of them - even the sense of Congress ones - didn't get a simple majority.

In evaluating the contribution of the Congress in hastening the end of the war, you surely have to look at all the factors bearing on the issue.

Including the cost of the war, the effect on the economy, the casualty rate, the draft, etc, etc.

My hypothesis is that, by a fair reckoning, even the political (as opposed to legislative) contribution of the Congress was pretty small.

The materials I've come across aren't adequate to test the hypothesis, though.

by skeptic06 2007-04-03 05:22AM | 0 recs
Consultants

Gee, I wonder how much of this is his "DC Consultants" telling him what to say?  I think a few more gaffes like this and he's gonna have to fire them!

by exLogCabin 2007-04-02 04:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Though I don't support Edwards I do try to be nice about him.  But, it seems like some supporters are determined to trash and slash Obama.  They label him and try to make it out that he is the enemy.  I really wish they would try to be fair and decent like us Obama supporters try to be nice and recognize Edwards.

by vwcat 2007-04-02 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Unfortunately , some people are responding to the IQ numbers like they do when they are standing next to someone in the men's room who is more endowed than they are. Hence, the aggressive efforts to distort Obamas strengths. They don't seem to get that his position on Iraq is not the only reason why people are supporting him and donating to the campaign. It will take more than distorting his position to get at his "numbers". All these attacks are doing is hurting the entire progressive movement as I have already read two news articles mocking all of us on the left because of the baseless attacks against Obama. They are not hurting Obama. They are hurting all of us on the Left. The Media is using this to turn us into a national joke but some people are so blinded by rage and jealously that they can't see they are hurting ALL Progressives.

Shame.

by ObamaEdwards2008 2007-04-02 04:35PM | 0 recs
Some folks...

mistake tactics for strategy.  It becomes all about using the right or wrong "frame" or taking a suicidal stand rather than winning the long term battle.

by rashomon 2007-04-02 04:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Is this an example of the nice words from an Obama supporter than vwcat was talking about?

by adamterando 2007-04-02 06:18PM | 0 recs
Its partly because people expect more

from Obama, he's kind of set himself up for that. He's running in part on his original opposition to the war, but isn't really lookinig like a very eloquent or effective spokesman for ending the war now.

It may not be completely fair but he is going to be judged by very high standards.

by okamichan13 2007-04-02 06:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Its partly because people expect more

See that's valid criticism of Obama to me... but VWCAT's right... there are some Edwards supporters who don't criticize his stance on an issue or that he hasn't been specific in his policies, etc but instead just attack the man... to be fair there are some who have done that to Edwards from Obama's side as well.  You strive to actually produce debate, whereas others simply make a comment to degrade the man and piss off the Obama supporters.

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-02 06:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

I don't understand how every time there's a question about Obama and HIS positions, there's somehow an Edwards supporter lurking in the shadows casting aspersions.

Please, for the love of God, stand up and defend your candidate, but lay off blaming his positions on another candidate or their supporters?

Obama is setting himself against the Democratic leadership on using the power of the purse to end the Iraq War.  That is not in question, he said it clearly.  He was against the war in 2002, he says he is against the war now, but he continues to fund it.  How are his positions compatible with each other?

And what if Democrats do go down the road of defunding the war?  Are they irresponsible and playing chicken?

by Vox Populi 2007-04-02 05:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Vox,

Please be honest here...  There are some like yourself that ask honest questions and give constructional critiques... Jallen and yourself are two of the better ones... but then there are other supporters of Edwards (it's a small minority) on MyDD who don't do this and simply attack him.  This particular post has several comments that have no value other than attacking Obama just as there are many that are constructive and actually create debate.  

But no one should blame Edwards for this... anyone that does is a nut.

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-02 06:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

I probably sound more reasonable because I write twice as many comments as I actually post.  On Barack's statements on the funding bill, I have yet to post a single thing.  I'm not sure how I can say that Jerome & Crew are right, yet the whole thing is overblown, w/out contradicting myself.  Barack is being stupid about this, but I don't think he should be condemned for it.  There... I said it pretty well, I think.

by jallen 2007-04-02 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

what I find really funny is while you guys are praising Feingold and saying Obama is bad, Senator Russ Feingold supports Senator Barack Obama for President!

by vwcat 2007-04-02 05:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Feingold has not endorsed Obama for President.  Like Rangel, who ended up endorsing Clinton, Feingold encouraged Obama to enter the race, but that is by no means an endorsement.

by Vox Populi 2007-04-02 06:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

I think there is something everyone keeps forgetting to mention in this debate on the war and rather to stay or to go. They say "when we win the war"...there is no sure- win insight. WE DON'T ALWAYS WIN. Look at Nam, and Korea. Look at the centuries of war in Iraq. Sometimes it's better to cut your losses and walk away with a few less chips and be able to gamble another day! Iraq has stood longer than the U.S.A, and if we leave they'll still stand when we are gone.

by AshleyGraceWV 2007-04-02 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Korea wasn't really a loss... it was a draw.

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-02 06:19PM | 0 recs
That's What He Said, Dude!

He didn't say "WE ALWAYS LOSE. Look at Nam, and Korea."  He said:

WE DON'T ALWAYS WIN. Look at Nam, and Korea.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-04-02 09:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

If the democrats cut off funding for the troops, the public will turn on them and every democrat will be facing political death in 2008.  You democrats are morons.  Cant you see the Republicans setting this trap for you.  When the casualties start to rise in Iraq over the summer, the republicans are going to blame the democrats for not giving them the proper tools to protect themselves.  I'm ashamed of you guys for thinking about cutting off funding.  No wonder why the country sees us weak on defense.  

by ricco23 2007-04-02 05:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Ahh... I smell a GOPer in our midst... Someone who says You Democrats, surely isn't one of us as much as he tries to pretend later on.

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-02 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Oh and his first comment too... Trollbob Redpants pays us a visit.

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-02 06:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Response to Jeromes Update witht he numbers..

Come on Jerome, thats a stretch even for you... Don't "estimate" numbers to try and prove your point (and I seem to remember polling that less than 80% of GOPers still support the war)....  

Even if your 60-40 number for Dems is correct... THAT IS A MAJORITY... That is not a VAST Majority... 80-20 is a VAST majority.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-02 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war
Go to the same link, and you'll see it's 80-90 percent of Republicans, when other war-related questions are parsed out according to party.


80-20 is a VAST majority.


So then, how wrong is Obama?

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-04-02 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

You are still simply estimating the numbers on this particular poll...  Provide the crosstabs and that proves your points... but it is irresponsible to estimate numbers and then try to play them off as fact... Its insulting to someone who is a fan of yours and loves this site...

And I am looking at a Newsweek poll that says only 64% of GOPers oppose the recently passed senate resolution...   A CBS poll that says only 63% of GOPers oppose setting a time table...  So I am not sure where you are getting your 80-90%... IT isn't anywhere I can find on the Polling Report page you linked too.

You may disagree that passing off guesses (even educated ones) as near fact is OK...but to me estimating and guessing at numbers is irresponsible and doesn't prove your point... you may end up being right, and I leave that as a real possiblity, but actually find the real numbers... don't pass off your guesses as fact in this case.  Please provide the actual crosstabs and then lets continue the debate...  

 

by yitbos96bb 2007-04-02 06:54PM | 0 recs
Obama is going to be judged

very strictkly on issues like this. In some ways, he's kind of set himself up for that. He's running in part on his original opposition to the war, but isn't really lookinig like a very eloquent or effective spokesman for ending the war now.

It may not be completely fair but he is going to be judged by very high standards. The scrutiny on him related to his statements on the war, is going to increase I think, not decrease.

He needs to be speaking with a lot more clarity and use less blurry language.

But I think he is stuck in a way, in the netroots at least, because of his past purity on the war. People want him to be an ardent and strident leader on ending the war while he is a senator and that's just a very hard thing to do. He has also framed himself as being above partisan disputes and on this front at least, I'm not sure if that helps him. This is, in Congress at least, a very partisan issue. How does he help lead a partisan fight while staying above it?

Its a very hard situation for him, and one that he and has campaign have kind of set up. I'm not sure about a solution, but what he is doing now, with ambiguous statements, certainly isn't going to help him keep his momentum.

by okamichan13 2007-04-02 06:47PM | 0 recs
He Doesn't Have To Be Strident

Clear, consistent and unapologetic would do just fine for me.

And hold the rightwing memes, frames and metaphors.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-04-02 06:49PM | 0 recs
A BAD Question, Jerome

Jerome's latest update contains an excerpt from the following suite of USA Today/Gallup questions--as shown at Polling Report;

"Would you favor or oppose Congress taking each of the following actions in regards to the war in Iraq? How about [see below]?"

             Favor    Oppose    Unsure   
"Requiring U.S. troops to meet strict readiness criteria before being deployed to Iraq"
3/23-25/07     80        15         4

"Setting a time-table for withdrawing all U.S. troops from Iraq no later than the fall of 2008"
3/23-25/07     60        38         2

How about Denying the funding needed to send any additional U.S. troops to Iraq?"
3/23-25/07     36        61         3            
3/2-4/07       37        61         2            
2/9-11/07      40        58         2

As you can see, the "favor" option in all three cases is the Dem/soft anti-war position.  But the third question is phrased in terms of favoring a denial of funds.  Whenever you ask a question this way--say yes to say no--people get confused.  Even though it looks like a parallel construction to the ones preceeding it, a certain percentage of people will not hear it that way.

There's not a lot of polling on this specific question, but there is this, from Newsweek:

"In general, do you favor or oppose President Bush's decision earlier this year to increase the level of U.S. troops in Iraq?"       
              Favor    Oppose    Unsure   
                 %         %         %        
3/14-15/07      32        64         4

Which would suggest that the figures in the third question above are actually reversed from what they should be, due to confusion created among respondents.  Here, we have 64% opposed to the surge, above we have 61% opposed to denying funding for the surge.  While it's certainly possible that 25% oppose the surge, but also oppose denying funding for it, it's far more likely that this is due to respondent confusion.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-04-02 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: A BAD Question, Jerome

Good point. I do think we have a case of where a strong majority of Democrats say cut the funding-- and probably a majority of Independents too.

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-04-02 07:39PM | 0 recs
I Think So Too

It's certainly worth noting how little polling there is on this crucial point.

Looks like someone's afraid that they just can't handle the truth!

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-04-02 09:25PM | 0 recs
About playing chicken

"Obama.. said that neither he nor "the vast majority of Democrats" are interested in cutting funding for troops in the field.... troops should have "night vision goggles and armored Humvees and other equipment they need.""

I'd like to see the full quote and context, the triple dots are always a little suspicious, but be that as it may... Obama has talked about this before. His claim was that even if Congress cuts the funding Bush might keep the troops in anyway just so that they'll start dying in increased numbers 'because' of the lack of equipment, which Bush would then try to blame on the Dems.

That's the game of chicken here and while a lot of people probably don't think it would go down like that the fact remains that if that's what Obama believes then he also believes that cutting the funds would get a lot of Americans soldiers killed... Tough decision I guess if that's what he believes...

by End game 2007-04-02 07:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

It seems to me, you don't need that many votes to cut off spending.  You don't have to override a veto.  You just have to use parliamentary procedures to prevent any new funding from coming up for a vote without a poison pill in it.

Why do we keep hearing this garbage about how they don't have the votes?  Bush needs the money.  He doesn't have it.  If he doesn't get more, he loses.

by Dumbo 2007-04-02 10:46PM | 0 recs
Obama's statements undercut

Obama's public statements undercut the Dem effort to end this war. That is not leadership and it is not indicative of presidential potential. It indicates he is politically inept and lacking political courage to take a principled stand. He just lost my vote.

by cmpnwtr 2007-04-03 05:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's statements undercut

its very difficult as a sitting Senator to run for President.  Your votes have a way of tripping you up.  

by changehorses08 2007-04-09 11:30PM | 0 recs
If Rahm Would have Said what Obama did

he would be roundly criticized, not coddled like this.

by andy k 2007-04-03 05:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Barack Obama has been nothing short of scatter-brained. What an idiot to undercut what our Dem leaders are trying so hard to accomplish!

The most troubling part of all of this is the excuses his supporters are making for him.  The man is running for President!!  

by marasaud 2007-04-03 10:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

A Bill Clinton, with that kind of political acumen comes along once in a lifetime. No one in this crowd including Hillary can hope to be Bill. They should stand up for what they believe in.  Maybe bold plans for changing this country won't get you K-Street money.  But if you're for real --the people will support you.

by changehorses08 2007-04-09 11:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

Slightly different Obama quote:
"What we might do is look at a bill giving a short-term appropriation," Obama said. "And keep the president on a shorter leash."

Still consistent with the earlier ones, but there's a pretty big contrast between this stance (one which I've seen mentioned as a viable approach - force funding renewal every 3 months or so to keep the issue in the spotlight) and the one which many here are reading into the other quotes.

I think that there's an awful lot of condemnation going on based on an inference of his position, and not necessarily on his actual position.

by dopplex 2007-04-03 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Reid moves to cut off funding for the war

The rightwing has been apologists for everything that Bush has screwed up.  I hope the left doesn't become apologists for Obama.  Fact is he has only been a Senator for 2 years. He is a political novice who is being over handled.  He has been told to Stand above the rest of the Democrats while trying not to upset Republicans.  This is not a year where you can triangulate yourself into the Presidency.  We have major problems in this country.  We need bold leadership--the kind of leadership that Roosevelt and Truman possessed--which defeated the Great Depression and won WW 2. 08 is the Democrats year.  If Obama is a Democrat then he should be proud to say so.

by changehorses08 2007-04-09 11:27PM | 0 recs

Diaries

Advertise Blogads