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Monday, May 07, 2007

Bush War Funding Fight as Hopeless as the War

Guess what? Bush doesn't get it:

Associated Press:

President Bush, urging Congress to craft a war spending bill quickly, offered no clues Saturday about whether he'll compromise over linking U.S. support to stability in Iraq.

Bush and Congress have been talking about how to agree on a bill to finance combat operations through September. The president demands the money without strings attached, but Democrats say Bush eventually must accept some conditions on the U.S. commitment to the unpopular war.

Here's the thing -- Bush wants the war, Democrats not so much. This puts Bush at an extreme disadvantage. He can either sign what he gets or effectively defund his own war. If there's anyone here who needs to talk about compromise, it's Bush -- clearly neither of the options are acceptable to him and they're all he's got.

So why is Bush being such a pigheaded fool about this? "If we were to leave Iraq before the government can defend itself, there would be a security vacuum in the country," AP quotes Bush as saying. "Extremists from all factions could compete to fill that vacuum, causing sectarian killing to multiply on a horrific scale."

How do we know that's what will happen? That's what happened after we removed Saddam Hussein from power. Pretty much everyone other than the neocons predicted it and, as is usually the case, almost everyone but the neocons were right. With that track record, it's a little hard to take the Bushies seriously when they talk about Iraq. We're just keeping things at a slow boil here, we aren't actually getting anywhere. If things have to get worse before they get better, that's not really anyone's fault other than the people who started this damned war.

The next war funding fight may be a Hillary Clinton/Robert Byrd bill that allows the 2002 war authorization to expire on its fifth anniversary, Oct. 11, 2007. According to Reuters, when Clinton co-sponsored the bill, "White House spokesman Tony Fratto called Clinton's action 'reckless' and 'a political stunt.'"

Here's the thing, the White House that got us into this war -- which after four freakin' years still struggles to find a reason for existing -- doesn't get to talk about recklessness. There were no WMD, no ties to terrorism, no connection to 9/11 -- they recklessly rushed a nation into a war that later would be proven to have no real reason for being. And they recklessly seek to continue a war that serves no purpose. Hypocrisy is the Bush administration's only strong suit.

Bush can veto and veto and veto. It's an action that's never going to fund the war. He can't force Congress to do anything -- constitutionally or politically. There's a reason why Congress authorizes funding; to keep a runaway executive from following an idiotic path. Politically, Bush can't win. Polls show voters back Congress, not Bush. He has no political capital to spend here. He may not like it, but his back's against the wall.

Which makes all his tough talk empty. He's got nothin'. He's lost the political fight, he's lost the moral argument, and he's lost the people of the United States. He's in no position to take a stand and say , "No compromise!"

As things stand right now, he'll compromise or he'll get nothing. For the record, that last option is my personal favorite.


Technorati tags: ; ; ; ; ; In the debate about funding the , is learning that you can't fight if you don't have anyplace left to stand

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am sick to death of hearing the fake opposition Dems in Congress moan about not having enough votes to end the war in Iraq. They give lip service to the myth that the only way to end the war is to write a bill saying "the war is now over" and send it to Bush for a prompt veto, then override the veto. They then throw up their hands, saying "Well, as you can see, we don't have the votes to override any veto, so there's no way to end the war. Sorry folks."
This is disingenious and vividly illustrates who the Dems are really serving: the establishment, not their constituents.
Here's how to end the war: No bill specifically ending the war is even necessary. Remember those supplemental funding bills the Cheney regime has to constantly ask for, to continue funding the Iraq war piecemeal instead of in yearly lump sums attached to the actual defense budget? That's the achilles' heel of their war effort. The next time Bush asks for another $80 billion or whatever to keep the Iraq bloodbath going, all the Democrats have to do to end the war is to say: NO. To say "We won't allocate one more penny for your illegal war". Last I checked the Dems have a wafer-thin majority in both houses. With no Dems voting for the next spending bill it won't be passed and thus it won't make it to Bush's desk for signing. Bush (and especially his puppetmaster Cheney) may have concentrated an inordinate amount of power in the hands of the executive branch, but even they can't send spending bills to their own desk. That necessarily has to come from Congress. If it never reaches his desk he can't sign it, and will have 2 choices: 1.pull the troops out while there is still enough money left in the pipeline so to speak to allow an orderly withdrawl (and anyone who has five or more brain cells knows that the money isn't going to run out the next day, that's a non-issue that the right wing tries to use as a scare tactic but it is ridiculously dumbed down and simply not true; they don't wait until they have $5 left before asking for another supplemental OK?); or 2.don't pull them out right away, and leave them to wither on the vine in Iraq until the money DOES completely run out and they have to withdraw from Iraq chaotically, burning their supplies and vehicles. Either way the war will end pretty soon if the Dems refuse to vote on supplementals. They don't have to write a bill saying they are cutting off funding; this is only a fig leaf so they can pretend to be doing something to end the war when all they are doing is purposely spinning their wheels. All they have to do is to NOT VOTE ON SUPPLEMENTALS. Pretty effing simple. The people NOW need to DEMAND in so many words that if the Democrats are a genuine opposition party that they will carry out the will of the people and NOT VOTE on supplementals. If they are a fake opposition party as I feel they are, and are acting not in the people's interest but playing for the same team as the Republicans, then continue with more of the same hand-wringing and impotent nonbinding resolutions that resolve nothing. Decision time Democrats. Which are you? Genuine? Or fake opposition? I think I already know the answer to that one but why don't you surprise me?