Thursday, February 22, 2007

When the War Returns to Washington

A U.S. trooper in Baghdad plays chess while Congress fiddles
Uh-oh! Lock up the china and hide the children. Congress reconvenes next week and will again take up the Mess in Mesopotamia.
As you may recall, the House has passed a non-binding resolution pretty-pleasing President Bush to not increase troop levels, which he has done anyway, while the Senate has tied itself in procedural knots, all over the most pressing issue to confront the Greatest Deliberative Body in the World since God knows when.
But as Randy Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive said (or rather sang), you ain't seen nothing yet.

Dick Polman provides a preview of the mischief afoot in the Republican caucuses:
"[T]he House Republicans are working up a strategy that is designed to shift the focus away from President Bush and his war team (a smart idea, since Bush and his war team are the architects of this foreign policy disaster), and instead try to spotlight the Democrats by painting them as white-flag wimps who don’t care a whit about the safety or morale of U.S. troops.

"The House Republicans, relying not merely on their rhetoric, are also floating a bill that would bar lawmakers from cutting off the war money, or restricting the money in any way. They obviously have calculated that a lot of Democrats would feel compelled to go along, just to ensure that the GOP would not be able to label them as "against the troops" during their ’08 re-election campaigns. (Indeed, that’s one reason why the majority Democrats will ensure that this bill never comes up for a vote.)

"But the basic weakness of the Republican argument – better yet, its rank hypocrisy – is that its architects apparently don’t know, or choose not to remember, their own history. Because 11 years ago, when President Clinton was in the process of sending troops to Bosnia, and putting them in harm’s way, the House Republicans huddled in a party caucus and voted by nearly a 2-1 margin . . . to cut off funds for the troops. An action, by the way, that prompted some worried Republicans to warn that they might be undermining troop morale."
More here.

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