Democrats, We're Not Idiots
There are a few encouraging signs on the Iraq front. Harry Reid has called the end of the surge bait-and-switch unacceptable, Nancy Pelosi judged it as a path to 10 more years of war, the Democratic National Committee is saying time's up, and even Levin and Reed, authors of the toothless Levin-Reed Amendment, are calling bullshit on the President's so-called plan, which is hope and nothing more.
But what will they DO about it? That's the key question. And two of our Presidentials are aware of where this is leading: a lot of talk without action.
"Some, like Senator Obama, have said we should only 'begin' to end this war now. Senator Obama would withdraw only 1-2 combat brigades a month between now and the end of next year, which for the next several months could essentially mimic the president's own plans to withdraw 30,000 troops by next summer...
"Enough is enough. We don't need to 'begin' to end the war now. What we need to do now is actually end the war. This is about right and wrong. Our young men and women are dying every day for a failed policy. Every member of Congress who believes this war must end, from Senators Obama and Clinton to Senator Warner, has a moral responsibility to use every tool available to them, including a filibuster, to force the president to change course. Congress must stand firm and say: No timetable, no funding. No excuses."
"I was disappointed that Senator Obama's thoughts on Iraq today didn't include a firm, enforceable deadline for redeployment, and dismayed that neither he nor Senator Clinton will give an unequivocal answer on whether they would support a measure if it didn't have such an enforceable deadline.
"It is clear to me - especially after yesterday's testimony - that half-measures aren't going to stop this President or end our involvement in this civil war. I thought it was clear to Senators Obama and Clinton as well after they finally came around to supporting the Feingold-Reid measure and voting against a blank-check supplemental spending bill this spring. If 'enough was enough' then, why isn't it after the bloodiest summer of the war?
"Senator Obama has a gift for soaring rhetoric, but, on this critical issue, we need to know the substance of his position with specificity. Without tying a date certain to funding how does he plan to enforce his call for an immediate redeployment?
Hope is not a plan on either side of this debate. Obama's people and Hillary's people send out staffers to write white papers all they want, but until they respond with legitimate action to end the war instead of hopping up and down like Daffy Duck when they get played on the supplemental again, it's useless. We all know that no legislation need be passed to end this war. Jack Cafferty explained it very simply on The Situation Room today. Without a bill for more funding, either the troops come home or the President commits an impeachable offense by stealing money to hold the troops hostage in Iraq. He explained it very simply. The Speaker of the House can hold up any legislation in the House by herself, and 40 Senators can do the same in the Senate. I truly believe that the Democrats think the American people are so ignorant, and that they have so little faith in their own communication skills, that they couldn't make the same claim.
Markos lays out one plan:
Pass a supplemental bill with a withdrawal deadline. Let the GOP filibuster. If it comes to the point where the troops are being harmed from lack of funding, pass one-month supplementals -- keep forcing Republicans in vote after vote to stand with Bush and his hated war.
If the bigger supplemental, the one with teeth, passes, let Bush veto it. Send it back to him, again and again. All the while, keep the one-month supplementals going to ensure our troops have everything they need.
Tell the American people -- we will support the troops by bringing them home safe and sound to their families, and we will fund them appropriately every step of the way. Ignore what Joe Klein and David Broder say. They don't speak for, or to, the American masses.
THIS is what the American people want. They don't want another blank check to Bush for $200 billion more. They want binding legislation to end this thing. The polls are clear. It's morally justified.
Actually all you have to do is not support any plan. But this one is best matched with political reality.
The political blogosphere grew up watching a series of extreme far-right assaults on democracy, from the Clinton impeachment to the stolen election of 2000 to the hijacking of the tragedy of 9/11 into an unnecessary war of choice. We watched as our elected representatives in Washington did literally nothing to stop these predations, and indeed led the Party on a slow road to marginalization and defeat. This is the line in the sand. They have one last chance to restore the trust of the American people. We do not need an elite establishment that is too cozy with incrementalism and will avoid noth the big changes we need and the fortitude to stop the Republicans. If the Democratic leadershipe in DC will not stand up for the will of the American people we will stand up for it by running primary challenges and overtaking these seats. 2008 is going to be a bad year for incumbents, particularly if the gridlock on Iraq continues. Democrats were given a mandate and they shouldn't be afraid of what pundits will think by acting on it.