Spineless Democrats

The Democrats ran in 2008 on the platform of ending the Iraq war, and won largely on that platform. Now they are failing to deliver upon it.

It is true that they have a thin majority in the Senate and a not much wider one in the House. It is also true that it takes 60 votes to pass legislation in the Senate, which they don’t have.

But here’s the thing. It takes 60 votes to pass legislation. That means that they can easily defeat any massive Republican war spending bill.

I think they are worried about the Republicans painting them as being against the troops. So what? If the Republicans vote against a Democratic funding bill that provides adequate funds for an orderly withdrawal, aren’t they doing the same? “No” votes on both are votes to prevent the funding from passing.

They easily have the votes to defeat massive Republican spending bills. So why not advance a spending bill like they campaigned for, and watch all the Republicans vote against it? If no funding at all passes, they achieve their objective, just not as cleanly, and the Republicans would be the ones voting against funding. Make the Republicans take some heat for a change, and give them no choice but to compromise.

7 thoughts on “Spineless Democrats

  1. All in all, that’s really just naive. Were the Democrats in Congress to block an Iraq War spending bill, it’s doubtful that the Republicans would compromise quickly. What would happen quickly is that every Democratic Congressman in the House (many of whose electoral margins are very slim) would be bombarded with letters from irate constituents asking why their brother is in the field without money, and such. And regardless of who was actually responsible for the whole thing, the spin, and eventually the public perception, would be that the Democrats cut off funding for the troops.

    The War in Iraq isn’t going to be ended through stunts like cutting off funding. It will be ended by electing more anti-war Senators in 2008, and by electing a Democratic President. Anything else is just going to bring electoral disaster.

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    John Goerzen Reply:

    That’s what I’m talking about. If they accomplish a tremendous good — ending that war — what is it to have “electoral disaster”, even if it comes to that?

    Yes, I know it wouldn’t be simple, but they have a huge bargaining chip that they aren’t using.

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  2. One other thing they could do is split it into smaller pieces. Equipment for the troops already there or coming home in one bill. Funding to get people there in another. Funding to fight the enemy du jour in a third. They ought to be able to work it out.

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  3. One of the tactics is to never have a one issue bill. Every bill has bits that you are for and against, so you have to give-in to things you don’t want, to get what you want. Then there is that fact that this is a McWar, one where our country is not supposed to pull together for a cause or sacrifice, as oppose to the war that Ken Burns did a documentary on. Congresspeople or Senators care about a war but not a McWar.

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  4. Depending on Democrats to right the wrongs of Republicans is a fool’s errand. If the PTB are ready to extract the US from Iraq, it will happen under whatever administration is in power.

    In the current election cycle, it happens that there is a viable alternative. The fact that he happens to be a nominal Republican is not an issue at all. He is INDEPENDENT of the entrenched TweedleDee/Dum power structure and electing him, or even getting him to a position of being a real threat to the status quo would do more to change it than an absolute landslide for either major party.

    While he is not yet a household name, due to a timid and controlled mass media, his position is not dissimilar to that of Jimmie Carter, or Howard Dean at similar points in past election cycles. If you care about America, register Republican and go to work for Ron Paul now.

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  5. Just a nit pick, but it only takes 50 votes. If I remember correctly Liberman is an independent and pro-finish in Iraq and the Democrats are missing a Senator. So the vote probably looked something like 50-49 if none of each side defected. So saying it is a Democratic majority is a bit specious. Liberman and the other independent (a communist I think?) generally vote with the Democrats which is why you get this Democratic majority thing.

    Second, I don’t think most of the Democratic leadership are really anti-Iraq war. Its more of a convinient stick to beat GWB with. I generally get the impression that the Democratic leadership HATE GWB for some reason. I think its the way he keeps beating them. IMHO of course.

    Also, many people say that the Democrats on in 2006 (the year they ran on the anti-war stance). Considering how terrible a job GWB has been doing and how much of a rubber stamp the congress became, the Democrats should have won by a land slide. I do not personally think the current paper thin margin to be a victory, as referenced by the vote you are talking about.

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  6. Since when do politicians of either party live up to their champaign promises? It is not possible to believe things said by a politician who is 1.) trying to get into office or 2.) trying to stay in office. Once in office, they must keep the promises they made to the big money contributors to stay there. These promises probably are not the same as they made to the voters.
    If you think there are honest politicians, that went out with old ‘honest Abe’
    Tony

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