Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 5, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

BATTLE CRY....So who wins the showdown between Congress and President Bush over war funding? The LA Times says it's Bush:

Denouncing Democrats from coast to coast for trying to limit his freedom of action in Iraq, President Bush is betting — as he often has — that when it comes to national security, confrontation works better than conciliation.

In Washington, Republicans and Democrats expect that the president will win this battle in the short run...."Ultimately, politically, we have to give him [the] money," Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, predicted in an interview on NBC this week.

Sheesh. If that's the way Democrats insist on talking, then I guess I predict that Bush will win too.

Kevin Drum 12:31 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (106)

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Comments

I thought Congress just passed legislation that *did* give Bush money?

What am I missing? [Other than the fine print of the non-binding deadline language]


JB

Posted by: JB on April 5, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

Regardless of how the Democrats talk, it will be hard to get their message out to the masses. The press will make it look like a shutdown and leaving the troops high and dry, even though that's not what they are proposing. But by Bush vetoing the funding bill, he will get the media time to blame the Democrats. It's a tough PR position for us to be in, even if right. Pelosi and Reid better start honing their message, and the DNC buying ad time now. The election may be won or lost by framing this correctly now.

Posted by: K on April 5, 2007 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

C'mon Kevin. Not funding on-going operations is a political dead end, and even the DC Dems know that. It was never a credible threat and Bush was certain to beat us around the head and shoulders with "putting the troops in harms way".

What's it's done is give Bush and his coterie of fans in the press a great set of talking points to make it look like Democrats don't care about the troops.

Yes, most voters want the troops out. Logic says they would be happy to hear talk about Democratic efforts to make that happen.

This is not about logic, it's about emotion. And on that front, the GOP is beating us yet again.

Posted by: zak822 on April 5, 2007 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

Why is nobody pointing out his Machiavellian move of stepping up the deployment of the additional brigades to get them into the quagmire before the funding in the pipeline dries up?

Some of those troops are going back to battle after only seven months stateside.

That is unconscionable. As Grape_Crush said, aWol took hostages.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 5, 2007 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

No kidding. The demcorats aren't going to win this pr battle by half-assing their rhetoric. Either they get their shit together and talk like Reid or Feingold, or they cave and say goodby to any discernable difference regarding Iraq and foreign policy as far as the public can tell.

Posted by: A different matt on April 5, 2007 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans and Democrats expect that the president will win this battle in the short run

I think this is correct. But even if President Bush doesn't get the money, he still wins. Henry Reid said before the 2006 election he wouldn't cut off the money to the troops, leaving our troops in Iraq defenseless as the terrorists attack them without mercy. But now Reid has backpedeled on this position. Reid and other Democrats will have a tough time explaining to the American people why they are cutting off money from our troops to defend themselves. They can't do that and that's why President Bush is winning.

Posted by: Al on April 5, 2007 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

I wish some congressman would simply stand up and say, "Yeah, we'll give Bush the money to support operations--but no more blank checks! The president either does the bidding of the American people and withdraws the troops, or Congress will respond to the desires of Americans and do it for him."

Posted by: Derelict on April 5, 2007 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

The only problem is the American people are smarter then that.The only one's who will fall for that line are the 29% and the just want a Nanny state anyway.

Posted by: john john on April 5, 2007 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

The American people don't see the war in Iraq as a "National Security" issue. Why does the Times frame it so?

Posted by: MisterC on April 5, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, I'm disappointed in you.

You already DID give him the money. He won't take it.

That's the message you and all your colleagues should be out there pounding with relentless repetition. Congress has appropriated the money for the troops, Bush refuses to accept it.

Say it with me now: Congress is giving him the money, he won't take it.

Posted by: biggerbox on April 5, 2007 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Nancy's glamour trip to Syria- where she mistated (lied?) a purported Israeli message she said she was carrying to the Syrian dictator.

not so much

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 5, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

The Congress gave Bush the money, if Bush doesn't sign it means that it's he who doesn't fund the troops...

Posted by: noone on April 5, 2007 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

I thought Congress just passed legislation that *did* give Bush money?

good point. bush is vetoing the spending that supports our troops.


What am I missing? [Other than the fine print of the non-binding deadline language]

the passed legislation renounces permanent bases in iraq, in both the house and senate versions. maybe that's the one thing bush won't stand for. he certainly has no problem with spending money.

Posted by: benjoya on April 5, 2007 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Read the whole quote please.

"Oh no. Ultimately, politically, we have to give him money. But we will constantly remind him that no president in these great United States can continue a war that the people do not support. It’s not going to happen. And so as long as he send back bills, we’ve got to send him back bills."

They'll keep on offering the money. It's up to Bush to accept it. That's what Rangel really said.

Posted by: Karmakin on April 5, 2007 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

In the longer term, this legislation clearly illustrates who supports this military approach and who does not. This will help with electing a competent government in the long run when the "surge" fails, but sadly at the expense of our troops in the short run.

What would be the practical effect of not funding this "emergency" allocation? I assume just more deficit spending rather than our soldiers running naked around Baghdad. True?

Posted by: jb on April 5, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

This is all myopic chatter, due mostly to the fact that Bush has been getting his message out while Congress has been out of session. It 's the media echo-chamber, with a generous overlay of horse-race entertainment.

When Congress comes back, and PASSES A BILL WITH MONEY FOR THE TROOPS, the story will change.

Posted by: bleh on April 5, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

From the London Times:

The latest massacre of Iraqi children came as 21 Shia market workers were ambushed, bound and shot dead north of the capital. The victims came from the Baghdad market visited the previous day by John McCain, the US presidential candidate, who said that an American security plan in the capital was starting to show signs of progress.

By proclaiming the market safe, McCain encouraged the insurgents to prove him wrong.

So, McCain traded a dishonest photo-op for at least 21 lives.

Just what we need, yet another president like Princess Bush who sacrifices innocent lives in an attempt to further his partisan objectives.

Posted by: anonymous on April 5, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Congress is fully funding the operation in Iraq.

Bush is declaring clearly, for the first time, that he wants to be in Iraq, forever.

I just don't see Bush winning this.

Posted by: Bruce Wilder on April 5, 2007 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

When the Democrats aren't simply acting like pussies, they usually act like idiots.

Posted by: The Fool on April 5, 2007 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

mhr: If you're upset about the mainline conservative press taking Bush's side, check today's Washington Post editorial that lambastes General Nancy's glamour trip to Syria- where she mistated (lied?) a purported Israeli message she said she was carrying to the Syrian dictator.

Allegedly misstated.

One would hardly put it past Olmert to set Pelosi up or to deny an initiative that might be unpopular with his supporters.

Given that the WaPo editors routinely misstate (lie about?) matters in their own editorials, their opinion is proof of nothing beyond that it is what they are stating their opinion is.

And weren't you AND the WaPo both proven liars about Pelosi's so-called demands for a private jet?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . .

Posted by: anonymous on April 5, 2007 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

When Congress comes back, and PASSES A BILL WITH MONEY FOR THE TROOPS, the story will change.

Congress did PASS A BILL WITH MONEY FOR THE TROOPS. It's Bush who is vetoing that Bill and refusing to fund them.

Say I hand you $20. You refuse to take it. Can you then credibly go on to denounce me for not giving you $20?

Posted by: Stefan on April 5, 2007 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin quotes:

"Ultimately, politically, we have to give him [the] money," Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.)

Not so.

Democratic leaders are poised to give President Bush another $120 billion for the war, more than enough money to keep our troops in Iraq through the end of his term and enough money to expand the war into Iran. Democratic leaders want to fund the war while saying they oppose the war. They are promising to use the war as a campaign issue against Republicans in 2008.

We do not have time to discern whether the leaders who say they are for peace yet vote for war are motivated by sincerity, self-deception or duplicity.

We need to mobilize now to contact Members of Congress to vote against further funding of the war. If the war is to be brought to an end, then Members of Congress must hear from you. Your efforts will make a difference.

Remember last year when Democrats ran TV commercials against Republicans attacking them for supporting the war? Democrats were brought to power in the House and the Senate because of the war. Now, in the first 100 days in a Democratic Congress; it is the Democrats who are raising the banner of war in the name of the troops, in the name of the Constitution, in the name of national security and in your name. Voila! The Democratic version of the war in Iraq.

The Democratic Party is at a turning point. Either we take this nation out of Iraq by cutting off funds NOW or we will forfeit the trust and the confidence of the American people. There will be consequences for Democrats funding the war.

HR 1234 (PDF) is the plan that will end the occupation, close the bases, bring the troops home, make Halliburton and all contractors come home and stabilize Iraq with an international peace-keeping and security force. HR 1234 will restore Iraq’s sovereignty over its oil, control its food and energy prices and protect its financial integrity by ensuring Iraq will not be the target of World Bank and IMF structural adjustment policies.

-- Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), 03/13/2007

The Democratic Party holds the majority in both houses of Congress because of public opposition to the war in Iraq. The American people overwhelmingly support ending the war now and bringing the troops home. Rep. Rangel's assertion that "politically" the Democrats "have to" give Bush "the money" is pure rubbish.

The Democrats are giving Bush all the money he wants, in direct contradiction to the will of the voters who gave them majority power. All the Democrats are doing is asking that Bush come up with a plan and an exit strategy to bring the troops home in well over a year from now -- for all practical purposes, by the end of his term.

So what Rangel is really saying is that "politically" the Democrats "have to" not only give Bush all the money he wants, but give him a blank check to do with it whatever he wants, for as long as he wants, in an open-ended, permanent war of occupation in Iraq. The American people have overwhelmingly, at the ballot box and in repeated polls, expressed their strong desire for the war to end, and their strong distrust of Bush's competence and honesty in the conduct of the war.

Why does Rangel think that "politically" the Democrats "have to" do something that the overwhelming majority of Americans oppose, something that is in direct opposition to the will of the voters who put the Democrats in power?

What the Democrats "have to" do "politically" is to do what's best for America, to do what the overwhelming majority of Americans want them to do, to do what the overwhelming majority of voters sent them to Congress to do -- use their Constitutional power to cut off funding for the war in Iraq and begin bringing the troops home immediately and complete their withdrawal as soon as practically possible.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 5, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Well,hello, this is what a two-party system without preference voting gets you- half-assed compromises that satisfy nobody and fail to do anything constructive about the real issues facing the country. How sad that in this case, the price will be paid by our military men and women who will go on dying and being maimed for the sake of Commander Codpiece's bourbon-fueled ego.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on April 5, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

The congressional Dems should stand fast against negotiating with terrorists (aka the Bush admin).

Posted by: Disputo on April 5, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

. . . demands for a private jet?

Obviously, that should have been "personal jet" (from the military).

Posted by: anonymous on April 5, 2007 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Dems need to get a picture of Bush vetoing the measure, and just put that out. "George W. Bush, vetoing the troop funding bill. Call 1-800-201-1234, and pass along the message that Democrats DO NOT SUPPORT his veto."

We need to get proactive on this, and right away.

Posted by: POed Lib on April 5, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Send it to him let him veto it,Send it back with all his tax cuts removed and say then this is how we pay for it.He can't keep vetoing it and blaming everyone eles.Oh wait this is Bush we are talking about Commander of nothing Chief of not my fault.

Posted by: john john on April 5, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), 03/13/2007

...who is the biggest joke in the history of the US House, who has no constituency and no influence whatsoever because he has burned the Speaker and the other Democrats in the past.

Please--quote Kucinich all you want, and his desire for a "US Department of Peace" [what is the State Department for, numbnuts?] and his all-or-nothing, take-no-prisoners drive for absolute irrelevance on the American political landscape.

He should be the face of liberalism!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 5, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

The Deocratic Party has to make up its collective mind as to whether or not being in Iraq hurts or helps national security. Once they take a position based on all the knowledge they have to date then they can act. If being in Iraq helps foster terrorism and therefor hurts national security then stop the funding of the war. If on the other hand it is helping to destroy terrorism then continue funding the war. That scenario of course does not take into account that the war was illegal to start with and continuation of funding is making the Congress an enabler of an illegal war and therefore potentially liable (as individuals) to being tried for war crimes.

Posted by: Archie1954 on April 5, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan, IIRC, Congress has not quite yet passed such a bill. Rather, the two houses have passed different bills, which have yet to be reconciled in a conference and then approved (one hopes) and sent to the preznit.

Once that happens, one trusts that the Dems will keep yelling loudly and clearly that CONGRESS PASSED A BILL THAT FUNDS THE TROOPS. Then we will see whether Bush can sustain a veto politically.

Remember that it's Rove's signature MO to attack most strongly when and where he's weakest. They may well believe that they can win this one. And almost certainly some money will eventually be voted out and signed into law. But the WH is gonna take some major body blows in the process, and they may very likely have to accept some language about eventual drawdowns.

Posted by: bleh on April 5, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

And Norman Rogers should be the face of concern trolling!

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on April 5, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

That scenario of course does not take into account that the war was illegal to start with and continuation of funding is making the Congress an enabler of an illegal war and therefore potentially liable (as individuals) to being tried for war crimes.

Unhinged hippies abound today.

Regardless of whether it is an "illegal" war is irrelevant. Congress never declared war. Good luck prosecuting everyone in government who ever raised their hand and voted.

As a matter of fact, let's make it the central organizing principle of the Democratic Party to prosecute everyone who had anything to do with the war in Iraq. After we imprison the entire Executive branch and the entire Legislative branch, let's imprison each and every member of the Armed Forces for following an unlawful order. Run with that. Make it your vision, sir.

Bwah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 5, 2007 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

And Norman Rogers should be the face of concern trolling!

No, sweetpants, I'm the real deal. And I do not concern myself with the goings-on of hippies and moonbats.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 5, 2007 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK
No, sweetpants, I'm the real deal.
How about that- a concern troll who actually admits to being one! Just on the one in a million chance that anyone is tempted to take him seriously... Posted by: Steve LaBonne on April 5, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

How about that- a concern troll who actually admits to being one!

How about that- a liberal who derives the wrong meaning from a pretty basic statement.

I am the "real deal" in terms of being a troll; "Concern Trolls" are more like the ones who claim to be Democrats or Liberals and who tsk tsk and hem and haw and use straw man arguments to tangle with weak-kneed wannabe commenters.

I am Devastation Incorporated. Tangle with me in any way, shape or form and your comrades will be dragging you out the door with your ears figuratively but not literally blistered and your arguments turned into oatmeal.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 5, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Dems fucked themselves by supporting the war in the first place.

They were backed into this corner by their own cowardice, and dependency on large corporate donors.

The ONLY way to get our troops out of there is to IMPEACH. NOW.

Posted by: Extradite Rumsfeld on April 5, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

The ONLY way to get our troops out of there is to IMPEACH. NOW.

Whoa, hold on pardner.

The liberals here want to put the people who would actually impeach and remove the President on trial for war crimes.

Are you saying we should wait until AFTER the special election we will have to hold to replace the 535 members of Congress we just threw into the hoosegow for war crimes to impeach the President?

Do any of you actually have a viable game plan?

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 5, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK
just another... crank who has no money, no job and no outlet for his crazed rants... Norman Rogers
While crazed fools rant, real people are dying. Today's deaths in Iraq

....Four British soldiers were killed Thursday in an ambush in southern Iraq...
In other developments:
The U.S. military reported the deaths of five soldiers around Baghdad.
A U.S. Army helicopter went down south of the capital, but all nine people aboard survived, officials said....

Some surge.

Posted by: Mike on April 5, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Norman's doing his Black Knight routine again. Looks like Bush is, too, with this Fox ambassador appointment. He's hopping around on his stumps, threatening to bite us to death.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 5, 2007 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Today's deaths in Iraq

So when the President speaks in front of the military, you decry him for using them as political props. And yet, when someone tells you how things really work and disagrees with the vast echo chamber of the left, you cite the deaths of people in order to make a point of debate in a public forum.

Do you realize the shame you should feel for exploiting the deaths of people in order to further your agenda? Do you always cite grisly statistics in order to show people that you're right, they're wrong and do you always do so without a moment of contemplation?

I wish people weren't dying in Iraq; and yet I refuse to use the specific fact that they are dying to score points.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 5, 2007 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

Try again in '08 but let our commander-in-chief do his job instead of again and again and again, cheating the rules.

You ninny. Thanks for bringing up the fact that the Congress has the power to declare war and that the Congress has the power of the purse.

These liberals have a field day with your ignorance you know. Stop feeding them red meat.

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 5, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

And Norman Rogers should be the face of concern trolling!

He's a parody. Just pretend that he is one of Stephen Colbert's writers working up new material, and he'll seem much less obnoxious.

Posted by: Disputo on April 5, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

blockquote>He's a parody. Just pretend that he is one of Stephen Colbert's writers working up new material, and he'll seem much less obnoxious.

Really? Last week I was Kevin Drum himself!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 5, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK
they are dying to score points. Norman Rogers at 3:02 PM
Your insane rants today make you a even bigger crazed fool that you normally are, chum. Posted by: Mike on April 5, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

the vast echo chamber of the left

It's so vast, we call it "the world". Funnily, there doesn't seem to be an echo, either.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 5, 2007 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

HTML has failed me!

A thousand pardons for my transgression!

He's a parody. Just pretend that he is one of Stephen Colbert's writers working up new material, and he'll seem much less obnoxious.

I know how the caged bird sings and I know how Hormonal Citizen feels--she has "special" problems with HTML and I am chagrined that those problems have spread to myself.

Who else am I supposed to be? I was Red State Mike, Pale Rider, Ali Blabityblab, a concern troll, a regular troll, a vile f#ck, then I was cmdicely...I already mentioned Kevin Drum.

What if...

What if I...

What if I am real?

Goodness, what a delicious irony that would be. Too bad that when I'm winning the argument, I always have someone spouting off about how I am some kind of "parody."

A word to you sir--the moderators would DELETE me if I was.

Bwah hah hah hah hah hah hah!

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 5, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

The fact si that even if the funding is cut off, Bush will still be Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces. Anybody who thinks Bush won't leave them there anyway, even unfunded, has a different conception of this President than do I.

The ONLY way that the troops will be leaving Iraq before January 20, 2009 is by successive impeachments until President Pelosi is in office.

Posted by: Trickster on April 5, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

karmakin above provides the crucial surrounding context of the Rangel quote, which I here repeat because it is important:

"Oh no. Ultimately, politically, we have to give him money. But we will constantly remind him that no president in these great United States can continue a war that the people do not support. It’s not going to happen. And so as long as he send back bills, we’ve got to send him back bills."

THAT is how to push back on Bush's rhetoric. Every time Bush goes through still another veto, he makes his position that Congress is denying the funds more and more obviously absurd.

And I've got to say, somewhat tangentially, who can be anything but appalled that Obama has indicated he would cave into Bush on the very first round?

What kind of fighter for justice would ever choose that course? I thought that the big, big argument in favor of Obama was that he "showed the courage" to get the 2002 Iraq resolution right, and would stand up to the Republican war mongers in the future.

Isn't his current stance a complete refutation of that argument?

Posted by: frankly0 on April 5, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

The ONLY way that the troops will be leaving Iraq before January 20, 2009 is by successive impeachments until President Pelosi is in office.

Much better to put Dick and George on trial together, like you would any two crack-addled thugs who knocked over a liquor store together.

Posted by: Disputo on April 5, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Imagine being stuck on a cross country flight next to Norman Rogers. Within thirty minutes you'd be making terrorist threats so that they would land in Dubuque or somewhere and haul you off to the relative peace and quiet of a Homeland Security lockup.

Posted by: Alan on April 5, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

On the whole, Pelosi is not helping the Democrats' cause:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040402306.html

If that's what they are going to do during recess, then they'd be better off staying in session and governing the country.

that reminds me: are the Democrats going to let Bush take us to war against Iran? While they are busy giving speeches that contradict last fall's speeches about Iraq, couldn't they at least pass a binding resolution preventing Bush from starting a new war? They must be the only people in the world oblivious to the accumulating U.S. Naval power in the Persian Gulf.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 5, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

MRM: Nancy isn't taking the slander lying down

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 5, 2007 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK
... couldn't they at least pass a binding resolution preventing Bush from starting a new war... MatthewRMarler at 3:30 PM
Washpost misleads and contradicts its own reporting. That's what it takes to gain the love of the loyal Bushies, who filibuster resolutions against your Dear Leader Posted by: Mike on April 5, 2007 at 3:39 PM | PERMALINK

As we type, Daryl Issa is in Syria meeting with Assad and dissing the Bush admin's handling of the ME.

Pelosi has unleashed a maelstrom of diplomacy, from which the poor war-mongering GWB admin may not recover.

Posted by: Disputo on April 5, 2007 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

The best quote came from Republican Rep Frank Wolf:

"I don't care what the administration says on this. You gotta do what you think is in the best interest of your country."

Pelosi has made it possible for Republicans to speak out against the insane Bush policies. The cracks are growing.

Posted by: Disputo on April 5, 2007 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

It's so vast, we call it "the world". Funnily, there doesn't seem to be an echo, either.

Well, in your "world" there are a lot of people who want to throw anyone who disagrees with them in prison.

Shades of a gulag, I suppose...

Posted by: Norman Rogers on April 5, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Well, in your "world" there are a lot of people who want to throw anyone who disagrees with them in prison.

Too true, too true. The President, the Vice President, the Attorney General -- they all want to throw anyone who disagrees with them in prison. Preferably without a trial, and subject to torture. It's horrific.

Didn't expect to hear this viewpoint coming from you, though.

Posted by: brooksfoe on April 5, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK
...Shades of a gulag,...Norman Rogers at 3:54 PM
Are there New secret prisons for Bush ...Human rights groups, lawyers and several Western diplomats assert hundreds of prisoners, who include women and children, have been transferred secretly and illegally in recent months from Kenya and Somalia to Ethiopia, where they are kept without charge or access to lawyers and families. The detainees include at least one U.S. citizen and some are from Canada, Sweden and France, according to a list compiled by a Kenyan Muslim rights group and flight manifests obtained by AP.... Posted by: Mike on April 5, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

MRM:

The WaPo article is pure demagoguery without any substance.

As noted above, Olmert cannot be taken at his word (he's on Bush's level in terms of credibility and trustworthiness) and the WaPo's opinion is based entirely on Olmert's self-serving denial.

Meantime, two GOP congressmen think you and the WaPo are full of sh*t.

per Josh Marshall: As Think Progress noted today, GOP Rep. Darrel Issa, who's traveling to Syria, is smacking the Bush administration for opposing diplomatic engagement with that country.

Now another GOP Congressman has come out and denounced the White House's Syria stance: Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania.

Pitts, who was one of three GOP Congressmen who have just returned from Syria, faulted the Bush administration in an interview with his local paper . . .

The WaPo's "distinction" between GOP visits and Pelosi's is specious.

Posted by: anonymous on April 5, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

ThinkProgress: Indeed, despite President Bush’s claim that Pelosi’s trip sent “mixed signals,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said during his briefing today, “I don’t think [the trip] necessarily complicates anything that we’re doing.”

Thanks, Blue Girl.

So, MRM, even the White House's own staff members are contradicting Princess Bush and the WaPo-GOP smear machine.

Posted by: anonymous on April 5, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

It's noteworthy that Pelosi visited America's enemy, rather than our allies in the middle east. Liberal Democrats seem to have a tendency to encourage our enemies and undermine our allies. E.g., liberals have provided little support or encouragement for the elected Iraqi government.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 5, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Getting back on the subject of funding the troops, I think the biggest thing to keep in mind here is the lessons learned from the Social Security debate.

Bush had the benefit of the bully pulpit, and the RNC was spinning and misleading with a renewed vigorm, and yet the Democrats won the battle.

In the end it was a practice of discipline. Discipline to keep the entire caucus voting as a unit, and discipline to not flag or waver in the face of a publicity and disinformation machine that was redlining hard down the stretch.

I think the same things can happen here. Those who are for a withdrawl of troops from Iraq enjoy the benefits of public opinion polls in their favor. Democrats have the benefit of pushing through any legislation that contains drawdown language, and tabling legislation that doesn't.

And in the end, despite all of Bush's bluster, he and the rest of the nation knows, if the troops don't receive vital funds, it's on his head, and his head alone.

I can't predict who will win. I still am suffering from the cynicism caused by watching the Dems get their ass whipped over and over again. But if Dems in congress hold steady and maintain party discipline, it is very possible to win this battle, while at the same time driving Bush in the 20's as far as approval goes.

Mr. M

Comments From Left Field"

Posted by: Mr. M on April 5, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

This is so frustrating because it is obvious that aWol will stay in Iraq until the end of his "administration" - it's all for his legacy. So on it goes, boats beating against the stream.

Posted by: Hedley Lamarr on April 5, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

MRM: On the whole, Pelosi is not helping the Democrats' cause

To borrow a phrase, prove it.

Disputo: As we type, Daryl Issa is in Syria meeting with Assad and dissing the Bush admin's handling of the ME.

If I were a Repub concern troll, I might say Issa is not helping the Republicans' cause.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 5, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib: It's noteworthy that Pelosi visited America's enemy, rather than our allies in the middle east.

So Israel isn't an ally?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 5, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

It's noteworthy that Pelosi visited America's enemy, rather than our allies in the middle east.

a) She visited Israel first.

b) You talk to those with whom you have differences to palliate them. This is a no brainer - or at least it should be. If you disagree, take it up with Jim Baker.

c) What about the parade of Republican Congresscritters beating a path to Assad's door?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 5, 2007 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

On the whole, Pelosi is not helping the Democrats' cause . . . http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040402306.html . . . If that's what they are going to do during recess, then they'd be better off staying in session and governing the country.

And, once again, someone who should know better blames the victim and believes the propaganda instead of checking with other sources.

Pelosi was doing what members of congress often do during recess: visiting important foriegn capitals. This is a useful, educational trip and she is doing her part in "governing the country" by going to Syria instead of home, Vegas, or Hawaii. Bush's people smeared her and lied about her. Blame them for the lies, not her for being lied about.

And, for heavens sakes, don't believe anything you read in the Post until you know it is from an honest report and not a recycled White House talking point.

Posted by: Berken on April 5, 2007 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Norman Rogers wrote: "I am Devastation Incorporated."

You are a pompous ass and a pretentious phony, with a one-joke shtick that has been boring since your second post on this site.

ex-liberal cut-and-pasted some banal Ann Coulter boilerplate from "Right Wing Talking Points For Dummies": "Liberal Democrats seem to have a tendency to encourage our enemies and undermine our allies."

It's obvious you aren't even trying any more. Which is probably sensible: why exert yourself when you know that every reader of these pages knows that you are a deliberate liar and a weak-minded, ignorant dupe who never has anything to offer except slavish regurgitation of the pabulum that Rush Limbaugh and Fox News spoon-feed you.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 5, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

What about the parade of Republican Congresscritters beating a path to Assad's door?

To be fair, this may have more to do with checking up on how the "interrogation" of prisoners the US rendered to Syria is going. They are also probably advocating on behalf of their big donors to get in on the booming market for testicle electrodes.

Posted by: Disputo on April 5, 2007 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

So, Secular Animist, when al Malaki was here, did Pelosi and other liberals go out of their way to show support for him? No.

When Pelosi made her middle eastern trip, did she make sure to visit all our allies in the area? No. She did visit Israel. But, did she tell Israel that she supported them against their enemies? No, she attempted to carry a negotiation message to Syria. That is, she behaved more like an impartial facilitator than an ally.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 5, 2007 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: It's noteworthy that Pelosi visited America's enemy, rather than our allies in the middle east.

So, Pelosi should have visited Saudi Arabia, home of the vast majority of the terrorists working against the US and a recent denouncer of Princess Bush's invasion of Iraq.

Or perhaps Pelosi should have visited Pakistan, the country harboring most of the terrorists working against the US and which has supplied nuclear weapons technology to our enemies.

Maybe she should visit some of those Middle Eastern countries that have conspired with Princess Bush to torture both the innocent and the guilty in violation of international law, US law, and human decency.

You make a strong point, ex-liberal . . .

. . . for ignoring your ilk.

ex-liberal: Liberal Democrats seem to have a tendency to encourage our enemies and undermine our allies.

You seem to have a tendency to lie or you are suffering from Alzheimer's. The people most encouraging to America's enemies are Princess Bush and his followers.

ex-liberal: E.g., liberals have provided little support or encouragement for the elected Iraqi government.

Well, they haven't earned it now have they?

Princess Bush on the other hand hasn't provided any support or encouragement for the Iraqi government either, undermining its leaders at every opportunity, supplying insufficient troops for the job, allowing their antiquities to be stolen, allowing the insurgents to plunder weapons caches that the US was supposed to be guarding, instigating further conflict in the Middle East and taking resources away from Iraq in a vain attempt to create a pretext for invading Iran (at which time the Princess will abandon Iraq just like he abandoned Afghanistan).

And we haven't even mentioned how the Princess has undermined our troops at every turn by denying them the necessary training, armor, rest, pay, and manpower necessary to get the job done, so he can funnel money to Halliburton and the GOP campaign coffers.

Posted by: anonymous on April 5, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

It's not what these politicos say, it's whether or not they cut off all funding for the Iraq war that decides the fate of the world. Will they? It's up to us.

Posted by: booboo on April 5, 2007 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal wrote: "That is, she behaved more like an impartial facilitator than an ally."

Like I said, you are not even trying any more. You have always been dishonest, ignorant and stupid. Now you are also being lazy.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 5, 2007 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

I swear anonymous is not a sock puppet of mine, even though her/his post perfectly illustrates my point.

Yes, the middle east regimes are flawed. I think our allies are generally less flawed than our enemies. E.g., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have the problems mentioned by anonymous, but they're not nearly as bad as Iran and Syria IMHO.

But, even if our allies were just as bad as our enemies, they're our allies. It's in our interest to prop up allies and undermine enemies.

However, anonymous follows the natural liberal line of criticizing our allies but ignoring the bad behavior of our enemies. This is the same approach typified by Nancy Peloci's recent trip.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 5, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

natural liberal line of criticizing our allies but ignoring the bad behavior of our enemies. This is the same approach typified by Nancy Peloci's (sic) recent trip.

Back that up with specific examples, not just hollow chest-thumping.

Who is ignoring what?

And some of our so-called *allies*? Well, with friends like these...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 5, 2007 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: Yes, the middle east regimes are flawed.

Yes, Syria is flaws.

I think our allies are generally less flawed than our enemies.

You don't think and this proves it.

How many of the 9/11 terrorists were from Syria?

How many from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia?

How many terrorists is Syria harboring?

How many terrorists is Pakistan and Saudi Arabia harboring (and funding!)?

E.g., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have the problems mentioned by anonymous, but they're not nearly as bad as Iran and Syria IMHO.

Your opinion is neither humble or honest.

Prove they're not nearly as bad.

Prove that Syria contributes more to terrorism than Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

Prove that Syria has fed more nuclear technology to our enemies than Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

Prove that Syria is the source of more terrorists than Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.

Posted by: anonymous on April 5, 2007 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: But, even if our allies were just as bad as our enemies, they're our allies.

No, they are the allies of Princess Bush.

And an ally that knifes you in the back is no ally.

Saddam was our "ally" too. The father of Princess Bush funded him and defended him, even after Saddam gassed the Kurds and the Iranians.

You don't pick allies, ex-liberal, and neither does the Princess; you pick convenient co-conspirators to further your partisan interests and then dishonestly try to portray them as "allies" of the US when they are only your partisan allies and no more.

Posted by: anonymous on April 5, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State wrote: "Back that up with specific examples, not just hollow chest-thumping."

You are wasting your keystrokes. "ex-liberal" is an idiot. He has no "specific examples" to offer. He has nothing of value to offer. He is a deliberate liar and a weak-minded, ignorant, lazy dupe who is incapable of doing anything except stupidly, lazily, ignorantly, slavishly regurgitating the inane drivel that is spoon-fed to him by Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Fox News and the rest of the right-wing extremist propaganda machine.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on April 5, 2007 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

The Reform Party of Syria says the damage done by Pelosi's visit will be felt for many years to come.

Has Pelosi Gone Bonkers?
Farid Ghadry
Apr 04, 2007 at 07:23 AM

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was seen roaming the streets of Damascus flaunting a Hijab. The Hijab worn by women across the Muslim world has come to symbolize either one of three things: 1) a symbol that men control women by forcing piety, or 2) a return to religiosity because of oppressive rulers, or 3) a fashion statement. If you ask any expert on the Middle East, you would get any one of three answers. The ones who usually claim it is a fashion statement are the political rulers who usually oppress people in general. A Hijab is NOT a confirmation of the rights of women in the Middle East but rather a symbol of their suppression.

As a Muslim, I fully understand respect of our religion by visiting US officials and I applaud that respect. Had Speaker Pelosi worn the Hijab inside a Mosque, this would have indicated respect but for Pelosi to wear it on the streets of Damascus all the while she is sitting with the self-imposed Baschar al-Assad who has come to symbolize oppression and one of the reasons why women are forced to wear the Hijab as they turn to religion to express their freedom is a statement of submittal not only to oppression but also to lack of women's rights in the Middle East. Pelosi just reversed the work of the Syrian civil society and those who aspire for women's freedom in the Muslim countries many years back with her visual statement. Her lack of experience of the Middle East is showing.

Assad could not have been happier because Syrian women, seeing a US official confirming what their husbands, the Imams in the Mosques tell them, and the society at large imposes on them through peer pressure will see in her wearing a Hijab as a confirmation of the societal pressures they are constantly under. No one will ever know how many women took the Hijab on after seeing Pelosi wearing it. The damage Speaker Pelosi is causing with her visit to Syria will be felt for many years to come.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 5, 2007 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: The Reform Party of Syria says the damage done by Pelosi's visit will be felt for many years to come.

Are they related to the Iraqi National Congress, those so-called fighters for Iraqi freedom who lied to Americans through Chalabi and provided false information about massive stockpiles of WMDs?

Conservatives like ex-liberal are always willing to jump on the bandwagon of any conservative group calling themselves "freedom fighters" even if those groups are raping, selling drugs, murdering, and telling lies to American intelligence, so why should we trust any source you name as authoritative or worthy of consideration?

Consider me unimpressed.

You might as well have sourced the WSJ or Pravda.

Posted by: anonymous on April 5, 2007 at 5:51 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) wrote: And some of our so-called *allies*? Well, with friends like these...

This is all so familiar. During the Cold War, the left focused on things that were wrong with our allies, but pushed co-existence with the Soviets.

BGRS, I think you're a realist. There are serious flaws with the governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, but you know it's in America's interest that these countries be retained as allies, rather than enemies. E.g. Pakistan is doing less than you and I wish they were to help defeat al Qaeda in Waziristan. But without Pakistan's support, it would have been difficult or impossible for us to have defeated the Taliban in Iran.

(Incidentally, I will withdraw one accusation against Pelosi. She did visit Saudi Arabia.)

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 5, 2007 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

to add to BGRS...

d) Pelosi is currently visiting Saudi Arabia - ANOTHER ally or an enemy depending on your point of view.

As always ex-lib, you're a liar - and not a very good one. You really have mailed it in haven't you?

Posted by: ckelly on April 5, 2007 at 5:58 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: This is all so familiar. During the Cold War, the left focused on things that were wrong with our allies, but pushed co-existence with the Soviets.

Uh, no, it was the conservatives who supported Hitler and dissed France.

You look in the mirror and you see a liberal face, but it is only your denial covering up youw own perfidy that you can't bear to look at.

Posted by: anonymous on April 5, 2007 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

I repeat for the brain-impaired [cough] ex-lib [cough]...Pelosi is visiting Saudi Arabia right now. Moron trolls. Next.

Posted by: ckelly on April 5, 2007 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly, please see the last sentence of my post at 5:54 PM (which was posted before yours at 5:58 and 6:02)

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 5, 2007 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: There are serious flaws with the governments of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, but you know it's in America's interest that these countries be retained as allies, rather than enemies. E.g. Pakistan is doing less than you and I wish they were to help defeat al Qaeda in Waziristan. But without Pakistan's support, it would have been difficult or impossible for us to have defeated the Taliban in Iran.

So, the Taliban are in Iran.

An amusing notion.

Even so, the Taliban haven't been defeated in Afghanistan, which is why Princess Bush is demanding more "allied" troops (of course, we wouldn't have needed them if the Princess hadn't diverted our troops to Iraq by lying to Congress and the American people).

And merely asserting it is in America's interests to ally ourselves with these pariah nations doesn't make it so.

Indeed, given your track record, it makes it almost certainly not so.

Posted by: anonymous on April 5, 2007 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

Incidentally, I will withdraw one accusation against Pelosi. She did visit Saudi Arabia...

Good idea since your entire strawman Pelosi attack posts are rendered null, void, moot and a lie.
But then, what's new?

Posted by: ckelly on April 5, 2007 at 6:08 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal: I will withdraw one accusation . . .

You should never have made it in the first place.

Not the first time a conservative whiner deliberately put out false information with a plan to apologize after the slanderous damage is done.

BTW, without Pakistan's support, bin Laden would never have gotten away and the Taliban would not remain a threat and a couple of non-nuclear nations would have remained that way.

Posted by: anonymous on April 5, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

anonymous, you just used one of my favorite words: perfidy. Describes this crew perfectly.

When I refer to the Swift Boaters, they are the Swift Boat Liars for Perfidy.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 5, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

I beg your pardon, I meant the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 5, 2007 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

During the Cold War, the left ... pushed co-existence with the Soviets.

And that worked out so horribly, didn't it? Much better if Raygun had nuked them all, every last one of them, doncha think?

Posted by: Disputo on April 5, 2007 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

without George W. Bush's support, bin Laden would never have gotten away and the Taliban would not remain a threat

fixed that for ya!

Posted by: Disputo on April 5, 2007 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly, please see the last sentence of my post at 5:54 PM (which was posted before yours at 5:58 and 6:02)

ex-lib, please at minimum go out to fucking CNN before you start flapping your piehole and posting droll troll talking points - they usually have already been rendered useless.

CNN
Pelosi asks Saudis about lack of women in politics
POSTED: 11:36 a.m. EDT, April 5, 2007

Posted by: ckelly on April 5, 2007 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Until the Democrats get serious about cutting funds and explaining how the US will live with the consequences of a pullout in Iraq, no one will take them seriously on foreign policy. While I disagree with that position, it would at least be honest.

And the Speaker of the House romping around the Middle East is just stupid. She looks ridiculous. While I think we should be talking to Syria and Iran, I most definitely do not believe Nancy Pelosi should be "chief diplomat." Sorry but I did not vote for the Dems to start a shadow State Dept.

Posted by: Dee on April 5, 2007 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's a crying shame that Nancy had to give up her Easter vacation with her large Catholic family to step in and do the incompetent Condi's job for her.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 5, 2007 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

And yet another concern troll by the name of "Dee" appears to spout wingnut talking points.

Posted by: Disputo on April 5, 2007 at 6:26 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib: ...E.g., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have the problems mentioned by anonymous, but they're not nearly as bad as Iran and Syria IMHO.

In your "honest" opinion? Syria and Iran have worse problems than Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

ROTF... But that didn't stop you from quoting a Syrian source at 5:44 PM... The Reform Party of Syria says the damage done by Pelosi's visit will be felt for many years to come ... who knocked Pelosi for wearing a hijab. Why is that?

And that same Syrian source was absent of criticism of perhaps the "damage done" by the First Lady for wearing a hijab as she ascended the Temple Mount to honor Muslim tradition in May 2005... the same Laura Bush who said that "W" stands for "women."

Contradictory? Dishonest? Partisan? Or all three. Your dishonesty, ex-lib, IMHO, is so transparent that I wonder if your comments are "not helping the [conservative] cause."

Please, do carry on.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 5, 2007 at 6:37 PM | PERMALINK

John Murtha, representative from Pa, is determined to take this on. He was on CNN just a bit ago--and Huffington Post has this:
" Murtha, the incoming Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, is planning to hold wide-ranging hearings, starting January 17th, that will focus on the depleted state of our military readiness , as well as contractor corruption in Iraq and Afghanistan. The goal is to turn the spotlight on how drained the military has become, and on how any talk of a troop surge is utterly irresponsible (as well as strategically misguided). "The public," he said repeatedly, "is already ahead of us on all this.

He says he wants to "fence the funding," denying the president the resources to escalate the war, instead using the money to take care of the soldiers as we bring them home from Iraq "as soon as we can."

Murtha's passion for our troops and the families they've left behind is palpable, and has left him energized and ready to, once again, lead the charge on Iraq."

Posted by: consider wisely on April 5, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Berken: And, for heavens sakes, don't believe anything you read in the Post until you know it is from an honest report and not a recycled White House talking point.

The original source was the Israeli government, which denied outright that it gave the message to Pelosi that Pelosi was quoted as having given to Syria. the idea that Pelosi is doing better than Rice (or that "Nancy" is doing better than "Condi") is absurd. It is nice, that she got to visit all the men in the Saudi governing council; after she has gone the sand dunes will be seen to have shifted slightly, and everything else will be the same.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 5, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly, I'm glad Nancy Pelosi raised the issue of women's rights when she was in Saudi Arabia. But, I wish when she was in Syria, she had mentioned
-- the murder of Hariri,
-- the fact that Syria is more-or-less a puppet of the Islamic Republic of Iran,
-- Syria's support for Hizballah,
-- their insane hatred of Israel and America,
-- The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a TV series,
-- Nazi fugitives harbored for years, etc.

See the pattern? Pelosi criticized America's ally (correctly, in my opinion), but she pulled her punches with our enemy.

Posted by: ex-liberal on April 5, 2007 at 7:04 PM | PERMALINK

Do you have ANY idea what was discussed in Syria -I don't. Didn't think so. You apparently weren't even aware Pelosi also visited Saudi Arabia until you posted numerous times slamming her for not doing so. How do you so readily criticize her when you have no clue what was said? And why don't you criticize the Republican delegations that have visited Syria in the past?

their insane hatred of Israel and America,
kinda like your insane hatred of Syria, Iran, Pelosi?

Nazi fugitives harbored for years, etc...
When do we bomb Argentina?

The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a TV series..
WTF? Now your just grasping, is it at all like 24?

See the pattern?
I certainly do. Your knee-jerk criticisms of Pelosi are quite revealing and unhinged.

Posted by: ckelly on April 5, 2007 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib: But, I wish when [Pelosi] was in Syria, she had mentioned...

What sources of information are you basing your claim that she didn't discuss any or all of your points? The press? Have you checked all of the press to see?

Do you think the press reports everything? And fairly?

Do you think a discussion that might be considered "not for public disclosure" or perhaps "classified" would be released to the press and then published?

Oh, wait, I forgot about Bob Novak and the WH leaking classified info to reporters about Valerie Plame's identity. Well, I don't know how Syria deals with the press but I've got more confidence in Pelosi's sensitivity to national security matters than the Bushies unless it's politically beneficial for them to leak. Heck, they might say things that are proven to be false.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 5, 2007 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Yep, Pelosi is doing a great job, engaging in Middle East dialogue with both allied & adversarial nations & yes, WaPo is increasingly doing for Bushco in print what Russert does on air....but wasn't this thread about the Democrats potentially snatching defeat from the jaws of victory over the threatened veto? Pelosi's tour, WaPo shilling notwithstanding, will ultimately help the Democrats by being a pro-active illustration of the kind of statecraft at which the Bush administration has failed so miserably.

Pro-activity is also what's called for in the upcoming veto PR war. As others have pointed out upthread, the Democrats have to hammer home the fact that they HAVE fully funded the troops & that Bush has vetoed their funding. Everyone knows how Bush/Rove/Cheney Repug machine are going to spin it, they're laughably predictable after all.

The strategy should be to get in before Bush with the "Why Won't Bush Fund Our Troops?" question. After all, BOTH houses APPROVED the funding, it's the President who is vetoing it.

In the interval it takes to reconcile the Congress & Senate bills, the Democratic strategists should get every Congressperson, Senator & party spokesperson ON MESSAGE, prepped to ask with all the devastating relentlessness of a Repug talking point "Why Won't Bush Fund Our Troops?". Then, the MOMENT the reconciled bill is presented & vetoed, blanket the media with a blitz campaign, including paid advertising if necessary. Hit the ground running, repeat, repeat, repeat: "Both houses passed a bill approving full troop funding. The President vetoed it. Why does Bush refuse to fund the very men & women he put in harms way?". It's also important that Democrats NOT engage in substantive discussion on the timetable & withdrawl, except to say "The vast majority of Americans don't support the war, they made that clear in November. We believe it's our duty to uphold the will of the American people, by fully supporting & gradually withdrawing our troops. That's why we were elected. That being the case, why won't Bush fund our troops?" Repeat, repeat, repeat. Between the consensus building skills of Pelosi, the pugnaciousness of Howard Dean, the rhetorical platform of Presidential candidates on the stump & the deep dissatisfaction of the electorate with the President & the war, there's no way this should be a battle Bush can win.

Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on April 5, 2007 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan: "Say I hand you $20. You refuse to take it. Can you then credibly go on to denounce me for not giving you $20?"

Sure he can, if I'm his friend and work in the mainstream media, and I get on national television during prime time and question your patriotism because you knew beforehand that my friend doesn't like $20 bills, and specifically requested that you pay him the money with $5 bills.

Does that make sense?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 6, 2007 at 4:09 AM | PERMALINK

I cannot understand for the life of my why every single democrat isn't out there asking "why won't Bush fund the troops?" Every time a reporter's in their face, that's the first thing that should be coming out of their mouths. This is easy stuff.

Posted by: BD on April 6, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Just saw that DanJoaquinOz said the same thing 2 posts before mine. Sorry for the redundancy.
Wait, no I'm not. That's exactly what we need!!

Posted by: BD on April 6, 2007 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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