Tuesday, January 30, 2007

IF CONGRESS DOESN'T STOP THIS WAR, IT ISN'T BECAUSE IT DOESN'T HAVE THE POWER BUT BECAUSE IT DOESN'T HAVE THE WILL

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In case you haven't noticed, Bush, Cheney and I all agree that Biden's approach to stopping escalation in Iraq is completely futile. Biden and Levin call their nonbinding resolution "symbolic." The time has passed for nonbinding symbolism and Beltway Bubble games. This is too serious for careerist hacks like Biden. Fortunately for our country, Russ Feingold is taking a more realistic approach.

John O'Neil in today's New York Times takes a look at the groundwork Feingold and his colleagues on the Judiciary Committee are laying towards actually stopping Bush, rather than playing politics-as-usual games the way Biden-- with an eye on a pointless run for the presidency-- is doing.
Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee began laying the constitutional groundwork today for an effort to block President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq and place new limits on the conduct of the war there, perhaps forcing a withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.

They were joined by Senator Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who led the panel for the last two years, in asserting that Mr. Bush cannot simply ignore Congressional opposition to his plan to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq.

"I would respectfully suggest to the president that he is not the sole decider," Mr. Specter said. "The decider is a joint and shared responsibility."

Mr. Specter said he considered a clash over constitutional powers to be "imminent." The Senate next week will take up competing proposals that would express disapproval of Mr. Bush's plan.


My friend Matt, a senior VP at Citibank, just called IM-ed me and asked me why Feingold isn't running for president. He had just read this: "Senator Russell Feingold, a Wisconsin Democrat who acted as chairman for the hearing, said he would soon introduce a resolution that would go much further. It would end all financing for the deployment of American military forces in Iraq after six months, other than a limited number working on counterterrorism operations or training the Iraqi army and police. In effect, it would call for all other American forces to be withdrawn by the six-month deadline. 'Since the President is adamant about pursuing his failed policy in Iraq, Congress has a duty to stand up and prevent him,' Mr. Feingold said."

Right wing kook, Orrin Hatch (R-UT), still screaming "Stay the Course," managed to croak out the worn out, utterly false, Rove talking point-- so very over-used by Lieberman, Cheney and McCain-- about demoralizing the troops. Back last May I thought that canard was put out of its misery by General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting when Specter asked him if there "has there been any significant impact on the morale of the men and women in the Department of Defense because of those disagreements?" Pace's answer, even with Rumsfeld breathing down his neck: "... as far as morale of the force: no impact, Sir."

To call these Republicans hypocrites is a waste of energy, beating a dead horse. And no one is worse than McCain. As Glenn Greenwald pointed out this morning, McCain's flip-flopping game playing with the safety of our country is astoundingly irresponsible. Take a look at this video of a few minutes of the Judiciary Committee today, important speeches from Feingold, Durbin and Specter (who sounds like someone should be talking to him about coming over from the Dark Side. Maybe we can trade him for Lieberman?)

8 Comments:

At 6:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GORE / FEINGOLD 2008

 
At 7:02 PM, Anonymous teach said...

Yeah, and now the maniac is dangling Iran in front of all our noses. He is stepping up his take over of the US gov. also.

Who WILL stand up to him? That is the question. It grows late.

 
At 10:19 PM, Blogger Jimmy the Saint said...

Howie,
Specter was once a Dem. I am not exactly sure why he switched over to the dark side. He was actually the DA in Philly before Rendell was. Maybe Leahy and Feingold slapped some sense into him, but I doubt it. Maybe my fellow PA'ers called his office so much that he had to take action. I wish I knew. I just wonder if it's all bark and no bite with him. It has been many times before. Did you tell your friend my Russ won't run? It's a f--king shame too. I saw Feingold speak at a Moveon.org event here in Philly at the Constitution Center. He stayed for 10 minutes to take questions. Since the only reason I went was to see Sen. Feingold, I was not going to be denied in making a comment, even if I really didn't have a question. I stood up and told Russ that I hope he'd run. I told him that I'd go anywhere and do anything for his campaign that I possibly could. I also told him that I knew there were a lot of people like me. We want someone who will lead. Who is not afraid to take a stand. Of course he was non-commital, but it did have one effect. The crowd (probably 200 or so strong .. around lunch time) gave a loud ovation to my suggestion. I left that day feeling he thought he could do a lot more in the Senate. I know he has baggage, but if the American people can't recognize greatness then maybe they deserve a jack ass like Smirk and Darth Vader

 
At 7:55 AM, Blogger Teeguzz said...

"Right wing kook, Orrin Hatch (R-UT), still screaming "Stay the Course," managed to croak out the worn out, utterly false, Rove talking point-- so very over-used by Lieberman, Cheney and McCain-- about demoralizing the troops."

Orrin Hatch looks like an alien from a whacked out distant planet. The only thing demoralizing the troops is the fact that they are being used as ill-equipped fodder in Bushco's Profiteering War while their families suffer and disintegrate at home.

 
At 9:28 AM, Blogger cybermome said...

I'm also in PA ..I can't remember why he switched parties, but knowing Spector it was about Spector
It always is...He's totally self serving.

Americans are hungry for a leader.Thats why we are globbing on to Obama. Senator Feingold is the real deal and I am also saddened by his not running

 
At 9:49 AM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

He's quoting the US Constitution. Didn't Bush get rid of that document?

As the White House Residents have carefully explained, the terrorists don't think we have the stomach to slaughter thousands or millions of innocent people in an endless series of wars, for the purposes of generating dollars for Dick Cheney's friends.

If we stop slaughtering people for war profits, then the terrorists win.

 
At 10:44 AM, Blogger Psychomikeo said...

The point of public relations slogans like "Support our troops" is that they don't mean anything... That's the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody's going to be against, and everybody's going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn't mean anything. Its crucial value is that it diverts your attention from a question that does mean something:

 
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