Monday, February 12, 2007

CONGRESSIONAL GAME PLAYING WITH MIDDLE EAST POLICIES

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The Democratic Leadership in the House has made it very easy for Republicans to desert the Bush Regime and back the utterly meaningless, nonbinding, symbolic resolution. It doesn't do anything except say "nah, nah, nah" to Bush. It's probably less effective-- if ending the war is the goal-- than the Dixie Chicks winning 5 Grammy Awards last night. Emanuel and Hoyer are doing their best to make the resolution sound Republican-friendly while selling antiwar Democrats a bill of goods about how it's "the first step."

The biggest question is who gets prime time slots of C-Span. I know it' illegal to advocate the hanging of public officials, so I won't advocate that. Is it also illegal to advocate the tarring and feathering of public officials?
Democrats will file a nonbinding resolution against the Bush plan while Republicans will try to broaden the dispute and seed doubt in the Democratic approach. Although Senate Republicans were able to block debate on a resolution condemning Bush's war policies last week, it will be much easier for Democrats in the House to bring a measure to the floor.

The GOP, whose members have conceded they are likely to lose, is treating the debate like a mini-political campaign, deploying a rapid-response team to counter Democrats' statements, aggressively trying to get its leaders on television and radio, and creating a "resource center" off the House floor where members can fill their arms with maps, research material, videos or other visual aids to use during their floor time.


Boehner's office is already talking in terms of losing the vote but winning the debate. But with even a brain-dead rubber stamp pervert like Phil English (R-PA) realizing that he can't vote to escalate the war and expect to retain his seat next year, the GOP expects to take some lumps-- while Bush, Cheney, Lieberman, McCain, Emanuel and Hoyer laugh hysterically at the futility of the whole process. English-- who is still trying to deal with widespread rumors back home that he was apprehended by the police soliciting an underage boy-- is typical of many Republicans outside of the Deep South who are very worried. "This is a situation where we've been dealt a bad hand, where we've made a lot of mistakes, where we should have addressed the problems in Baghdad a long time ago, and now a surge on the scale the president has proposed is unlikely to move us forward."

Last June-- with the Republicans still ruling Congress with an iron fist-- a very different bill on Iraq came up for discussion. The House approved a measure urging Bush to complete "the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure and united Iraq," without setting "an arbitrary date for the withdrawal" of troops. The GOP was united and in full rubber stamp mode-- only 3 Republicans voting for peace. Worse yet, 42 Democrats deserted and voted with the Republicans. The final tally was 256-153. At the time Democrats ridiculed the nonbinding resolution and called it a "charade" and a "political stunt." Reactionary, pro-war Blue Dog Democrat Ron Kind (D-WI) was one of the 42 to join the GOP for the day. Taking his cues from Lieberman, he used contemptible Rovian talking points to slime his fellow Dems calling his treachery "a vote of confidence in our troops and the progress of their mission to secure the peace in Iraq." Other traitors that day included many of the regular suspects who have been steadfast supporters of the Bush Regime Iraq policies: Howard Berman (CA), John Barrow (GA), Leonard Boswell (IA), Stephanie Herseth (SD), Collin Peterson (MN), Henry Cuellar (TX), Chet Edwards (TX), Jim Marshall (GA), Adam Smith (WA), etc. Other Democrats who support the war but were too embarrassed to vote for it again and who either absented themselves or answered "present" were Brad Sherman (CA), Henry Waxman (CA), John Dingell (MI), Brad Miller (NC) and Tim Bishop (NY).

This time Democrats are going to stick together and the Republicans will do the mocking (and splintering). Republicans expect between 20 and 60 defections. "For some Republicans, the Democratic takeover of Congress has been liberating. A barrage of recent hearings into malfeasance under the U.S. occupation authority in Iraq, the stretched state of the military and the cost of the war have brought to light new information while underscoring congressional acquiescence under GOP control, said Rep. Walter B. Jones (R-NC), a longtime war critics. 'My party did not want to do anything to embarrass the administration,' he said."

So while the Bush Regime builds a trumped up case against Iran in order to justify another war, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress play political games in Washington with nonbinding and symbolic resolutions that mean nothing at all and take the public's mind of the real problems of the Regime's policies in the Middle East. And even more absurd, Giuliani joins McCain in supporting escalation of the Iraq War.


UPDATE: CLINTON ROLLS OUT SOME LAME GOP TALKING POINTS

We may wind up stuck with Hillary Clinton after the primaries but until then... yecchhhhh. Yesterday she rolled out some Rovian talking points with which to draw a false distinction between herself and... some straw man the Republicans invented to discredit Democrats. It looks like Edwards and Obama are the two anti-war candidates and Clinton is... surprise, suprise... the triangulator. Her policies are not popular with grassroots Democrats and if she keeps repeating them, she could still defeat herself for the Democratic nomination. "She defended the Senate's effort to pass a nonbinding resolution condemning President Bush's plan to send 21,500 more combat troops to Iraq, calling it a first step in changing U.S. policy on the war. She also said she opposes any proposal to defund U.S. troops now or in the future." And Obama and Edwards, Sestak, Murtha, Kucinich? Do they want to leave the soldiers with no ammo? Is that the implication? Clinton should be ashamed of herself.

5 Comments:

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Timcanhear said...

The media is calling Hillary the front runner because it SELLS! Once Edwards gets rolling, the media will be left explaining why they had her in the front. And any smart supporter of Edwards or any of the others will explain it in simple terms. The media is out to sell us out.

 
At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice art Adam.

 
At 12:14 PM, Blogger Matt Cunningham-Cook said...

Dingell voted against the war to begin with.

 
At 12:53 PM, Blogger My friend A. said...

Thanks!

 
At 3:23 PM, Blogger groovyacousticsoul said...

The whole defunding spin/smear is such a crock. I'm really disappointed to see Hillary signing on to that line. (Defund the surge, leave the kids in harm's way... What about putting kids out there to fight for a misguided mission, without tools to complete it even if it were valid--those tools being physical strength as well as legitimate, intelligent leadership?) It seems like some well intentioned folks (or not) are trying to drag Barack into the mire as well. It's disappointing that we have to work so hard articulate that no one wants anyone to be endangered, but some of the idiots who voted Bush twice can't seem to grapple that getting out, does not mean dropping the guns and running for the exits. Isn't evolution beyond fight or flight what diffentiates us from the most of the animal kingdom.

Thanks for doing what you do.

 

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