Thursday, May 24, 2007

As Beltway Dems congratulate themselves on their shrewd strategizing over Iraq, is there any chance of us getting whatever the heck they're smoking?


"Obviously it's a good move. It gives President Bush and Republicans one less thing to shoot at."
--Democratic pollster Fred Yang [right], on his party's congressional capitulation on funding the Iraq war

In the real world where most of us live, the story about congressional Democrats' capitulation to Chimpy the Prez, giving him the blank check on Iraq he was demanding, is a story of, well, abject capitulation.

Apparently not so within the Beltway-delimited Shangri-La on the Potomac. "The crazy thing about the fight," Matt Stoller writes today on MyDD, "is that Democratic insiders are convinced that capitulation is the right strategy. They actually believe that this will put pressure on the Republicans in the fall, and that standing up to Bush is a bad idea."

Matt quotes this chunk from reporting by Susan Ferrechio on
Democrats said this week they would have jeopardized their fall bargaining position if they had insisted on keeping withdrawal timelines in the current supplemental spending bill (HR 2206). Persisting now would likely have resulted in another veto and would have handed Republicans talking points for the Memorial Day recess about which party supports the troops in the field.

Democrats were particularly worried about the prospect of Bush declaring at wreath-laying ceremonies that "Democrats have stopped resources for the troops," said Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala. [right].

"The problem is that we have to provide money for the troops, and if we don't, the Democrats will be blamed," added Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., a war opponent. "Bush has the bully pulpit, so he will define who is responsible."

"Obviously it's a good move," said Democratic pollster Fred Yang. "It gives President Bush and Republicans one less thing to shoot at" during the upcoming recess week.

Which prompts this from Matt:
Bush has the bully pulpit. Obviously it's a good move.

These are the attitudes of Democratic members and pollsters. There's no evidence that Bush moves numbers anymore. In fact, when he talks he becomes less popular. He has no credibility, which means that his access to the bully pulpit is severely diminished. Yet Democrats are afraid of him. More than that, Democratic members think that by capitulating to him that Republicans will stop saying that Democrats won't fund the troops. It's crazy. It's like they didn't notice the 2002 election where they were like 'we can take Iraq off the table'.

And while the news media is abuzz with talk of Democratic capitulation, I'm watching idiots like Louise Slaughter [right] on C-Span saying that this is not a concession to Bush, and that Congress is fighting to end the war. And she really believes it. She really thinks that Democrats are fighting Bush with this bill. It's amazing. It's like la-la land.

POSTSCRIPT: Shh! House Dems scheme to capitulate quietly

Apparently those Beltway Dems are so pleased with their victory-through-capitulation strategy that they're engineering a way of avoiding even leaving a voting trail. David Sirota reports this morning that House Democrats have come up with a way of voting for the Iraq spending capitulation without actually appearing to cast votes for it:

VOTE ALERT: Dick Cheney Dems
Plan to Hide Votes on Iraq TODAY

Today is the day House Democrats are expected to vote on Iraq - except, news out of Washington this morning says the leadership has come up with a nifty little trick to try to prevent the public from seeing who voted for giving Bush a blank check, and who voted against it. If you thought Democrats were behaving like cowards by caving into a President at a three-decade low in presidential polling and giving him the very blank check they explicitly promised not to give him during the 2006 election, you ain't seen nothing yet. Welcome to the rise of the Dick Cheney Democrats - that is, Democrats who endorse governing in secret and hiding the public's business from the public itself.

Here's how it is expected to work today (though it could change). Every bill comes to the House floor with what is known as a "rule" that sets the terms of the debate over the legislation in question. House members first vote to approve this parliamentary rule, and then vote on the legislation. Today, however, Democrats are planning to include the Iraq Blank check bill IN the rule itself, meaning when the public goes to look for a vote on the Iraq supplemental bill, the public won't find that. All we will find is a complex parliamentary procedure vote. Lawmakers, of course, will then tell their angry constituents they really are using all of their power to end the war, and this vote on the rule - which was the real vote for war - wasn't really a vote on the war. It is a devious, deliberately confusing cherry on top of the manure sundae being served up to the American public, which voted Democrats into office on the premise that they would use their congressional majority to end the war.

All of this is happening at the time top Republican leaders are making ever more sociopathic statements at odds with mainstream public opinion. Today, as just one example, House Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam (R-FL) [right, better known to DWT readers as Rep. Howdy Doody] cheered on the blank check, telling Roll Call that "You drop Murtha [troop readiness standards], you drop withdrawal, the troops win." He doesn't explain how popular proposals to better equip and train American soldiers for combat and force the Bush administration to come up with a plan for redeploying troops out of harms way means "troops win."

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At 11:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These consultants just kill me. They think that if they can get a vote on the bill that it'll just dissapear from public view and we'll forget about it. It was that same bone headed thinking that caused Dascle to want the Senate Dems to authorize the war in the first place "to put it behind us." Now look were Dascle is - nowhere in the Senate. Don't these people ever learn?

At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the real world where most of us live, the story about congressional Democrats' capitulation to Chimpy the Prez,
This is the kind of species-ism which Dirty Rush Limbaugh loves to display.

Those of us who honor non-human animals have nowhere to go.

At 3:05 PM, Blogger libhom said...

Most Democrats asking for campaign contributions will get envelopes with angry explanations as to why they won't be getting any money from me.

Best of all, the campaigns usually pay the postage.


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