This time no surrender, Sen. Reid
According to The Times, Harry Reid is about to begin a new push for congressional action to end the war, which is good news — I hope.
(NY Times) Sensing a Shift, Reid Will Press for an Iraq Exit
WASHINGTON, July 7 — Democratic voters are not the only ones bitter over their party’s failure to use new Congressional power to force a withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Senator Harry Reid, the occasionally obstreperous Democratic leader, is upset as well.
“We haven’t done enough,” said Mr. Reid, a onetime moderate who has evolved into one of the party’s most fervent critics of the war.
That view captures not only Mr. Reid’s sentiment but also the shifting political dynamic on the war, as public frustration remains high, the conflict dominates the presidential campaign landscape and senior Republicans have chosen to break with President Bush even as the administration has urged patience.
Sensing momentum from the new Republican defections, Mr. Reid and other leading Democrats intend to force a series of votes over the next two weeks on proposals to withdraw troops and limit spending. Democrats are increasingly confident they can assemble majority opposition to administration policies.
Good, it’s long past time for the Democrats in Congress to rejoin the fight against the war. But this time, giving them hell, Harry, isn’t going to be good enough. This time we need results.
Americans want this war ended, period. Doing that legislatively, of course, won’t be easy: Senate rules allow the GOP to filibuster, and even if Reid can somehow cobble together 60 votes to end the filibuster, Bush can still veto the bill — then 67 votes will be needed to override the veto, something which, at least at present, isn’t in the cards.
But what is in the cards is a fight to the political death — a fight, unlike last time, with no surrender. If the GOP filibusters, fine, let them filibuster. But force them to do it the old fashioned way, the Mr. Smith Goes to Washington way. Make them stand for hour after hour reading the Bible, or yesterday’s newspaper. Keep the Senate in session 24/7. Force those Republican senators who insist on playing both sides of the issue, urging “a change in strategy,” but voting to uphold Bush’s position when it counts, to take a clear stand on the record again and again.
Tell the American people over television that given the sacrifices our troops are making every day, surely 100 senators (99 until Sen. Tim Johnson returns) can afford to sacrifice a few hours of sleep in order to try to bring them home.
Then let the pro-war senators whine about it all they want, and see what the people think.
If Bush vetoes the bill, send it and other antiwar legislation back to him again and again. Never give up; never surrender. Make the rest of this session of Congress be about Democrats trying to end this godforsaken war. Then, if need be, go to the voters in 2008 and let them decide. It will be a tragedy if the war goes on that long, but at least then it will finally end.
July 8th, 2007 at 12:30 am
What is this thing with the Democrats and their dysfunctional spines? Can’t they read the polls? I watched some guy on Hardball allow some water-carrier for Cheney completely define and sidetrack the debate about the Libby pardon. It was pathetic. The Neo-con conned the Demo into debating the hypocrisy of the Clintons. Put the guy smack dab on the defensive. Who cares about the Clintons and Bill’s slimy pardon of Mark Rich?! It was slimy, typical Slick Willy, and with regard to Libby, two wrongs don’t make a right. Clinton isnt the current Prez. Georgie Porgie is. The Dems allow the Far-Right to define the debate. Part of it, of course, is the Media and their inability to present much of anything in a logical, reasonable light. They are addicted to spin, right-wing spin. Still, if the Dems showed real strength and determination, they might overpower the talking heads like Bigmouth Chris Matthews. At the last crucial minute, they falter. Sheesh………
July 8th, 2007 at 10:12 am
Spines! Yes, wouldn’t that be wonderful. We must face the fact that our congress is owned by corpoate America, not we the people. Congress is a rung on the ladder to becoming a fat cat lobbyist. The House is closer to the people but splintered and the senate is just too slick to be taken seriously. There is little debate because the votes are sold before the issue is brought to the floor. One of my favorite lines from the book “The impossible will take a little while” is - “the arguement of inevitibility is self-fulfilling”. We cannot accept their arguement that they don’t and won’t have the votes, so they shouldn’t even try. To say “It’s inevitible” is to give up, to let the other guy win without lifting a finger to oppose him. Only those without hope or courage use this excuse.