Fri 26 Jan 2007
It’s quite sad to see just where cheerleading for defeatism can take a country. Today, we even have a newsflash from the Associated Press: Bush: ‘I’m the decision-maker’ on Iraq. You see – it seems that it’s coming as a surprise to many that Bush is actually the Commander in Chief. Hey, I get it — of course Congress controls the purse strings. But it seems that despite many people’s attempts to equate Iraq with Viet Nam, perhaps underfunding the mission may be the only close similarity should they go through with their plan.
But why not question whether being ‘Commander in Chief’ should be effectively taken away from Bush? There have been many reasons to jump on the Depression Express departing from all stations this week. We’ve heard the trumpeting of John Warner’s contention that he has been “misled” by U.S. military commanders on the Iraqi military’s ability to begin taking over security operations. New media drooling over Sen. Chuck Hagel, just because he’s a “Republican” who has renewed his opposition to the military mission in Iraq. And it seems the only ‘bipartisan’ work being done these days in Congress is related to exactly how strong of wording to include in the latest nonbinding resolution saying that they
oppose don’t agree with kind of are unfond of a surge in troops.
I understand that most politicians who have risen to the level of national office are animals of instinct. They have a hard-wired urge to try to say what they think people like to hear, rather than to take a principled stand. Trying to ride the next wave of popularity because, like the brutal nature of American Idol, their very job depends on making the largest number of people happy with them. So when it seems that Americans are tired of hearing about Iraq, maybe it’s time to find a way to cover your own tail.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Let’s stipulate for a moment that all Democrats in Congress are against the war and perfectly happy to see the troops removed immediately. (I don’t actually believe this, mind you, but let’s just say that we won’t spend time trying to convince them of anything, because it seems like the most popular position within their base).
But what of the Republicans?
If the United States Senate passes a resolution, non-binding or otherwise, that criticizes the commitment of additional troops to Iraq that General Petraeus has asked for and that the president has pledged, and if the Senate does so after the testimony of General Petraeus on January 23 that such a resolution will be an encouragement to the enemy, I will not contribute to any Republican senator who voted for the resolution. Further, if any Republican senator who votes for such a resolution is a candidate for re-election in 2008, I will not contribute to the National Republican Senatorial Committee unless the Chairman of that Committee, Senator Ensign, commits in writing that none of the funds of the NRSC will go to support the re-election of any senator supporting the non-binding resolution.
I would extend that further… but, let’s say that it’s a good start. Let’s see where that kind of ‘popular vote’ takes us, when stacked up against the ‘opinion polls’ with just 100 respondants.
Let ’em know!
UPDATE: From Senator Johnny Isakson’s Weekly e-mail Newsletter:
The other major event this week in Washington was our debate on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the non-binding Iraq resolution. I opposed this resolution because it sends a dangerous signal at a time when the United States is committed in the global war on terror. The resolution expressed opposition to sending additional troops to Iraq and it passed the committee by a vote of 12 to 9. I offered an amendment to the resolution that stated: “It is not in the national interest of the United States for Congress to cut off funding for members of the Armed Forces deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom or to cap the number of troops available to our military commanders to be deployed to Iraq.” Unfortunately, my amendment failed by a vote of 8 to 13. Resolutions expressing the sense of the Senate are important in what they say, but they are equally important in what they do not say. The unintended consequences and misinterpretations of non-binding resolutions can be disastrous and I could not in good conscience support this wrong-headed agenda.
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