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Cowardly Lyin'

Last night, I had a bit of fun with the congressional resolution opposing the troop surge. I played that one for laughs, but this time I'm serious. The resolution -- and the events leading up to it -- have me utterly infuriated.

Some of the critics of the anti-war movement say that the anti-war people aren't really that interested in the war per se, merely in how it will affect domestic politics. To be more on the point, how they can use it to further their political ends. I've avoided that argument so far, but in this case it can't be avoided.

Consider the following:

Just a few weeks ago, the Senate was given the opportunity to question the architect of the "surge" strategy, and weigh whether or not he should be placed in charge of Allied forces in Iraq. At that time, the Senate voted 81-0 in favor of his assuming that position.

Less than a month later, they are trying to pass a resolution condemning his plan before it has even been fully tried.

I am not arguing whether or not the surge is a good idea. I am, as the anti-war faction of Congress is doing, setting aside the war to focus purely on domestic politics.

I have respect for those who oppose the war on principles. I disagree with them, but I respect both their right to do so. I also grant them sincerity in their beliefs.

But the Democratic leadership in Congress has shown itself utterly unworthy of that respect.

If the Congress really wanted to challenge Bush's policies in Iraq, there are a host of ways they could do so. They could move to repeal the Authorization of Use of Military Force that granted him the power to invade Iraq. They could pass a law requiring the withdrawal of forces from Iraq, declaring the war over. They could cut the funding for the war.

Hell, a few weeks ago they could have taken a firm stand against the surge and refused to confirm General Petraeus as Commander of the Multi-National Force.

(A brief aside: I feel a great deal of sympathy for General Petraeus. From all I've read, he is an honorable man. And as an honorable man, he must be sorely tempted to resign in protest. Mere weeks after being confirmed, the very same body that showed faith in him is now openly denouncing his plans and threatening to remove his ability to carry them out. It's like hiring a builder to put up your home, praising him to the heavens at first, then immediately denouncing his plans as utterly unworkable, threatening to eliminate his supplies budget, and telling him he can only use whatever tools happen to be lying around your home at the time. What Congress is doing to this man goes so far beyond "setting him up for failure" as to define new levels of perfidy.)

So, instead of taking a firm position and standing their ground, the Democrats running Congress have decided on a different tack: they aren't acting to win the fight, they are working to make sure Bush loses. They are carefully and calculatingly arranging matters so that Bush's plans have no chance of success, while offering no alternatives of their own.

And they are trying to time the events as to maximize their own gains in the 2008 elections, when the presidency, one-third of the Senate, and the entire House are up for grabs. (They chortle even more when they realize that of the third of the Senate up, roughly 2/3 of the seats are currently held by Republicans.)

It's a good, sound political strategy. It plays on the Republicans' weaknesses, while minimizing the Democrats' weaknesses. By not putting forth their own plan on Iraq, they insulate themselves from being attacked on its particulars. And by dragging out the conflict, they maximize the public dissatisfaction with the Republicans. By all rights, it ought to work.

That is, as long as you don't consider the price of this policy -- and who pays it.

In this case, it's the American men and women currently serving in Iraq. They are the ones who are the pawns in this grand game, moved around and sacrificed for political purposes back home.

Don't like the war? Fine. Then DO SOMETHING about it. Come on, Congress, grow up a little. Step up to the plate and do SOMETHING meaningful.

Earlier this week, I referred to the "non-binding resolution" as "political Onanism." I'm angry enough at this point that my sense of discretion is pretty much history, so I'm going to run with that metaphor.

Congress is acting like a nervous high-school boy who's terrified of asking out the pretty girl next to him in biology. They have all these grandiose plans and fantasies and ideas revolving around her, but can't work up the nerve to actually approach her. So, instead, they stay at home and gratify themselves in the privacy of their bedroom, telling themselves that they're just "waiting for the right moment" and "trying to arrange the perfect opportunity" to make that first move.

In the meantime, the bed sheets get more and more disgusting.

Congress, stop treating our service members like those linens. Take a stand on your "principles." Scrap this "non-binding resolution" bullshit and come up with something with some teeth behind it, or shut the fuck up.

As my mother used to say, it's time to shit or get off the pot. While you're sitting there and squirming and wiggling, Americans are bleeding. And your current strategy of dragging out the matter as long as possible is obscene, the kind of grotesque human sacrifice that should have gone out of fashion centuries ago.


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Comments (31)

As usual,you're spot on J.<... (Below threshold)

As usual,you're spot on J.

Yesterday, one of the senat... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Yesterday, one of the senators said that the resolution was the American people talking. Does it's failure to pass mean that the American people have rejected the idiotic notion of a non binding resoltion. How many man hours and millions of dollars have been wasted on grandstanding, and mindless blabbering by politicians? Congress: How about you let the president run the war, and you take a little time talking about how o fix that idiotic Social Security mess. It is, after all, what we pay you for!

This has been in my craw si... (Below threshold)

This has been in my craw since that vote as well.

Instead of continually harping on Bush as whether he's once again misleading the US about Iranian intel, how about those press dirtbags ask Democrats HOW they could vote to confirm the guy with the plan and subsequently have a vote to condemn that plan?


Congress, stop treating ... (Below threshold)

Congress, stop treating our service members like those linens. Take a stand on your "principles." Scrap this "non-binding resolution" bullshit and come up with something with some teeth behind it, or shut the fuck up.

What total BS Jay. The Republicans won't even allow a vote on the nonbinding resolution. What makes you think they would allow it on a cutoff of funds? If you really believe what you were saying then you would advocate that the Republicans allow the Senate to vote just as the House did.

The American people deserve a simple, straight, up-or-down vote on the surge plan. If the Republicans continue to obstruct that the Democrats should invoke the nuclear option and change the Senate rules so the 60% super-majority is no longer needed.

Larkin, you answered your o... (Below threshold)

Larkin, you answered your own question. The Democrats have the power AT ANY TIME to pull the "nuclear option" and have that vote.

It's only stalemated right now because the Democrats allow it to be so. The ball is entirely in their court.


Ah, but Larkin ... the Dem... (Below threshold)

Ah, but Larkin ... the Democrats CONTROL Congress. They have been telling us that since the November election.

Sorry ... couldn't resist.

As to your comments, I agree that a simple up-and-down vote should be allowed. Republicans have been saying that for years - it would be nice if the Democrats would finally allow it.

Congressional Democrats rem... (Below threshold)

Congressional Democrats remind me of the "The Dixie Chicks". They don't really have to do anything whatsoever except bash the President.

The "Chicks" were not recognized for "actual accomplishment" within their own industry, but rather their politics.

"The Democrat Chicks" don't have to accomplish anything either in their profession to receive fawning kudos. Nope, no real plan of action, no strength of character to follow their own convictions....nothing, zip, zero, nada.

In fact, while the left uses the chimp reference in regards to the President, it is now more obvious than ever that those Democrats could easily be replaced with a chimp with a sign around it's neck that says, "I Hate The President". It will send the same message and get the same amount of work done.

Larkin:Suddenly a ... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:


Suddenly a straight up or down vote is a good idea? What about the last six years, while the Republicans tried to get them for judicial nominations?


Larkin:Ask the Dem... (Below threshold)


Ask the Democrats to go ahead and scraptthe filibuster. Why should Republicans play their treasonous games? Let them do it, and take responsibility. If they had the courage and the guts, they would not be in such a quagmire, would they? Just shows the impotence of their positions, cannot get even a meaningless non-binding resolution passed. God forbid if they have to actually take a stand on anything meaningful.

The Democrats have always been cowards, trying to obfuscate their positions on everything from socialism to national security. Look at them being for the war before being against it.

The Democrats have the ppower to stop the Iraq waw. Let's see how they do it.

I couldn't agree with you m... (Below threshold)

I couldn't agree with you more. This is the new meme to get out of having to have a plan...any plan...any ideas....anything at all. Just more Republican bashing,whining and complaining. Living in Massachusetts is even more infuriating when my congressman wants to pull the troops out immediately without any planning,recognize Cuba and Castro and thinks Hugo Chavez is a great guy. No, really. He really believes this stuff.

At least Sam Johnson (R-TX)... (Below threshold)

At least Sam Johnson (R-TX) understands the problems created by Congressional indifference to the mission.

Excellent post by JT and th... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Excellent post by JT and thanks to George for that link.

The Democrats got exactly t... (Below threshold)

The Democrats got exactly the same treatment they've been doling out for years.

But hey, by all means, let Congress take away the President's control of foreign policy.

Just remember what you wish for when a Democrat occupies that big white house.

Jay --If it's any ... (Below threshold)

Jay --

If it's any consolation to you, many of those who oppose the war in Iraq are losing patience with Congress because they haven't done enough. I feel that way myself although I think it's a little unfair because: 1) the anti-war people can't pass things if they don't agree on strategy to end the war (and they don't), and 2) they've only had control of Congress for less than 2 months...and they aren't nearly veto-proof.

Still, I think if someone is sincere and has guts, you exercise the power you have to try to achieve what you feel needs to be done.

Thanks Jay for telling it l... (Below threshold)

Thanks Jay for telling it like it is. Wish I could write what I think as well as you.

Pub'--already haveing to make excuses? Sounds like Alan "eyebrow" Combs.

At least FOX News pointed o... (Below threshold)

At least FOX News pointed out a lot of the problem this morning when Hume stated that Murtha has no idea what is going on in the world. A truer statement has never been made but should have included half of the dim-wits in congress. Since i'm over 65 myself I know that things get foggy if you don't keep up with it on a daily basis. Murtha, Kennedy, and at least half of the dim-wits in congress have been there too, too long and in fact do not know what is going on in the real world. They are suffering from old-timers-disease and operate strickly on 'ego' builders and spout the lies some anti-American is feeding them.
The problem is they are passing or attempting to pass legislation that will eventually (fast) destroy the type of government they claim to support. Being a traitor to your country is never right and they are doing that on an hourly basis. Our local dhimmi politicians sometimes visit our organization, the leadership now know to ban them from there, if they show up I will spit in the traitors face regardless of the penalty. Serving 22 years in the military resulted in a deep hate for traitors.

Now that surrender is now t... (Below threshold)
Henny Penny:

Now that surrender is now the official policy of Congress, I propose that all future legislative sessions in both houses be conducted in French.

Given how few time Bush has... (Below threshold)

Given how few time Bush has vetoed anything - if he ever has - why would the Democrats use the fear of a veto as an excuse for not creating and implemeting a plan of their own?

Tell us what the plan is first and then determine if it can get support.

What is the Democrats plan for Iraq?

Felch"Congress,... (Below threshold)


"Congress, stop treating our service members like those linens. Take a stand on your "principles"

Have you taken a look at how YOUR Republic Party and Bush have been treating the worst-off of our American heroes?

Is this how your Republic Party supports the troops?

Hey, pukeboy:1) I'... (Below threshold)

Hey, pukeboy:

1) I'm not a Republican. (Or a Republic, for that matter. The whole "-ic/-an" thing strikes me as hugely stupid and silly.) Haven't been one for about a decade.

2) Your selective outrage is quite remarkable.

3) Congress, as they say, "holds the purse strings."

4) I'd have thought that you'd APPROVE of this piece, because I outlined a solid, workable approach for ending the war post-haste. Sorry to see your knee-jerk need to contradict me and change the subject overwhelmed you again.


Oh, and pukeboy: H... (Below threshold)

Oh, and pukeboy:

Here I thought you were only going to resort to derogatory names as retaliations. Can't even keep that single principle, I see...


Felch'Here I th... (Below threshold)


'Here I thought you were only going to resort to derogatory names as retaliations. Can't even keep that single principle, I see..."

When you manage to ues "ARepukelican," or even "aRepuke," I will abide. "Pukeface" and "pukeboy" are still ways of trying to stick it, which is your wont, given this piece today to try to stick it to the Democratic Party.

Ok, I'll amend my question:... (Below threshold)

Ok, I'll amend my question:

What is the Democratic Party's plan for Iraq AND how do they plan to ... what was it the poster said the other day but never explained ... "fully fund" the VA?

P.S. FelchHow come... (Below threshold)

P.S. Felch

How come you've never been inspired to analyze the method behind the Republics' drive to use "Democrat" for Democratic Party etc.?

Among other things, it makes you and your Wizpuppies, as well as most of the rest of the Republics look ignorant when it comes to Standard English Usage. Are y'all just dumb Appalachian?

Puke, I ABBREVIATE your nam... (Below threshold)

Puke, I ABBREVIATE your name because it initiates the childish insults. And I've never looked into the "Democrat Party" silliness because it's... well, silly. "There can be no offense given if none is taken." If it was just ignored, it would go away of its own accord. By whining about it, it just makes the whole thing look petty.

But that helps me understand your obsession with it. As long as you can focus on the trivial bull, you don't have to worry about REAL issues intruding. Hey, whatever gets you through the night...


FelchYou never did... (Below threshold)


You never did address the real issues I raised w/ my original links.

As to the usage of "Democrat," if it is so neglidible, then why do all the Republics make a point of using it, as I think you have also done in the past, and as do all the Wizpuppies who salivate on cue? The very use of it by the members of the Republic Party demonstrates that they have no interest in bipartisanship right from the starting gate.

Pssst pukeface ,if you use ... (Below threshold)

Pssst pukeface ,if you use vasoline the foot slides out much easier. LOL

As to the usage of... (Below threshold)
As to the usage of "Democrat," if it is so neglidible, then why do all the Republics make a point of using it, as I think you have also done in the past, and as do all the Wizpuppies who salivate on cue?

"all the Republics make a point of using it"??????

I'm a Repbublican and not only don't make a point of using it, but also don't have a clue what the "H..." you are talking about.

Generally, when people do things like spell "Democratic" as "Democrat" or ... well, "negligible" as "neglidible" ... I just assume that they are having an informal conversation on a website and not worried about doing a spell-check like they would if it were their Ph.D thesis that they were typing.

We all make such mistakes from time to time. No reason to go "X-Files" about it.

I spend my time seeking information on important things - like what is the Democratic Party's strategy for Iraq.

Ohiovoter -It's re... (Below threshold)

Ohiovoter -

It's really simple. Pull our troops out, and ignore any bad news from that area for, oh, ten to twenty years or so.

In the meantime, trash the US economy through raised taxes so the focus will be on the good they'll do for the US - ignoring the fact their feel-good taxes (like the luxury tax Clinton enacted - I'm still laughing over THAT one - a revenue-negative tax that damn near killed off two industries - light aircraft and small boats, throwing thousands out of work) will not have the effects they think.

And when Europe falls to Islam, they'll shiver and think... "Good thing Bush didn't succeed, or we might have to do actually do something! As it is, we're seen as so damn incompetent and feckless that there's no way we'll ever be trusted to do anything military elsewhere in the world again! We're SAFE!"

After this week, there's no way in hell I'll ever vote for a Democrat again. I'll vote for the independent, I'll write in "None of the Above", I'll vote for Nader if I've got to - but the Dems have lost my vote completely.

aRepuke:I can't do... (Below threshold)


I can't do a damned thing about what someone, somewhere might call your political party.

But I can do something about your continued crass insults and petty spitefulness and incessant abuse, and your insistence on punishing the readers here for what you perceive as slights.



I don't believe Clinton was... (Below threshold)

I don't believe Clinton was president when the luxury tax was passed or repealed. So for the clinton luxury tax laugher, you might want to get your dates correct.






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