Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
Tiptoeing through the minefield
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, January 31, 2007

That's what Democrats are going to be trying to do this week as Sen. Russ Feingold introduces his resolution to defund the war. Congressional Democrats are nervous. Roger Simon reports:
Senate Democrats oppose the war in Iraq, they just don't plan on stopping it.

They have discovered that standing up to the president is not quite as easy as vilifying him.


Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., has decided, however, to challenge what he calls the "timidity" of Democratic leaders. He is going to introduce legislation cutting off funding for the Iraq war and he may do it, he told me, as early as this week.
Yes they have the vilifying part down pat after years of practice. But Feingold plans to force them to make a choice if he gets his way:
Which is why Feingold is chairing a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday to "help inform my colleagues and the public about Congress's power to end a war."

Feingold has gathered various legal and other experts to testify, but the result is a foregone conclusion. "I am going to lay out the reality that Congress does have this power," Feingold said. "The president does not have the unilateral power to (continue the war) without our consent."

Feingold said a cutoff of funding six months after the law is enacted "makes sense, it is constitutional, and our troops will not be left in the lurch."

Under Feingold's plan, the administration would have to safely redeploy troops from Iraq except for those needed to target counter-terrorism operations and provide security for U.S "infrastructure and civilian personnel" there, and a "limited number" to train Iraqi security services.

Feingold is going to put his fellow Democrats to the test: If you are really against this war, he is going to tell them, now is the time to show it.

"Those (Democrats) who are timid on this, who are they listening to?" he said. "The people don't want us to talk just about ending the escalation. They think this whole war is wrong."
Interestingly it is a Republican Senator, Chuck Hagel, who seem ready to join Feingold. And then there's Arlen Specter:
They were joined by Senator Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who led the [Senate Judiciary Committee] for the last two years, in asserting that Mr. Bush cannot simply ignore Congressional opposition to his plan to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq.

“I would respectfully suggest to the president that he is not the sole decider,” Mr. Specter said. “The decider is a joint and shared responsibility.”
Here's the essence of the Feingold plan from his website:
U.S. Senator Russ Feingold will soon propose legislation to force the President to safely redeploy U.S. troops out of Iraq within six months of enactment.

Feingold’s legislation will:

* Prohibit the use of funds for the continued deployment of U.S. Armed Forces to the Republic of Iraq after six months of enactment.

* Require the Administration to report to Congress a strategy for safely redeploying U.S. forces from Iraq within the six months prior to the fund termination date.

* Allow for specific exceptions to the prohibition including to:

o Conduct targeted counter-terrorism operations in Iraq.

o Allow a limited number of U.S. forces to conduct specific training for Iraqi security services.

o Provide security for U.S. infrastructure and civilian personnel.

Feingold’s legislation will not:

* Prohibit or restrict funds for the safe and orderly withdrawal of the Armed Forces personnel from Iraq.

* Prohibit or restrict funds for the troops remaining in Iraq for purposes listed above.

* Prohibit funds for any department or agency of the Government of the United States to carry out political, economic, or general reconstruction activities in Iraq.
After you read through those and understand that militarily they are infeasible (you can't continue infrastructure security or political, economic or general reconstruction activities, much less training, in a nation which isn't secure) note the line which says that his legislation will not prohibit the "[c]onduct targeted counter-terrorism operations in Iraq."

Folks that is precisely what the 'surge' is. It is a targeted COIN operation focused on Baghdad.

This pile of gobbledygook makes no sense and only points to another in a long line of politicians who doesn't know what he's talking about. What is clear is he plans to cut off funds in a manner which will cripple even those efforts which he says his legislation won't effect.

As to the nervous Dems? Here's Hillary Clinton in Iowa last week:
In Iowa Sunday, Hillary Clinton said: "At this point, I am not ready to cut off funding for American troops. I am not going to do that." She said that even if Congress passed such a bill, it would be pointless because we have "a president who will veto anything that impinges on his authority."
And you have Joe Biden saying it is "probably unconstitutional".

But Feingold isn't buying:
Feingold is not impressed with that argument. "It is not true this is a futile exercise," he said. "We can say no."

If, for instance, the Democrats attached an Iraq funding cutoff to an appropriations bill, the president would risk shutting down the government by vetoing it.
Forcing this sort of a vote even has Senate leadership worried:
As Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told my colleague John Bresnahan Thursday, Republicans "would like this debate to be as (to) whether or not we are going to be cutting off money for troops."
Yes, they would. In fact, I'd bet they're licking their chops.

And the non-binding resolutions which are instead favored by most Dems? Even John Edwards, who agrees with Feingold, can't get behind those:
That nonbinding resolution against the Iraq troop surge favored by Barack Obama? "Useless," said Edwards. "Exactly like a child standing in the corner and stomping his feet."
On that particular point, I couldn't agree more.

An interesting few weeks ahead. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: For those of you who need a scorecard concerning the plethora of proposed resolutions, here's a recap:
McCain of Arizona and Graham of South Carolina, one of his closest political allies, have drafted a resolution that supports the president's plan to deploy 21,500 more troops in Iraq, while at the same time laying out a number of "benchmarks" to measure the progress the Iraqi government is making in achieving political stability and cracking down on sectarian violence.

The McCain-Graham resolution is one of a handful of Republican and Democratic non-binding proposals on Iraq that are likely to be debated.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., have not hammered out ground rules for the debate. McConnell and other GOP leaders are likely to insist that any resolution called up for a vote receive at least 60 votes to be considered formally approved, according to Republican senators and leadership aides.

Sens. Joseph R. Biden Jr., D-Del., Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., and Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., have a resolution opposing the troop "surge" while Sens. John Warner, R-Va., Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, have a different resolution that is critical of Bush's handling of the war, but does not go as far as the Biden-Hagel-Kennedy proposal in opposing the surge.

Additional proposals call for a cap on troop levels. And Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., is preparing legislation to cut funding for the U.S. military campaign in Iraq by late this year.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Cut off funding before the plan can even start? What superb timing.
 
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
Feingold said a cutoff of funding six months after the law is enacted "makes sense, it is constitutional, and our troops will not be left in the lurch."
There is already funding available beyond 6 months, and any monies already allocated could theoretically be reversed by legislation, but the President could, and would, simply veto the legislation and there are not enough votes to override a veto even if there were enough votes to defund.

What the President cannot do is force funding to be allocated after the existing funding is exhausted. This is where the politic of this war will be tested, at least a year into the future or more.

When it comes down to it, before Congress can force an end to this war, the American people will get another opportunity to choose the CinC.

If the American people choose a "decider" that wants to escalate or maaintain troop levels, that is what will happen, if we choose a President that is willing to order a withdrawel, that is what will happen.

As exciting as people at the prospect of a government showdown, it’s just not going to happen, beyond the war of words.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Well, look at this from Fiengold’s political perspective;

Nothing will come of the Bill... the thing is toxic, and will never be supported by the American people... and the Democrt leadership knows this. I’m sure Wacky Russ knows it, too.... but what has he lost, politically by pusing it, and what has he gained?

What he’s done is endear himself to the far left. Nobody outside that subgroup is going to like him less for it; Most people already have the man tagged as a nutball. He’s reinforcing his base.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
if we choose a President that is willing to order a withdrawal, that is what will happen.
Please do our soldiers and Iraqi citizens the honor of calling this what it is.

SURRENDER
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://inactivist.org/blog/keith_indy
As exciting as people at the prospect of a government showdown, it’s just not going to happen, beyond the war of words.
Yeah, because the Dems have no sack for actually leading on something.
If the American people choose a "decider" that wants to escalate or maaintain troop levels, that is what will happen, if we choose a President that is willing to order a withdrawel, that is what will happen
.

Oh please....why do you think Hillary wants it all done with before she (ostensibly) takes office? She doesn’t want to get her hands dirty and be known as the Pres. who "lost Iraq"

But that’s where this is headed....the Dems will have to get their hands dirty sooner or later. Either way, if they want the war stopped they’re going to have to take ownership at some point.

Cindy Sheehan and the nutroots demand it.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Oh please....why do you think Hillary wants it all done with before she (ostensibly) takes office? She doesn’t want to get her hands dirty and be known as the Pres. who "lost Iraq"

But that’s where this is headed....the Dems will have to get their hands dirty sooner or later. Either way, if they want the war stopped they’re going to have to take ownership at some point.
One failure of the Democrats is a complete lack of leadership.

This was even the case when Bill was President: he never really led. He was a great fundraiser, and he was great at posing and obtaining good poll numbers (at least after his first two years). But what little leadership he showed was in the first two years, and it was timid and tentative. Other than that, he followed polls, sent planes to Kosovo at 60,000 ft, sent Jimmy to North Korea. An excellent job of appearing to lead without really doing so. I seriously doubt any other current Democrat could pull off Bill’s posing, and so far it isn’t clear any offer real leadership.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Please do our soldiers and Iraqi citizens the honor of calling this what it is.
As soon as y’all do the same people the same honor of calling this ill advised, ill conceived, ill-executed adventure what it has always been, a complete clusterf**k.

I can see the blogosphere in 15 years, making the same claims that some make about Vietnam, "we could have won if it weren’t for the those damn bleeding heart leftists".

We DID win the mission that the American people were told we were embarking on, we eliminated the WMD’s that weren’t there, and we eliminated the regime controlling the WMD’s that weren’t there.

Mission accomplished, let’s go home.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
"we could have won if it weren’t for the those damn bleeding heart leftists".
There would still be a RVN if it weren’t for them.

Since there isn’t, that has been converted into a "The military lost".

I joined the Army just after that game came to an end and have no desire to see that tagged on our military of today.

Cap, you don’t know what a clusterf really is. Well, other than your attempts at logic.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
As soon as y’all do the same people the same honor of calling this ill advised, ill conceived, ill-executed adventure what it has always been, a complete clusterf**k.
We DID win the mission that the American people were told we were embarking on
WOW, that really sounds like an ill advised, ill conceived, ill-executed clusterf**k!

Try again. Cindy Sheehan demands it
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
We DID win the mission that the American people were told we were embarking on
WOW, that really sounds like an ill advised, ill conceived, ill-executed clusterf**k!
And the complete sentence including the comment you eliminated in order to pretend that your point was not completely ridiculous...
We DID win the mission that the American people were told we were embarking on, we eliminated the WMD’s that weren’t there, and we eliminated the regime controlling the WMD’s that weren’t there.
In other words, we eliminated a threat didn’t exist, but created a threat that we cannot contain in the place of the threat that didn’t exist. That’s a clusterf**k.


Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
In other words, we eliminated a threat didn’t exist
Boy Cap, you must be really angry with Hillary and Biden and Bill Clinton and John Kerry and the rest of the Dems, and the UN for telling us for all those years that the threat DID exist. Oh, and the NYTimes for telling us about Saddams nuke plans last November- you must be really peeved at them.

You’re probably also mad at all those Kurds who were gassed into the mass graves by WMD that didn’t exist. How dare they!
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Boy Cap, you must be really angry with Hillary and Biden and Bill Clinton and John Kerry and the rest of the Dems, and the UN for telling us for all those years that the threat DID exist. Oh, and the NYTimes for telling us about Saddams nuke plans last November- you must be really peeved at them.
My problem lies not with those that were willing to point accusatory fingers at Saddam and maintain the distrust, pressure, and containment, I take issue with the "decider" who invaded a nation without doing more to validate the information.

Prior to the invasion, when Bush was threatening Saddam, I had the misguided confidence in this President to do what he said he wanted to do, force Saddam to capitulate without having to fire a shot. Bush was well on his way to accomplishing that goal, Saddam was folding like a lawn chair to our demands. I was apoplectic when we invaded ANYWAY.

It’s not that the President did not allow non-military means to work, he actually invaded WHILE the non-military means WERE working.
You’re probably also mad at all those Kurds who were gassed into the mass graves by WMD that didn’t exist. How dare they!
This is a breathtakingly idiotic statement, or perhaps you are unaware that the gassing of the Kurds occurred 19 years ago, when Iraq DID possess WMD’s, before the Gulf War, before the sanctions, before the containment, and before weapons inspectors, when we were SUPPORTING Saddam in his war with Iraq.

Of course you sound just like the President, who pointed to old acts, old intelligence, and old rhetoric to start a new war.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
My problem lies not with those that were willing to point accusatory fingers at Saddam and maintain the distrust, pressure, and containment, I take issue with the "decider" who invaded a nation without doing more to validate the information.
I gotcha. Do nothing rhetoric, and empty gestures, you’re down with. Taking actual actions, no good.

Check.
Prior to the invasion, when Bush was threatening Saddam, I had the misguided confidence in this President to do what he said he wanted to do, force Saddam to capitulate without having to fire a shot. Bush was well on his way to accomplishing that goal, Saddam was folding like a lawn chair to our demands. I was apoplectic when we invaded ANYWAY.
Evidence that Saddam was "folding like a lawn chair" please? And for extra credit, explain how this phrase: "oil for food" contradicts your "folding like a lawn chair" thesis.
Of course you sound just like the President, who pointed to old acts, old intelligence, and old rhetoric to start a new war
As opposed to everyone else, who was content to think the old intelligence was correct but couldn’t be bothered to act on it (but boy could they talk)

PS- It’s not a "new" war. A reading of history shows it’s a continuation of the original war.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
To some nothing ever is worth fighting for. I guess this includes the folks advocating the above.

How many more United Nations resolutions needed to be passed (17) and broken by
Saddam after 12 years worth. How many more years worth of defending and paying
hundreds of millions yearly in the no fly zone needed to be paid out.
We only needed to wait one more year, when the freeze on Iraq would dissolve
and he would have taken up where he left off in developing his own nuclear
weapons. That would have been so decent of the president and this country.
And let’s not go into the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died horrific
deaths in those 12 years of broken resolutions. But the anti war group could
care less about these victims, for all know how much more stable and ’safe’
Iraq and the ME were when Saddam and his ,two spawn from h*ll, sons were ruling.

Viet Nam, oh yes the war where the military got their tails handed to them by
the communists. The war was lost in America through the manipulations of the
media and planned protests by communists front groups. Been there and seen that.
The soldiers who fought were demonized, ostrasized, spit on, and reviled.
The left showed how gracious, considerate, and understanding they can be.

When the controlling democrats pull the plug on financing the Iraq front,
explanations to our military why they have decided to dishonor the
work already done in Iraq. They can also explain it to the Iraqis who have
put their lives on the line as well. Then when the surrounding countries
invade Iraq, fighting over who gets what, they can all congratulate themselves
with many pats on the back.
And when finally after all the jaw jacking is done, and cities begin to go
’boom’ in the dark of the night, they can also explain that to the surviving
members of american families why are we being attacked again.
Because we have it coming?

 
Written By: nbpunditb
URL: http://gulfcoastpundit.com

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider