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The "Out of Iraq" caucus caves but 2 Republicans push bill over top
Posted by: McQ on Friday, March 23, 2007

The most liberal of the Congressional caucuses caved in today to pressure from Democratic Congressional leadership which all but assures passage of the deeply flawed supplemental spending bill for the Iraq war.

Citing unity over principle, the caucus said they'd provide enough votes to ensure it's passage:
As debate began on the bill yesterday, members of the antiwar caucus and party leaders held a backroom meeting in which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made a final plea to the group, asking it to deliver at least four votes when the roll is called. The members promised 10.

"I find myself in the excruciating position of being asked to choose between voting for funding for the war or establishing timelines to end it," said Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.). "I have struggled with this decision, but I finally decided that, while I cannot betray my conscience, I cannot stand in the way of passing a measure that puts a concrete end date on this unnecessary war."

That was the message of Democratic leaders: This is the best deal they could make, and it is better than no deal at all.
Of course making no deal at all would smack of a principled stand, wouldn't it?

It's not that I'm surprised or particularly bothered by the liberal capitulation on the subject of Iraq. I've been expecting it.

But again, this is all about show. The basic attempt here is to tie Bush's hands as to how he can manage the war and how long he has to do so, thus making him responsible for an almost preordained failure. It allows Democrats to avoid responsibility for failure while all but ensuring it. It is what David Obey was screaming about in the hallway when he called liberals "idiots".

For all its wrongheadedness, the "Out of Iraq" caucus was the most principled group of Congressional Democrats when it came to the war in Iraq. They understood that the moral and ethical way to end the war was to defund it - something well within their power. And, one assumes, they understood the political ramifications that brought and they were willing to bear them. While I probably would have condemned them had they done so, I would have at least respected them.

But today they threw principle to the wolves and "compromised". The compromise allows the funding to which they so object while supposedly setting a 'date certain' for withdrawal.

Folks, there is only one date certain for beginning a withdrawal and that is January 20, 2009 and then only if a Democrat wins the White House. Every other date is not only negotiable, but flexible and if you don't believe me, hide and watch.

This may pass, but it isn't going to go anywhere in real terms toward ending the war in Iraq, especially when you consider that the Senate has yet to have been heard from. But the machinations and contortions the Democrats have gone through to get it passed have been extreme. And, of course, in some cases, their explanations stretch credulity. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) on On CNN this morning with anchor Miles O'Brien talking about the supplemental:
O'BRIEN: We got to talk about the pork. There is a lot of pork added on to it. Let's go through the list briefly. There is $74 Million in there to help peanut growers store their peanuts, there's $25 million for spinach growers dealing with that e. Coli problem, $252 million in milk subsidies, $3.3 billion in crop and livestock losses.

All of these may be worthy programs one way or another, but doesn't it in some way trivialize what is perhaps as important a vote as any vote you'll have if you start loading the pork up on this?

HOYER: Absolutely not. First of all, I don't accept your definition of pork. ... This is a bill that will have add-ons yes, but add-ons for what we believe are emergency objectives."
Amazing. Shrimp, spinach and peanuts are "emergency objectives" now?

But back to the liberal "OoI" caucus. What's the real reason for tossing principle out the window and giving in? One acronym will suffice: BDS.
"You really have two options here: One is that you can vote for a change of course here and say we're going to find a way out of Iraq, or, two, you can vote against it and hand George Bush a victory," said Jon Soltz, a veteran of the Iraq war and co-founder of VoteVets.org, a group that opposes the war. "It doesn't make sense to me. George Bush got us into the war. They have challenged him on everything. Why would they give him this victory now?" he asked, referring to the liberals.
So to the Democrats out there who support this nonsense, please keep the future guff about "principled opposition" to yourself. This bill has nothing to do with principle and everything to do with attempting to hurt Bush and his chances to succeed in Iraq. It's an irresponsible, unconscionable and, frankly nauseating attempt to avoid responsibility which will most likely end up getting troops in Iraq killed.

Congrats. You must be so proud.

UPDATE: The number of votes necessary to pass this bill was 218. The bill got exactly 218 votes. But only 216 Democrats voted for it. Two Republicans voted "yes" and pushed it over the top. Rep Walter Jones of NC and Rep. Wayne Gilchrest of MD.
 
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Comments
It’s good to see the Caucus being smart...they’d prefer Pelosi to Hastert, even though Pelosi isn’t Tom Hayden. Smart politics, now if only libertarians/conservatives could do the same there might be some hope on that front. Heck some people I met preferred Pelosi to Hastert because he wasn’t Michael Badnarik....DUMB politics. You go forward by moving forward, not by moving backwards...Defeat Does NOT Equal Victory...Defeat in ’06 will yield gains in ’08!-Or not.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
The Dems only enemy is George W Bush (and Rove). And Rush Limbaugh and Fox News I guess...

Even now, the main Dem objective isn’t ending the war, but finding a way to GET ROVE over this Atty General thing.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
HOYER: Absolutely not. First of all, I don’t accept your definition of pork. ... This is a bill that will have add-ons yes, but add-ons for what we believe are emergency objectives."
This could be the winner of this years George Orwell “Newspeak” Award.

For a politician, principal is always trumped by expediency. Attaching tons of Pork to the bill to garner enough votes to pass it was a sign it would fly like the proverbial lead balloon. It became obvious this was a desperate attempt to embarrass the Bush administration, By forcing the President to veto the bill, it would set him up for the charge he is not supporting the troops.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
Emergency objectives? I counted $4.5 billion in hurricane related spending. We haven’t had a bad hurricane since 2005.

Source
 
Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
UPDATE: The number of votes necessary to pass this bill was 218. The bill got exactly 218 votes. But only 216 Democrats voted for it. Two Republicans voted "yes" and pushed it over the top. Rep Walter Jones of NC and Rep. Wayne Gilchrest of MD.
Anyone working for their defeat has my $$$
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Rep Tim Johnson of Illinois is my current target. I’ll run against him if I have to. He voted for the "nonbinding resolution", which is enough for me.

I’d support a democrat over Timmy, only because I know they’ll be spineless. I don’t like being surprised by my (soon to be former) party...

Also, cue the veto. :)
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
Please, please, let the president veto this bill and send it back to have the pork removed. That would be delicious.
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
Please, please, let the president veto this bill and send it back to have the pork removed. That would be delicious
But first let him have a press conference where he describes all the pork in explicit detail...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Financial Times: Bush vows to veto Iraq pull-out bill
Bush accused Democrats who orchestrated the vote of ”an act of political theater” that they know will never become law.

”They set rigid restrictions that would require an army of lawyers to interpret. They set an arbitrary date for withdrawal with no regard for conditions on the ground. And they tacked on billions in pet projects that have nothing to do with winning the war on terror,” Bush said.

”This bill has too much pork, too many conditions and an artificial timetable for withdrawal. As I’ve made clear for weeks I will veto it if it comes to my desk,” Bush said.
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.qando.net
Please, please, let the president veto this bill and send it back to have the pork removed. That would be delicious.


Send the Pork to Iran and watch the Shiite hit the fan.
 
Written By: James E. Fish
URL: http://
Send the Pork to Iran and watch the Shiite hit the fan.
WOW - ROTFLMAO!!! Watch out, I say watch out boy... you’re gonna be in hiding with Salmon Rushdie ;-)

*shaking head* watch the shiite hit the fan.. TOO funny!~
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
"Amazing. Shrimp, spinach and peanuts are "emergency objectives" now?"

I don’t know about the shrimp or peanuts, but what will Popeye do if there isn’t enough spinach? Better safe than sorry.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Of cource they are emegency objectives...

If you expand the definition to mean "stuff we need to tack on to get feckless democrats to vote for this bill".
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://

 
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