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

 
Where are the Democrat’s head on this?
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I have to admit, I've been wondering if this would happen:
Congressional leaders from both political parties are giving President Bush a matter of months to prove that the Iraq war effort has turned a corner, with September looking increasingly like a decisive deadline.
All of this fighting back and forth about timelines when Gen. Petraeus himself set a deadline for seeing some measure of success before he ever went to Iraq. Why in the world didn't the Democrats embrace that as the significant date. Or a better question: why haven't they?

Politically it would have a) given their "support the troops" credentials some credibility and b) allowed them to point to that date as one set, essentially, by the military (and thereby the administration) as a "fish or cut bait" deadline. It would have also given them cover for funding the troops until then without allowing the Republicans to characterize them as cheese eating surrender monkeys.

Sometimes I wonder if it isn't a function of not being able to see the forest for the trees. They're so deeply enmeshed in the fight for withdrawal that they completely miss the opportunity to embrace a deadline which actually helps their cause - well, if the news in September is bad, that is.

If it is, then they can make a plausible case that withdrawal is now called for. If the news is good and Iraq is improving, they could then tout their far-sightedness (relatively speaking) in funding the surge and allowing Petraeus the room to work. Either way, it would keep them mostly out of political hot water (well, except with Netroots who aren't willing to play that game).

And, as the paragraph indicates, some Republicans are also looking toward September as an important deadline as well, so the Dems could even claim a "bi-partisan" opposition to any continuation if the report from Petraeus is negative.
"Many of my Republican colleagues have been promised they will get a straight story on the surge by September," said Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.). "I won't be the only Republican, or one of two Republicans, demanding a change in our disposition of troops in Iraq at that point. That is very clear to me."

"September is the key," said Rep. James P. Moran Jr. (D-Va.), a member of the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds defense. "If we don't see a light at the end of the tunnel, September is going to be a very bleak month for this administration."
As I've mentioned on podcasts and articles, why the Democrats haven't helped themselves politically by "embracing the surge" and setting September as a deadline of sorts still eludes me. Instead they seem bent on this silly "short leash" nonsense pushed by Murtha and Clinton which would fund the effort for 2 to 3 months. Said Rob Portman, Director of the Office of Management and Budget:
"A short-term supplemental funding bill is no substitute for Congress acting quickly to provide the resources needed for our troops," Portman told The Politico at OMB headquarters in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. "It would only irresponsibly kick the can down the road, cause inefficiency and disruption in DOD budgeting, and create uncertainty in military planning."
And, of course, give Republicans cause to blame any future failure in Iraq on Democrats playing games with funding.
"The military has said repeatedly that the current delays in funding for our troops is already having negative consequences, including disruption to operations, decreasing efficiency and potentially degrading the readiness of troops awaiting deployment," he said. "We can debate how much harm is being caused, but our military commanders are sending a clear message and Congress needs to listen, put the politics aside and get our troops the support and flexibility they need."
Denying that is not a position in which you'd think Democrats would willing put themselves. But here we are.
CongressDaily PM reported yesterday afternoon that key Senate Democrats continue to oppose short-term rationing schemes, specifically reporting: "A House-backed plan to send President Bush a supplemental spending bill to fund the war only through July is not likely to get through the Senate, an aide to Senate Majority Leader Reid said today. 'It's not anything that will fly in the Senate,' spokesman Jim Manley said."
Political onanism which will only show them to be weak.

And here is the game they're playing:
A series of short-term supplemental appropriations will require the Department of Defense to shift funds from established accounts to accounts related to the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq in order to make ends meet. This constant juggling of funds between accounts is both disruptive and wasteful. Valuable training exercises will be delayed, and it will be necessary to rob the Air Force and Navy to pay the Army and Marine Corps, imposing incalculable costs on Air Force and Navy readiness.

Finally, one-month or two-month supplemental appropriations bills are inconsistent with an orderly legislative process, and this could have damaging effects on the military. Congress's history of inefficiency suggests that it is all but certain that Members will fail to enact a series of short-term supplemental appropriations bills in a timely fashion. This failure could cause significant funding gaps that, at some point, would become large enough to preclude the Department of Defense from shifting funds between accounts in the way described above, leaving troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere forced to "stand down" for lack of funding. Congress's responsibility to legislate in an orderly fashion is a serious one because the consequences of failing to do so can be so damaging. When the stakes involved are the lives and well-being of U.S. troops, Congress needs to do better.
So? So Democrats, beware ... this has the potential, if pursued, of putting them back in the minority status for a very, very long time if failure in Iraq and/or Afghanistan can be convincingly (or not so convincingly) linked to their obvious 'slow bleed' strategy involving funding for the troops.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Your analysis is completely off. One reason Bush’s approval continues to plummet is the fact that Democrats are showing that they are a player in this. If like sheep they had done nothing but go along with the President, that would have been more damaging to them politically. They made an effective political point in forcing a Bush veto, and now simply note that political reality is forcing a compromise with Republicans. The idea is to keep this story in the news, keep the public focused on Iraq, and show that they are trying to get the President to change course. If the Republicans try to blame failure on the Democrats, that’s DOA. Bush’s approval is at 28%, Congress’ approval is rising, there is a surge in American deaths in Iraq and the war continues to grow in unpopuarity. The surge is starting to be treated as a joke by a lot of people.

The reality is that even the Bush Administration knows they have to ditch Iraq before 2008, they just want to create a ’peace with honor moment.’ The war was won in 2003, this big government social engineering program that has gone on since then is perhaps the greatest strategic disaster in American history.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
and now simply note that political reality is forcing a compromise with Republicans.

That ain’t playing with the Nutroots posse
The idea is to keep this story in the news, keep the public focused on Iraq, and show that they are trying to get the President to change course.
And get tagged as "not supporting the troops" and a Do-Nothing Congress
If the Republicans try to blame failure on the Democrats, that’s DOA. Bush’s approval is at 28%, Congress’ approval is rising, there is a surge in American deaths in Iraq and the war continues to grow in unpopuarity.

Poll data to back those assertions, please....
The surge is starting to be treated as a joke by a lot of people.

And hence all those stories about success in Al-Anbar Province....Look just because all the people at your Faculty Meeting think it’s a joke, doesn’t actually translate into a public-wide perception of it as a joke.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
without allowing the Republicans to characterize them as cheese eating surrender monkeys
They’ve become french?

And as usual, Erbie’s comment shows him to live in a land of faries and make-believe...
 
Written By: Scott
URL: http://
I’m suprised Petraeus gave himself such a short deadline. Or did he think that statistics and metrics will suffice to prove the surge is working? I think the pols and the public will be expecting "one month without a car bomb headline" as opposed to "murders down 50%."
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Harun, I’m sure Petraeus will give himself another 6 months once the current 6 months is up, as is the standard operating procedure. Come September, he’ll say we’ll know whether the surge is working by March.
 
Written By: jpe
URL: http://
Or did he think that statistics and metrics will suffice to prove the surge is working?
Even worse would be if the terrorists lie low until September and then pull a mini-Tet.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I’m suprised Petraeus gave himself such a short deadline. Or did he think that statistics and metrics will suffice to prove the surge is working? I think the pols and the public will be expecting "one month without a car bomb headline" as opposed to "murders down 50%.
Harun, the surge was not Petraeus’ idea anyways. It was architected in AEI. It is possible that Petraeus himself is not so sure if a surge (any kind of surge, even with 100K troops) will help in the long run. He will probably give up after 6 months so that the military can wash its hands off the Iraq mess and leave it to the politicians to handle the mess from September onwards...Expect even shriller calls for troop withdrawal post-September
 
Written By: Ivan
URL: http://
Certain progressives are confident that the media can yet deliver them a victory (read "victory" as a U. S. defeat in Iraq) Jeff Goldstein explicates the Liberal Narrative:
”…those … on the left, tend to be the types who believe that short-term white lies or rhetorical dodges are a practical—indeed, a moral—tool that in the end brings about the greater good, and so is justified …

…when it comes to memes that they [the media] continue to push even after they have been thoroughly and completely problematized or outright debunked, then we can safely say that their intent has become something far more objectionable than merely selling newspapers.

… they, and many of their supporters… are willing to do anything and everything—including lying (which they would reframe as finessing the narrative)—to achieve their ends. That is, they have stated in no uncertain terms that lying in the service of larger truths is not a political sin—and in fact, it is, in the perverse logic of arrogant, presumptuous, illiberal hacks, something of a badge of honor. Muddying the narrative waters, obstructing progress, keeping their political opponents constantly on the defensive: these are the tactics of “progressivism,” and are geared toward forcing their opponents to surrender the fight for wont of being able to elevate their own voices above the din.

…they [the media] are blinded by ideological hatred; but they have taken to channeling that hatred into a willful attempt to control the electorate and shape public debate in a way that rises to the level of intentional advocacy.
He also said:
”Charles Krauthammer:
It is beyond brazen to think that one can get away with inventing not ancient history but what everyone saw and read with their own eyes just a few years ago. And yet sometimes brazenness works.
—Which is true, provided the proper substructures are in place, beginning with a cynical advocacy media still holding itself out as a “neutral” purveyor of objectively rendered fact, even as it repeats canards, falsehoods, or engages in propaganda by omission or commision; a culture that relies on said media for its information, generally content to follow unfolding history in soundbite form; a poisoned partisan atmosphere, coupled with a willingness on the part of certain key figures aligned against the Administration actively to promote narratives [Yes!] they know to be either misleading (in the case of, say, constantly revisiting the “Mission Accomplished” photo op to suggest Bush assumed a victory that anti-war agitators are invested in preventing) or downright false (Bush “lied” about WMDs, he “misled” Congress into war, he tied Saddam to 911, he called the Iraq threat “imminent,” etc.)—all so they can appease their base and take advantage of a war fatigue among the American electorate that they themselves have worked tirelessly to foster; and an ethos wherein the benign materialist descriptions that inform postmodern thought are incorrectly marshaled to form a rickity and unsound philosophical skeleton that underlies contemporary ideas concerning epistemology.

There is a complicity and a duplicity to the entire cultural fraud, the most frightening part of which is the eagerness of so many “progressives” to will certain “truths” into power merely by the force of rhetoric, be it a reliance on repetition, denial, obfuscation, or an artificial “consensus” that gets its power from the willingness of those who hold to it to pretend to believe in the narrative upon which is based—rather than to believe in the power of that narrative to achieve an end that they consider so important that they are justified in waging a rhetorical war of “truthiness” in the service of what they consider larger and more important “Truths.”
Combine those ingredients, and you have a notion of “history” that is so fluid as to be meaningless. It matters not that some Democratic presidential aspirants, for instance, voted for the war initially. What matters now is, how well are they able to walk back that support—which consists of perfunctory mea culpas followed by scapegoating of all those who “misled” them into their initial position (carefully bracketing out those on their side of the political aisle who may have influenced them), and finally, of a rewriting of events to form a convenient, plausible narrative that they can pass off to the American electorate that at once forgives them and demonizes their political opponents.
He says it all so much better than I ever have or could.

By the way, if you wondered whatever happened to Mona read this. I’d quote some of it, but since this site has been de-loused…
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
One reason Bush’s approval continues to plummet
1 : to fall perpendicularly
2 : to drop sharply and abruptly

Sorry Doc, he’s actually been lower than he is today in a couple of other different polls. He’s been more like a bobber for quite a while, and is actually ’up’ from lower numbers. He’s wallowed around within single digits changes in the current ranges since well before the Democrats were in control of Congress.

So, not sure where your ’plummet’ is coming from, but it’s fun to say I’ll bet, especially when you’re using it to help prove your point.

Ya know though, this puts him in a tie with your favorite American former President Nobel Prize winning doofus - Jimmy Carter. In fact Jimmah is "the lowest presidential approval rating" from the previous generation trumpeted in your headline for 28% for the current generation.

Given your adoration for Jimmah Carter, what should I think about your observations about George Bush based on this poll?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
this has the potential, if pursued, of putting them back in the minority status for a very, very long time if failure in Iraq and/or Afghanistan can be convincingly (or not so convincingly) linked to their obvious ’slow bleed’ strategy involving funding for the troops.
Bruce, you’re making the assumption that the Democrat voter employs logic.

I give you Scott Erb.

Erb aside.... We, both of us, have seen all too often it does not work that way. Therefore, assuming that logical consequences are going to be attached to the Democrats for their actions, seems optimitic.

I hope you’re correct, of course, but previous experience councils strongly against the placement of any large wagers on the event.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
Wait a mo’ there McQ. Wasn’t there something about a deadline for progress in the bill the President just vetoed? Wasn’t it right about October, a month after Petreus’ report becomes due? And if things were working didn’t it postpone the withdrawl, and authorize leaving tens of thousands of trainers in place? Why are you suggesting that Democrats do exactly what you’ve just been whining about them doing? Has jpe put his or her finger on it? Is it the fact that the bill didn’t leave you another six month extension that is your problem with it?
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Why are you suggesting that Democrats do exactly what you’ve just been whining about them doing?
I’m not suggesting they do anything, I’m just amazed they haven’t figured this ploy out for themselves (obviously you never read this previous article where I say much the same thing), they being the great and wonderful political strategists they are and all.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Harun, the surge was not Petraeus’ idea anyways. It was architected in AEI. It is possible that Petraeus himself is not so sure if a surge (any kind of surge, even with 100K troops) will help in the long run. He will probably give up after 6 months so that the military can wash its hands off the Iraq mess and leave it to the politicians to handle the mess from September onwards...Expect even shriller calls for troop withdrawal post-September
What the President wants, and may get, is a peace with honor moment. He can say, "the surge has worked, Baghdad is safer, there are still pockets of violence and insurgent activity, but now we think the Iraqis can handle it." There will be a ceremony, the Iraqis will thank us for our help, and we’ll start a withdrawal. The Democrats want to make that ’peace with honor moment’ (assuming it comes) look to be done in part because of their pressure, hence the need to keep the public focused on Iraq and their opposition to the President’s policies.

What happens after that peace with honor moment is likely not to be pretty. But at home we can say "we did all we could and trained them, if they fail, it’s not our fault." I think most people know what’s coming, they’re positioning themselves to benefit politically — all of them, the Administration, Republicans and Democrats.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Why would Democrats who want a "peace with honor" moment publicly proclaim that we’ve lost? Anything even smelling of "we’re responsible for a win" from the Democrats is going to get them creamed politically because there is so very much invested in the "war is always bad" viewpoint.

"...show that they are trying to get the President to change course."

The President *did* change course. This "change course" rhetoric is obviously not what the Democrats really want or wanted. They have to be seen as opposing the war as they have from the beginning, from public statements that Allawi was a "puppet" to predictions of disaster from the beginning because it was *always* an element of faith that we could not win, war is always bad, never solves anything, and is never justified. Faith, not objective observation.

And when the "not pretty" part happens it is utterly despicable that the Democrats will try to blame a failure they’ve been working for since 2003 on the Republicans or Bush. It’s not OKAY to do something that you KNOW will result in a blood bath and excuse it all with a "it’s not our fault." It’s abhorrent and despicable.

If you believe that this is what both the Democrats and Administration intend to do then you have a moral duty to make sure that they do not follow this course. You have an individual moral duty.

 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
It will be interesting to see the Democrats response if the military starts shutting down facilities with heavy civilian employment.
 
Written By: AMR
URL: http://
What the President wants, and may get, is a peace with honor moment
I rest my case.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
A LIBERAL NARRATIVE MOMENT:


Don’t bother to check this link. It is about some obscure spat among the lefties. What is interesting and what attracted my attention is this statement:
”…the Right does not respect the truth, like them or not, the Left blogs do.”
Hmmmm. Guess the name of the blog making this incredible statement. “TalkLeft”
 
Written By: notherbob2/robert fulton
URL: http://
The President *did* change course. This "change course" rhetoric is obviously not what the Democrats really want or wanted. They have to be seen as opposing the war as they have from the beginning, from public statements that Allawi was a "puppet" to predictions of disaster from the beginning because it was *always* an element of faith that we could not win, war is always bad, never solves anything, and is never justified. Faith, not objective observation.
The war was won in April 2003. What has failed is the grand big government social engineering experiment at using military force to reshape Iraqi political culture. That never really had a chance, and with public support now so low, the best the President can do is try to find a face saving way out. Your rhetoric above is empty and irrelevant. This isn’t about Allawi or ’war is always bad,’ it’s about the specifics of the current situation.
And when the "not pretty" part happens it is utterly despicable that the Democrats will try to blame a failure they’ve been working for since 2003 on the Republicans or Bush. It’s not OKAY to do something that you KNOW will result in a blood bath and excuse it all with a "it’s not our fault." It’s abhorrent and despicable.
The whole thing has been misguided. I’m not sure it will end in a blood bath, but I doubt there is much we can do at this point except learn the lesson that interventions to try to reshape political systems are very dangerous and success is not guaranteed.
If you believe that this is what both the Democrats and Administration intend to do then you have a moral duty to make sure that they do not follow this course. You have an individual moral duty.
By doing what? All I can do is speak out and give my take on what’s going on - and then work to make sure that this kind of policy is not undertaken again.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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