April 2, 2007

Democrats To Widen Their Offensive

Now that they have settled into their offices, the Democrats now want to focus even more on their main enemy. They plan to challenge the Bush administration on a host of issues, most of which have direct correlation to key special interest groups that form their base:

Even as their confrontation with President Bush over Iraq escalates, emboldened congressional Democrats are challenging the White House on a range of issues -- such as unionization of airport security workers and the loosening of presidential secrecy orders -- with even more dramatic showdowns coming soon.

For his part, Bush, who also finds himself under assault for the firing of eight U.S. attorneys, the conduct of the Iraq war and alleged abuses in government surveillance by the FBI, is holding firm. Though he has vetoed only one piece of legislation since taking office, he has vowed to veto 16 bills that have passed either the House or the Senate in the three months since Democrats took control of Congress.

Despite the threats, Democratic lawmakers expect to open new fronts against the president when they return from their spring recess, including politically risky efforts to quickly close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; reinstate legal rights for terrorism suspects; and rein in what Democrats see as unwarranted encroachments on privacy and civil liberties allowed by the USA Patriot Act.

"I suppose there's always a risk of going too far," said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), "but the risk of not going is far greater."

Backed by a unified party and fresh from a slew of legislative victories, Democratic leaders appear to believe there is hardly any territory they cannot stray onto, a development that has Republican political operatives gleeful and some Democrats worried. Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, warned of a "political price" at the polls: "If they let their constituents and their ideology drive them past the point where the American people are comfortable, they will find how quickly the voters will react."

Can they overshoot? Most definitely, and when they do, they will hand on silver platters opportunities for Bush to look presidential. Leon Panetta understands the danger. The Democrats have yet to prove they can govern, and they need to stick to their basics before rushing into the entire national-security panoply. He advises them to stick ti health care, immigration, and social programs and build a record of success there first.

It's good advice. The Democrats are about to retreat on Iraq war spending, after giving Bush an opportunity for an easy veto. It's bad enough that the Democrats played a game of chicken that they couldn't possibly win the last two weeks. They compounded the error by larding the final bills up with so much pork that Bush can now easily justify the veto on the grounds of containing corruption -- and make the Democrats look as if they will only fund the troops if they can get their own snouts into the trough as well.

Now they want to force the government to allow unionization for TSA workers, which will impact the agency's already uneven efforts to provide security for transportation centers in time of war. The Democrats also want to close Guantanamo Bay's terrorist detention center, allowing the detainees to have access to the American civilian justice system. These combined together show an ambition to remake the entire national-security apparatus -- one that has kept the US safe from additional terrorist attacks for the five-plus years since 9/11.

George Bush will be warming up his veto pen and preparing for battle himself. The Democrats don't have the votes to override him on any of the important issues, and may wind up making the same mistake Newt Gingrich made in 1995.


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Comments (20)

Posted by stackja1945 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 6:56 AM

HST said the GOP do-nothing Congress. "Now the Democrats have yet to prove they can govern." Since HST have Dems governed? JFK, LBJ, JC, WC did not help the Democrats prove they can govern.

Posted by cahmd55 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 7:34 AM

I hope you are right. The Bush admnistration has a habit of dropping those silver platters.

Posted by Stephen Macklin [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 7:47 AM

"Backed by a unified party?" Since when?

Without $20 billion in pork they didn't have enough votes in their own caucus to pass their surrender bill. I worry that further Democratic unity is going to be too expensive.

Posted by Woody [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 8:03 AM

This closing down of Gitmo the dems want will not automatically make these captures eligable for, or come under our judicial system. Congress(meaning the Democrats at this point in time) will have to pass specific legislation to that effect. It is up to Congress (Article I, Section8, Clause (11)), and the President (Article I, Section 7, Clause (2)) to decide what to do with these captured terrorists and all others who may be captured during war. Any change from the status quo is highly unlikely since the Democrats do not have the votes to override a presidential veto.

Besides, our judicial system does not have the capacity to handle its current load, let alone adding possibly tens or hundreds of thousands of prisoners of war into the system. Hell, we can't handle the number of foreign nationals that are here illegally. What makes the Democrats think we can handle that many more?

All the Democrats want is the issue to prattle on and incessently on about. They want nothing more than the spectical of the whole thing. They know that it will never amount to anything legislatively. It's pandering, posturing, and dissemblance.

If we were to get rid of all the rule making allowed to all the alphabet agencies, Congress would have to do it(like the Constitution says!) and they wouldn't have the time to screw around with all this extra-legislative(politicing) crap. They have too much time on their hands.

If they continue on this path of shirking their duties by passing the buck, soon we will not have any use for them at all. Maybe a light should turn on in their heads so they could see where they are headed. I hope it happens before our governance gets outsourced to some foreign interest. It doesn't seem all that far out of reaity at this point in time...


Posted by Monkei [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 9:06 AM

Why would the democratic congress go after GWB? Well simply put it's like a lioness going after the weakest, oldest, and dumbest one in the herd. I know, it doesn't sound sporting ... but he is the biggest duck (as in lame) target out there with a big old 30 percent approval rating on his back. He is ... easy pickens!

Posted by unclesmrgol [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 9:53 AM


But the weak one has the veto weapon, and I don't see the Democrats with a two-thirds majority shield against that weapon. Admittedly, the veto weapon is reactive, but if FDR can use it and not weaken himself, then Bush sure can; in fact, use of the veto weapon strengthened FDR in the eyes of the people (his veto rate of 30% has never been equaled; he instructed members of his cabinet to flag bills they thought were good veto targets).

FDR had to pack it in more than once against Congress -- he famously wound up shelving his court packing legislation. But that didn't stop his legacy as being that of a strong president.

Bush will have the same legacy; I can't say the same about this Congress, which (as the LA Times points out) is pandering to their least experienced members, and placing them on the most important committees so the pork generation process can lock them into office earlier (the weakest seats in Congress belong to the freshmen, due to their backbench status on key committees and political naivete). This kind of pandering will backfire as strange bills make their way under the President's veto pen.

Posted by matterson [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 10:58 AM

Does anyone else find it very sad and quite ironic that while the the Republicans, for the most part, are doing all they can to protect the U.S. from terrorist, the dhimmicrat party is doing all they can to destroy the Republicans?

Posted by RBMN [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 11:29 AM

I look forward to when this Baby Boomer second childhood is over. Then the Boomers can stop using President Bush to relive their Vietnam protests, and Watergate, and just go back to their smoke-free government office cubicles, waiting to retire.

Posted by Woody [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 12:39 PM

Amen, RBMN. From a first year Baby Boomer, I am ashamed of my "bretheren" who are so far afield.

To me, a war protest was an opportunity to look for chicks. I thank my lucky stars I never connected with one. 'Course, it would't have lasted very long.


Posted by Monkei [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 1:58 PM

I don't know what's funnier, comparing GWB to FDR or the fact that you think this will somehow form a legacy for GWB who is polling as bad as any president in modern times.

Let Bush Jr veto ... it's his war, and it's his party's war. While he builds his so called legacy he tears down the GOP along with it. In Nov 2008 there will only be one party standing which has tried to stop this unwinnable war.

At some point even the most blind wackos will abandon this war ... well except for those with pride who would rather put America's finest at risk than admitting utter and complete failure in their President, their party, and their beliefs.

Those wackos with just a little bit of judgement and not completely blind have already concluded as much.

Posted by NoDonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 3:44 PM

"unionization for TSA workers"

That's what we need. A bunch of surly, "not my job", goldbricking, timeserving, chair warming, feather bedding gold bricks, in charge of airport security. Why not just contract out to Hamas, and eliminate the middle man, since under this "plan", it will mean the elimination of airline passengers.

"The Democrats have yet to prove they can govern"

America spoke in the November elections. Democrats were not put into office to govern, they were elected to steal money and to sell out to our enemies. And they have kept their promises.

My expectations for the Democrat Congress started at zero and they've managed to disappoint me even at that. Maybe when Rep. Dingbat Pelosi (D-Confusion) comes back from her Syrian shopping trip clad in a $10,000 Armani Burqa, clutching a "peace in our time" promise from Baby Assad, I'll finally get a laugh out of this Congressional Circus.

Posted by unclesmrgol [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 3:57 PM


Actually, Bush compares favorably to FDR. If Bush were FDR, all the Muslims would be in camps by now.

Posted by Lightwave [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 4:58 PM

The last three months doesn't prove that the Democrats cannot govern. You're missing the point, Ed.

The last three months prove that under no circumstances should the Democrats ever be allowed to govern.

Let's look at what they have done: even if they haven't tried to destroy our country by attacking America's most successful companies for the crime of being successful, attempted to raise taxes on all Americans, and dumped billions of pork cash on their pet special interests, you still have the indisputable fact they have endangered national security and provided aid and comfort to our enemies during a war.

Now we see that Harry Reid and Russ Feingold are behind a new Senate bill whose only purpose is to surrender to the terrorists and cut all funding for our troops during a time of war. Feingold is saying pulling out of Iraq is the same as pulling out of Somalia in the 90's, like it won't directly lead to millions of Iraqi deaths, tens of millions of refugees and constitute a direct threat to the US.

We don't need to be asking "Have the Democrats proven they can govern yet?" but "Why aren't these traitors in prison yet?"

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 6:19 PM

Democrats want to surrender to the terrorists, lets see,Bush has emeshed the US into a horrible fiasco where were now trying to get into the middle of a Shia_Sunni Civil War, but us prideful republicans can't admit to his failure, so we'll use the Rovian tactic of attacking the other party when we've made a complete mess of things. We'll repeat it on Fox News 24/7 and even though its a complete fabrication, if we repeat the lie often enough, people will think its true.Because the american people are dumb sheep, and they never catch on to our brilliant tactician,Rove.Surrender to the terrorists, would that be the Sunni insurgency, the Shia Militias, the Interior Ministries death squads,the foreign jihadists, or should we just surrender to all of them and see which one accepts first? Do some of you people know how ludicrous you sound, da democrats want to surrender, no republicans lets do it your way and stay in Iraq for another 10 years, in a country that doesn't want us there, who can't get along with each other. This way GWB will never have to admit failure. Isn't that the bottom line? The guy who can't ever even think of a mistake he made. The gop got THROWN OUT in 06,FOR A REASON, HELLO!

Posted by robert [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 7:05 PM


You miss the point.

The Dems would have been much better off to simply, grudgingly, give Bush the money for Iraq, then sit back and hope Iraq goes bad as it probably will. As it is they angered their base by not cutting off funding. They look hypocritical to normal people by saying Iraq is not worth “one more drop of American blood” and then voting to allow it to continue for another year and a half. They look corrupt after having to offer bribes to pass their Iraq funding bill, this after campaigning against the “party of corruption”.

Now, if they start putting their union cronies interests above security and giving “terrorists civil rights”, we ain’t talking about Iraq any more. Repubs will be able to make hay with that and one serious terrorist threat will be disastrous for the Dems.

Posted by vnjagvet [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 9:39 PM

SHHHHHHH Captain. Don't discourage them,

Posted by Monkei [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 9:56 PM

The Dems would have been much better off to simply, grudgingly, give Bush the money for Iraq, then sit back and hope Iraq goes bad as it probably will. As it is they angered their base by not cutting off funding

you slice it anyway you want it, heck you can even look at is as the troops WERE funded, but that they had to leave Iraq next year. The GOP might be calling it something else in the fall when they come to the conclusion that saving their political hides and getting in line with the American public is the strategy to follow moving our troops out of harms way. I wonder who all you wing nuts will be supporting when your party starts to distance themselves from the chimp. It's already happening.

Posted by Jim Rockford [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 10:26 PM

If Dems were actually interested in governing and creating a winning coalition, they would have:

Offered a bill that EXPANDS the military greatly, including substantial additions to the Navy, Air Force, Army, and Marines in both equipment and people.

Offered a bill that mandates that terrorists get nothing but a bullet if they don't co-operate. Offered a bill that keeps people from reporting terrorism from getting sued.

In other words backing America.

Conservative Dem: I doubt you are conservative. After all your Party backs demonstrators who burn and poop (literally) on the Flag. Not surprising. There's nothing in America that Dems value or would even fight for.

Instead Dems backed their paymasters in Saudi and Oman (who do you think is funding Code Pink and ANSWER) ... ???

Monkei -- Dems picking fights over things people actually LIKE about GWB is suicide. Yeah let's release terrorists because the FRENCH or cowardly Britons will be happy. Grovel in front of Iran. Let terrorists get treated like common criminals. Allow terrorists to call home to Osama without eavesdropping. Go back to 9/10.

What's the danger? One that it lets Bush paint Dems as terrorist appeasers as Iran threatens to nuke us or sets off a nuke and makes demands. Or that it will pass and terrorists will get lucky and Bush can point to it and say Dems can't be trusted.

Bush has had a very good run after 9/11 stopping plot after plot. That's either some ungodly good luck or alternatively his policies actually worked. I don't think too many will cry like Rosie for KSM's "torture." Reps can show the horrors of 9/11 and paint Dems as wanting a repeat of that, caring more about terrorists (which is true btw) than ordinary Americans.

Dems have historically cared more about terrorists, foreigners, and criminals than ordinary Americans. This is more of that.

Posted by robert [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 2, 2007 10:34 PM


I don’t know if you are really stupid or just play stupid here.

The obvious point is that Dems win if Iraq goes bad. So, why do everything they can to look bad rather than simply sit back and reap the political benefit of a loss in Iraq? Get it now or do I need to dumb it down some more?

Posted by Monkei [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 3, 2007 8:16 AM

The obvious point is that Dems win if Iraq goes bad. So, why do everything they can to look bad rather than simply sit back and reap the political benefit of a loss in Iraq? Get it now or do I need to dumb it down some more?

The real point here is you are too stupid to realize Iraq already "went" bad.