May 24, 2007

That Wasn't So Hard, Was It?

The Democratic-controlled Congress finally accomplished something after over four months of the 110th's session. They managed to pass a supplemental funding bill for the troops in Iraq, even though it took them 108 days to figure one out -- and they managed to vote overwhelmingly for it:

Congress voted tonight to meet President Bush’s demand for almost $100 billion to pay for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through September, providing a momentary truce in a bitter struggle over war policy. ...

This ends a months-long impasse between the Bush administration and Democrats who took control of Congress in January. Many House Democrats were dissatisfied with the resolution and a majority of them — 140 — voted against the war spending bill. Eighty-six supported it.

Under a convoluted process, the war spending was supported mainly by Republicans on a 280-to-142 vote and later the Senate passed it, 80-14. A package of $17 billion in domestic spending and the first increase in the minimum wage in more than a decade was approved overwhelmingly by the House — 348 to 73 — with strong support from both parties.

The outcome, which came as a new poll showed the Iraq war is increasingly unpopular, brought Democrats under fire from opponents of the Iraq war who are angry about the concession to the president on a troop withdrawal timetable. But leading Democrats said they had little choice but to send the money to the Pentagon money or risk being accused of abandoning troops in the field.

The two votes came about because of the split the Democratic leadership proposed in the House. They wanted to have a vote on nothing but the funding, with just enough votes to allow the Republicans to pass it. As it turns out, they got more than 80 Democrats to vote for the funding, and then the GOP pitched in with the additional unrelated items.

In the Senate, they didn't even bother with that fig leaf. A majority of Democrats agreed to fund the troops without timetables for withdrawal. Only 14 opposed a bill that many Democrats promised they would never support, which they now have to explain to an enraged base.

The White House will sign this at the first opportunity. Why not? They spent the last four months fighting for this victory, and George Bush will want to ensure it lasts all summer long.


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Comments (10)

Posted by Rovin | May 25, 2007 6:01 AM

Kennedy was sweatin' bullets all day acting like he was the majority leader and Harry was no where to be seen. I guess the Dems thought they better get something done (they thought they could brag about) before they got home this weekend to catch the ration from their constituents.

The trade-off was a pathetic and rushed immigration bill that will need to be refined/revamped........better than nothing? Who knows.

Now (at least) GW can tell General Petraeus the political games the left has been playing with the lives of his troops (and 30 million Iraqi) is over for a bit. Now the General has the summer to win the war/peace, 'cause it will be up to the Iraqi's to carry their own ball after that.

Three cheers for the sane portion of the democratic party that finally came to their senses, well most of them. Hillary voted not to support the troops and that may be a defining (Kerry) moment for her ambitions. MOVE-ON THAT!

Posted by DaMav | May 25, 2007 6:19 AM

Really remarkable is how lopsided these votes were. Given a chance to vote for a reasonably "clean" funding measure, both the House and Senate did so in landslide proportions.

Also worth noting is that the two leading Democrat candidates for President both ended up voting with the 14% fringe in the Senate. This is an indication of how far into Wack-a-doo land the Democrats have ventured.

Posted by Lightwave | May 25, 2007 6:37 AM

"Also worth noting is that the two leading Democrat candidates for President both ended up voting with the 14% fringe in the Senate. This is an indication of how far into Wack-a-doo land the Democrats have ventured."

Agreed. More importantly, it's a signal that the major Democrat candidates have committed themselves to the untenable, unwinnable, and undoable position of a precipitous withdrawal from Iraq.

Obama, Hillary, and Chris Dodd just joined Edwards as The Amazing Party Of Surrender To Terrorists. Rejoice, GOP faithful. We just won the WHite House in '08. Don't believe me? Look at how many Democrats flip-flopped and voted for the bill purely as political cover rather than out of convictions. Harry Reid. Dick Durbin. Dianne Feinstein. Joe Biden. Claire McCaskill. Jon Tester. They ALL voted to give Bush exactly what he wanted. They REJECTED the anti-war fringe because they know it's an unwinnable position and yet the major Presidential hopefuls walked right into the trap.

Now the Dems are, without a doubt, the surrender party. GOP candidates need to take this vote and beat Obama and Clinton over the head with it every day between now and November '08. "You surrendered to Al Qaeda. You gave up on democracy. You have no business leading this country's foreign policy."

And as we continue to win in Iraq and surge continues to work, by the time November 08 rolls around, the anti-war position the major Democrats are now welded to will become an albatross around their necks and sink the entire party.

Americans will not vote for a loser for President. The GOP just won the White House in '08. And we will remain in Iraq until the job is done.

Posted by Jason B | May 25, 2007 8:38 AM

Lightwave's basically right. The sheer move of the Dems- except for the 08 hopefuls- to support the bill in both the House and the Senate shows that they know something that the mainstream media (and their netroot) don't: the real internal polls tell them that the American public at large wants to win in Iraq- not lose.

And the move to surrender would be seen as just that- a surrender. And a cowardly one at that. Dems better rethink their 08 chances if they want to look presidential. They can't hope to run candidates that are anti-war in the primaries and lukewarm towards war in the nationals. 08 is looking to be something of a replay of 2004 as a result- and the GOP will look far more presidential (and hopefully with a candidate who doesn't make verbal gaffes 24/7). 2008 is winnable- and it may just turn out to be the Dems' very own version of 2006.

Of course, the GOP could completely implode in the meantime, and aliens could invade earth and Michael Bay will need to save us all. Anything can still happen.

Posted by km | May 25, 2007 8:56 AM

The GOP may have a respectable shot at the Presidency. The House could be swingable - if the self-styled semi-conservative Blue Dogs that tilted the House to the Donks are exposed as mere poodles of the hard left core of the party leadership. The Senate? No way. The GOP is defending 22 seats and the Donks are defending 11 (so do the math, it isn't likely at all that the GOP reaquires the Senate).

Posted by richard mcenroe | May 25, 2007 9:09 AM

One notes the absence of our usual lefties from this thread, Hmmmm

But let's keep our own priorities straight here:

1. the war.

2. taking back Congress from the Dems.

3. cleaning out the GOP incumbents who think Congress is their own personal ATM and domestic hiring service.

Posted by Scott Malensek | May 25, 2007 9:15 AM

Democrats came to power (supposedly) on the promise of having a New Direction In Iraq. Since they were sworn in, 478 Americans have died in Iraq-more than in the invasion.

How's that New Direction goin?

Questions to those who voted Dem in 06:

did you get what you were promised?
did you get what you want?
did you get what you expected?
Were you sold a bunch of PR just to get your vote?

Posted by patrick neid | May 25, 2007 9:24 AM

the dems got what they really wanted all along---the pork. everything since late march has been a charade.

Posted by LarryD | May 25, 2007 9:25 AM

As someone somewhere else pointed out, the Dems can't win without their nutroots. And they can't win with them.

What the nutroots demand is unacceptable to the majority of Americans. And the nutroots aren't a small enough faction of the Dems to be ignored.

Posted by Lightwave | May 25, 2007 10:02 AM

"What the nutroots demand is unacceptable to the majority of Americans. And the nutroots aren't a small enough faction of the Dems to be ignored."

This is true, but then again let's keep in mind that with yesterday's vote the Democrats told the nutroots to piss off. They no longer matter to the rank and file of the party and are irrelevant. It's painfully clear that while the Presidential candidates are staking out one position, the rest of the party wants to remain centrist in order to try to maintain congressional power. They will not put up with another Ned Lamont moment again. The real power in the Dems, the Harry Reid political hack wing, won't stand for it. They *like* being in charge and will let the White House go to keep that power.

The natural result of this fractured party's power struggle of course is a complete backfire. They'll lose in Presidential contest and lose control of Congress. The demoralized nutroots will slink off and without the base energized, the GOP will win in a landslide.

The Kos Kids have caused a civil war among the Democrats. The result? Another 30 years in the wilderness at best and a third party movement that split the libs at worst case. The Kos Kids aren't going to forget, and neither are the Dems.

But the result will be a massive backlash that will keep the GOP in power for decades and more importantly put people serious about winning against the Islamists in charge for the 21st century. THis is going to be a generational war, and it's one we can't afford to lose.