This is going to be a long fight. It didn't start with Bush, perhaps it didn't even start with Reagan. But it seems possible that the balance may be shifting again.
As Winston Churchill might have put it: "This isn't the end. It isn't even the Beginning of the End. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."
With these thoughts in mind, I enjoyed watching Vermont's Congressman, Peter Welch, deliver supplemental remarks on the floor of the House. Hope you like it too.
Rep. Peter Welch on Iraq Supplemental
After I wrote this this morning, I turned my attention to the Washington Post, and was dismayed to read the headline: "Liberals Relent on Iraq War Funding".
Great. I thought. Here I am celebrating, and the liberals are Relenting. But then, I actually read the story.
The situation is not perfect. I would have preferred that the Bush administration be denied further funding for the war. However, this was not meant to be. But, as must always happen in a democracy, compromise allows for forward movement. Here are a few quotes from the story:
Liberal opposition to a $124 billion war spending bill broke last night, when leaders of the antiwar Out of Iraq Caucus pledged to Democratic leaders that they will not block the measure, which sets timelines for bringing U.S. troops home.
The acquiescence of the liberals probably means that the House will pass a binding measure today that, for the first time, would establish tough readiness standards for the deployment of combat forces and an Aug. 31, 2008, deadline for their removal from Iraq.
This is not the best news...but, Damn, it is GOOD news.
To the surprise of many antiwar activists, House Democratic leaders have been able to keep their conservative Blue Dog members largely onboard as they ratcheted up the bill's language. But with Republicans virtually united in opposition, Democrats can afford only 15 defections.
Consensus building is a GOOD thing...just ask Ned Lamont if the Daily Kos crowd can win on it's own.
When Democratic leaders first spoke of attaching strings to Bush's $100 billion war request, their biggest fear was that they would lose their conservatives. Since then, the bill has actually grown more assertive in its efforts to bring the troops home. [emphasis mine]Initial efforts to tie the deployment of combat forces to tough standards for resting, equipping and training the troops have been bolstered by binding benchmarks for the Iraqi government to meet. If the Iraqis fall short, troop withdrawals could begin as early as July 1. In any case, the withdrawals would have to begin in March 2008, with most combat forces out by Aug. 31, 2008.
Again. There is a lot to be upbeat about...