Yesterday, we got to read about how the Presidential Spokes-Goblins complained that the timing by Democrats in forcing Bush to Veto the Spending Bill near the anniversary of the Land-on-an-Aircraft-Carrier-and-declair-mission-accomplished speech by Bush was just a stunt designed to expose a....what? Legitimate Photo Op by the President?
Today, Bush has vetoed the suplimental spending bill which contained withdrawal deadlines. Bush said it would be stupid to tell the enemy when we were going to withdraw...but then, if, as the President said, the mission WAS accomplished...then what the hell are we still doing and dying there for?
The problem is that it will be difficult for Democrats to create a fallback strategy that works. Ultra-Liberals are going to vote for NO FUNDING if the bill doesn't talk about withdrawal. Moderate Democrats and Republicans will vote for funding without withdrawal timelines because we just can't leave our troops in the lurch. We can't hurt Bush without hurting them.
What should be done then?
Personally, I like the plan favored by the Democratic Leadership Council--- go ahead and vote the money...get the troops what they need...but only keep them in the field for a short time until the money Runs out, and Bush has to come back and ask for more... this will remind the American people of two things. 1) Democrats DO support the Troops, and 2) Bush's war strategy has been a complete failure which has cost far too much in both lives and treasure....
The "short leash" approach undermines the administration's classic Rovian tactic of polarizing the debate into a false choice between perpetual pursuit of failed policies and a precipitous withdrawal, with no rational "exit strategy" in either event. And forcing Bush back to the negotiating table quickly will also maintain unity among virtually all Democrats and some Republicans who agree that ending our combat role in Iraq
Read the DLC article here:
According to an AP Article posted this afternoon entitled, Veto Makes Democrats Weigh Concessions, :
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told reporters ...``We're not going to leave our troops in harm's way . . . without the resources they need,'' said Hoyer, D-Md.
Hoyer was reluctant to say exactly what the bill will look like, but said he anticipates a minimum-wage increase will be part of it. He also said the bill should fund combat through Sept. 30 as Bush has requested, casting doubt that Democratic leaders would adopt a proposal by Rep. John Murtha, R-Pa., to fund the war two or three months at a time.
In the article, Nancy Pelosi is quoted as saying: ``The president wants a blank check. The Congress is not going to give it to him"
But, somehow, I fear that that is EXACTLY what is going to happnen.