October 15, 2003


$87 Billion Or Bust (Dotty Lynch, Douglas Kiker, Steve Chaggaris, Clothilde Ewing and Sean Sharifi, 10/15/03, CBS News)

A new split has emerged in the Democratic presidential field over the imminent congressional vote on President Bush's request for $87 billion for military costs and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, Sen. John Edwards started things off by saying he’d decided to vote against the bill. "I believe we have a responsibility to support our troops in Iraq," Edwards said in a statement. "I believe we have a responsibility to help rebuild Iraq. But our troops will not be safer and this mission will never be successful unless the president dramatically changes course."

Last week, Edwards hinted in a television spot running in Iowa and New Hampshire that he’d vote against the request. "I will not give this president a blank check. We should stop the inside deals and work with our allies in Iraq, so we can afford to make us stronger at home, with health care for every child and a real plan to create jobs," he said.

Sen. John Kerry issued a release late Tuesday that said, "Unless this proposal is changed to better protect taxpayer dollars and shares the burden and risk of transforming Iraq with the United Nations and the rest of the international community, then I will oppose it." [...]

Meanwhile, Rep. Dick Gephardt told the AP Wednesday that he plans to vote in-favor of Mr. Bush’s request. Voting for the bill, he said, sends "the right message" to U.S. troops. "I think the responsible course here is to back up the troops in the field," he told the AP.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, a consistent proponent of the war, said it was an "infuriating vote," but planned to vote in-favor of it. "We have to give them every dollar in support and get them home in peace."

So Edwards, Kerry, Dean, etc, are saying they will or would vote to make Iraq more chaotic for our troops?

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 15, 2003 2:47 PM

This is more than petulance. As Kerry shows most clearly, the Dems are caught in the logic of leaping to the left for the primaries. The candidates who still think they have a chance -- no matter how deluded that thinking might be -- are simply going to get worse and worse on the war and the occupation over the next four months.

What I really wonder is if Lieberman has now decided that he doesn't really have a chance and whether, as strange as it might seem, Gephardt is being a standup guy.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 15, 2003 3:31 PM

It's really gotten to the point that if Bush issued a proclamation declaring that the sun rises in the east, the Democratic presidential field would be falling all over themselves to get to a TV camera to denounce the statement as false and misleading to the American public (well, maybe Lieberman would think about it for a while, then come out with a statement that he cannot fully support the president because of the Isthmus of Panama issue, but the others would, esepcially if they saw Howard Dean gaining grassroots support for his corageous stance that the sun comes up first over Alaska and Hawaii every day).

Posted by: John at October 15, 2003 3:32 PM

This has reached a place beyond logic, until the nominee is determined. The choir apparently really, REALLY hates the Iraqi war, and thoughts of consequence for action don't even arise.


One could always argue that the rising sun doesn't MATTER, until it shines on Cali and then Hawai'i.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 16, 2003 6:17 AM

Well, if Bush said the Sun rose to the East, then I would assume that it rose in the west. Hey, here's a guy who doesn't just have sites that document his lies, but sites that document his lies on videotape--not a truthteller, christian beliefs aside.

I actually think the Edwards rationale for opposing the war makes more sense than Dean's, even though I am a Dean supporter. Bush has horrifically mismanaged the war. Furthermore, the problem isn't money or beleaguered troops. The problem is that Iraqis recognize, quite ably, thank you, that the US isn't offering the populace self-determination. They would be fools to acquiesce to some provisional government that we don't even take seriously. They're telling us sending in the Turks is not good, why don't we listen to our puppets...they're trying to hand us a clue, please.

Posted by: Philip Shropshire at October 16, 2003 10:33 AM


The rationale is identical--it's what Democratic primary voters demand.

Posted by: oj at October 16, 2003 10:37 AM