February 18, 2007


Democrats weigh their next move to try to rein in Bush (Brian Knowlton, February 18, 2007, NY Times)

A day after falling short of issuing a rebuke of Bush administration policy in Iraq, Senate Democrats said Sunday that they would try moving next to restrict the president's authority to wage war, forcing American troops to shift from combat missions to a supporting role. [...]

Republicans derided the vote Saturday as political theater and said Democrats still faced stark divisions on legislative approaches for stopping the war. They have portrayed any funds cutoff as an undercutting of U.S. troops and a reflection of Democratic weakness -- a particularly sensitive charge for the lawmakers who are pursuing 2008 presidential runs.

Snow said that Bush's plan to send an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq was "absolutely vital." When lawmakers debate the request for an additional $100 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, he said on NBC, they will be called on to answer the question, "If you support the troops, are you in fact going to provide the reinforcements they need?"

Such talk drew an angry response from a Republican critic of the war, Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.

"Of course, we're going to support the troops," he said on NBC, adding that it was "really scurrilous" for anyone to suggest otherwise. Hagel was among the seven Republicans to side with Democrats on Saturday.

House Democrats say they, too, will fund the president's spending request, but only if the administration strictly observes standards for training and equipping troops, standards that may end up depressing current numbers in the field.

Democrats assert that they are working to carry out the public will, as expressed in the November elections, to wind down the Iraq war. But they admit to facing high hurdles.

If Senate Democrats were unable to pass a nonbinding resolution against the troop increase, Levin acknowledged, "it may be even more difficult to get a binding resolution passed."

Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, said he saw no chance for a bill deauthorizing the Iraq war. "I believe the president would veto it and the veto would be upheld," he said.

Democrats are so convinced that al Qaeda is winning the WoT they've decided to adopt the tactic of suicide bombing?

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 18, 2007 7:18 PM

A suicide bombing usually has the intention of taking out a target or two in the process. This is more like someone "going postal" or getting "instant jihad syndrome" or just going bezerk and committing "suicide by cop." They're gonna end it all, and in the process, if lucky, take a few innocents with them, but the real goal is to show that after they're gone, we'll all be so sorry we made them do it. A coward's way out.

it was "really scurrilous" for anyone to suggest otherwise
What's "scurrilous" is the way these Copperheads think they are immune from criticism while at the stame time they don't have to guts to implement the Murtha Option outright.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 18, 2007 7:48 PM

As Rush is wont to point out, if Hagel decided not to support the troops, how would it differ from his current "support" of the troops.

Posted by: JimBobElrod at February 18, 2007 8:07 PM

"I support the troops" = "Of course Saddam was a bad guy, but...."

Mantras, not morality.

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 18, 2007 9:56 PM

Another set of questions for Copperheads like Hagel: "If you are for victory, then how? If not, they why?" I don't expect any parseable answer.

Also, this was Keating-McCain's chance to show leadership, and claiming he "saved the filibuster" doesn't qualify. The same goes for St.Hillary, whose idea of leadership seems to consist of repeating "clean up that mess before I have to deal with it."

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 18, 2007 10:43 PM

McCain led best by demonstrating how insignificant the vote was.

Posted by: oj at February 19, 2007 7:45 AM


You better watch out - K-Lo said exactly the same thing at NRO.

Hagel must be dumber than even Joe Biden. As I read yesterday, what would Hagel say if asked "What would you say if you didn't support the troops?" I can't figure out why Hagel is serving a constiuentcy of just one (the NYT editorial page). It seems he would want a broader 'base'.

Posted by: ratbeert at February 19, 2007 11:50 AM

Because Hagel is a notorious idiot. With Santorum gone he may be the dumbest Republican.

Posted by: oj at February 19, 2007 12:56 PM