The "price" for this bill seems to be Republican support for and a Presidential agreement to $17 billion in new domestic spending and a minimum-wage increase.
The decision by the Democratic majority to strip the measure of a timetable for troop withdrawal has raised the prospect that it could be approved mainly by Republicans with scattered Democrat support. The idea that many Democrats would be left on the losing side in a consequential vote has exposed a sharp divide within the party, drawn scorn from antiwar groups, confused the public and frustrated the party rank and file.
Democrats said they did not relish the prospect of leaving Washington for a Memorial Day break — the second recess since the financing fight began — and leaving themselves vulnerable to White House attacks that they were again on vacation while the troops were wanting. That criticism seemed more politically threatening to them than the anger Democrats knew they would draw from the left by bowing to Mr. Bush....
But scores of other Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, say they have no intention of voting for the more than $100 billion sought by the White House for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan because Mr. Bush refused to accede to timelines, readiness standards and other conditions. They have said repeatedly since taking control in January that they will not turn over more money for the war without some movement toward a withdrawal.
Whatever I think of these trade-offs matters little compared to what appears to be a widespread revulsion toward the idea of personal benefit at the expense of leaving our boys and girls in the field. I can only hope that my own disgust for those who's core principles are clearly negotiable is equally widespread. Nor am I willing to let this situation become the status quo ante, in the touching belief that a dictitorial executive will somehow be more benign in Democratic hands.
This comment from a "clipper" is indicative of the growing backlash against a Congress that an increasing majority see as spineless; far too concerned with the minutia of politics and partisan goals and far too willing to "horse-trade" on matters of principle.
Clipmarks - Progress in iraq Clipmarks: "AineMacDermot says:
'Democrats said they did not relish the prospect of leaving Washington for a Memorial Day break — the second recess since the financing fight began — and leaving themselves vulnerable to White House attacks that they were again on vacation while the troops were wanting. That criticism seemed more politically threatening to them than the anger Democrats knew they would draw from the left by bowing to Mr. Bush.'
Scared of being called names by a man who lacks ethics? They fear Bush more than they fear losing support from the people who put them into office. Tsk, tsk... who do you represent?"
Ultimately I must go with the facts on the ground. This is an illegal and starkly immoral war, it is being waged for profit - and not even for the profit of the American people in general, but for a tiny fraction of the population who believe they have the right to manipulate the population to their own advantage. Furthermore, it is being waged as a means to the end of stripping the American people - and their Congressional Representatives - of their Constitutional rights, authorities and duties.
This is no time to be playing pattycake. It's not time for business as usual. It's time to "go to the mattresses" and initiate procedures to impeach both the Vice President and the Sock-Puppet in Chief. And those of you up for re-election in 2008 had best take this mandate very damned seriously, because an unwillingness to support the obvious, Constitutional solution means you have no more respect for that sacred document than any neocon bushista.