Tuesday :: Aug 21, 2007

Levin's Silliness

by Steve

This is what passes for Democratic leadership these days in the Senate. Armed Forces Committee chairman Carl Levin returns from a trip to Baghdad with John Warner, and says that the Iraqis need to dump the al-Maliki government in the next several days, or … or what? Levin says that he has no idea what a different prime minister could achieve or how effective a new prime minister would be if he came into power at the direction of the Americans. But that didn’t stop Levin from spewing this nonsense anyway.

In the midst of this comes word that more and more House Democrats from purple and red districts are now walking away from a withdrawal timeline and instead are willing to continue our presence there until an undefined stability is achieved. This highlights the problem facing Democrats since the 2006 election: Democrats are of many minds and from many different political realities when it comes to this war, while Republicans representing their red districts have the luxury of simply being against any Democratic effort to stop this war. The insufficient Democratic margins in each house render the Democrats powerless to stop this war before Bush leaves office, unless they are willing to use the one power they have to defund the war. And Democrats have already said they won’t do that, so Bush knows he has them.

As I said a couple of weeks ago, when the supplemental appropriation comes up for debate this fall, Democrats need to be ready to argue their points but force the GOP and these DINOs to take back ownership of this war. They should start with an August 2008 withdrawal date, knowing that their own Blue Dogs/New Democrats won’t let that get out of the House, and if it did, Reid should force McConnell to filibuster it. The fallback should be to a mission change amendment, and if there aren’t even the votes to get that through, Reid and Pelosi should tell McConnell and Boehner to get the votes themselves for another rubber-stamp no-strings funding resolution to saddle the GOP with next year. The Democratic caucus in each house (save the aforementioned DINOs) should vote against such an amendment en masse, and should do so against the backdrop of Democratic messaging on the auto-pilot cost of this war and unmet needs here at home, and the GOP's willingness to destroy our military while Al Qaeda runs free in Pakistan. But at least the Democrats need to make the GOP take full ownership of this catastrophe once again.

Steve :: 9:15 AM :: Comments (15) :: Digg It!