Taking A Step Back
I was prepared to write a post counseling patience with the Democratic leadership in the House and Senate, after reading a good piece by Walter Shapiro at Salon.com. Shapiro correctly points out that despite the disappointment by many in the party’s base over the lack of action by this leadership to slow down and stop the war, the Democrats don’t have the numbers to actually do it. This is something I have said around these parts for a while, as I have argued to force the GOP to get the votes themselves for blank checks, and for Democrats to, at the very least, just vote “no” on any new money.
And then, as if they learned nothing from 2002, the Senate went and passed a nonbinding “sense of the Senate” resolution today expressing support for using all the tools available against Iran, a resolution with a large degree of Democratic support. Smart people like Jim Webb, who has a son in the crosshairs in Iraq right now, as well as Chris Dodd, Richard Lugar, and Chuck Hagel voted against this piece of crap from Joe Lieberman and Jon Kyl. But Hillary voted for it, as did Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, and Armed Services Committee chair Carl Levin and Intelligence Committee chair Jay Rockefeller. Because the revised language expresses the sentiment of the Senate that the Revolutionary Guard is deemed a terrorist organization, Bush and Cheney have all the license they need to do whatever they want towards Iran, given the post-9/11 authorizations still in force and yet to be rescinded. Yet there’s never been any condemnation of Saudi Arabia for funding the Sunni insurgency. Instead of seeing any farsightedness and out-of-the-box thinking from our Senate Democratic leaders about Iran, we get votes like this.
Whereas I previously wanted Democrats to vote against further funding of this war and make the congressional GOP leadership get the votes for another blank check, I will now not be surprised to see large numbers of Democrats vote in favor of the $190 billion without strings.
Hillary said months ago that she would support legislation to rescind the 2002 AUMF, and yet she voted for this today, giving this administration what they wanted. Can someone explain to me how Hillary can come out just last week against further funding for the Iraq war, and then today vote in favor of military action if necessary against Iran? What was new in Ahmadinejad’s appearances and comments over the last two days to convince Hillary that Iran was suddenly a threat that required such a vote, especially after al-Maliki said yesterday that Iran’s threat to Iraq was overstated?
You trolls out there are welcome to take your shots now, as I cannot defend or explain any of these moves by the Democrats. Nor do I care to. My disappointment with the party leadership, and for that matter with Hillary today is high. I’m going to let my disappointment speak for itself and go offline for the remainder of the day and perhaps tomorrow to reassess my willingness to defend the Beltway Democrats any more.