Saturday, March 24, 2007

So, what do the Democrats do next?

Pelosi has shoved her party off the cliff (in some cases using pork to lure them off) and now the question is: what will Reid do? Does he double down? Or does he pass something that approaches what the president wants? Or does he offer a timetable knowing that it won't pass but will placate the base? (My predication at the end of the article :-)

The troops will feel the effect by April 15th, while the Congress is on vacation. How will that look to the American people? The Congress is at rest while they allow the troops to go without, I don't think that will go over big in conservative districts and red states. How do those Blue Dogs keep their districts? How does Pelosi keep her speakership?

The problem Pelosi is having is that being anti-war is an opposition position, it isn't a leadership position. You can't be opposed to the war and be the one obligated to ensure that the troops have the funds necessary to fight the war. Unless the Congress votes to stop funding the war, they are obligated to fund it. A true leader has to put her feelings aside and do what's right for the country and provide the funds necessary to continue the war until victory or until the commander in chief concedes defeat. The Congress can do nothing else. If the American people really want to stop this war, they will have to defeat those supporting the war at the ballot box. That is their only recourse. What Congress is doing is playing political games, creating a bill they know that won't ever be put into law. No president would allow the Congress to micromanage his military. They just wasted precious time that the military doesn't have for a political game where they can pretend that they did something bold and all they did was show how much they want to beat this president and not hand him a victory. Very childish.

What all this boiled down to is that Pelosi wanted a victory and she paid 24 billion dollars to get it. No one can say that this bill was the will of Congress because there was much arm twisting to get it:

Pelosi and other Democratic leaders employed a wide range of techniques to corral recalcitrant lawmakers, drawing from a stockpile of legislative maneuvers they had not used in a dozen years, not since they last controlled the House.

Democratic leaders took no chances, either, for the vote. In addition to calling a full Democratic Caucus meeting beforehand, Pelosi stationed loyal lawmakers at the doors to the House chamber to stop Democrats from leaving before they had voted for the bill.

Rep. Kendrick B. Meek (D-Fla.) was overheard telling Democrats who tried to leave that "You know they want us here until we have this thing locked down."
Now, Reid, does your ego need an empty victory? Do you need to defeat Bush so bad that you will risk the lives of the troops?

I'm beginning to suspect that what will happen is the Senate will pass something that approaches clean and the bill that makes it out of the conference will be the Senate bill and then the Democrats will count on the Republicans passing it, so that they don't dirty their hands. There may be a tiny bit of evidence for this:
“The veto threats are just that, just threats,” Clyburn said during a taping of C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” which airs Sunday. “He doesn’t know what will come out of the deliberations that will take place between House and Senate. …I suggest he keep his powder dry and see what comes out of this product.
But knowing that BDS clouds judgment, I wouldn't bet the farm on it.