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Friday, January 05, 2007

Congress and Iraq

One of the things I seldom do is agree with Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post, however today I'll have to say that the blind squirrel of WaPo commentators found a nut.

In his latest column he laments the "first 100 hours" legislation that is the hallmark of Nancy Pelosi, a bunch of feel good stuff to show how compassionate the Democrats are. As he noted, "Pelosi could toss in a couple of bills supporting motherhood and apple pie while she's at it."

What Nancy hasn't talked about is what got the Democrats into power, Iraq, and Eugene notes that soon they'll have to confront that war, and figure out the House's stand on it. I agree with him completely, but probably for much different reasons.

Mr. Robinson, and E.J. Dionne both have columns today about what Congress should do about the war, and how they aren't sure how to handle the President's upcoming strategy announcement for it.

Dionne's column talks of the Senators who are considering a "revisiting" of the war authorization vote of 2002; in other words holding a retroactive vote on going to war. It's an interesting concept, because if they just "deauthorize" what they already did, it basically amounts to cut and run without the stigma of that phrase (yet).

Others talk of defunding the war, or congressional resolutions declaring they want us out.

If any of this seems like deja vu all over again, it's because it's the same arguements and reasoning that were used to withdraw from Viet Nam and leave the South hang out to dry, and eventually fall to the north.

The Democrats tiptoed around Iraq in the elections, with very few who won calling for immediate pull out, or other such options that will now be debated by congress. The truth has always been that is what they favor, and now that they are in power, the question is will they have the fortitude to vote for and, and accept the consequences of the votes.

Robinson may have hit the nail on the head with this observation of a possible outcome in Congress; something he disagrees with, but knowing politics is probably as likely an outcome as any:
Given that the Democratic Party's fortunes keep rising as Bush sinks deeper into the Iraq quagmire, political expediency might tempt the new leadership in Congress to let the president have his way and reap the rewards in 2008.

I truly believe the new leadership may take this exact course, and then wonder why their ability to lead gets questioned in 2008 at the polls. Why? It's the easiest course for a congress that wants to not screw up before the next big election.

The other options above, defunding the war, revoting to deauthorize the war, etc, all have the potential to fill the TV and papers with stories of a true civil war in Iraq, and much more instability in a region we still depend on for 25% of our oil.

It opens the door for Iran to assert itself more heavily in the region, possibly even repeating the tanker wars of the 1980's, and us being neutered and having no ability to deal with it due to congressional action.

When faced with those option, the new Congress is more likely to vote for the status quo, and complain about it, than take any real action on Iraq until they get through the next elections.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I listened to part of Pelosi's 100 hours rhetoric and I'm not sure what she actually said. I can only tell you what I heard. It went something like, "Blah, blah, ethics, blah, blah, the American people, blah, blah, cut and run, quagmire, Bush's fault".

That's how I heard it.

Dude, could you open the comments to non-blogger members and those of us trying to escape the Google Collective?

11:37 AM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Dude, Haloscan comments are available, and don't require a blogger account!

9:10 PM  

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