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You Tubing Democrats

I caught the CNN/You Tube Democratic debate. That was… interesting. The questions were Iraq-heavy and I was disappointed that there wasn’t much time allotted to healthcare, immigration or the economy. Either CNN didn’t consider those topics important or the Iraq war is the MAJOR issue for those who submitted questions.

With a few exceptions, the questions themselves weren't as insightful as those I'd expect from a journalist -- but they were more direct. I guess that's the trade-off.

The question that sticks in my mind is where the guy asks Senator Clinton how she expects to be taken seriously by Muslims who treat women as second class citizens. Clinton gave a pretty good response by noting that they've already taken her and other female leaders seriously (like Thatcher, Merkel, Indira Gandhi and Golda Meir), but she could have really hit it out of the park by pointing out that there have been plenty of Muslim female leaders like Benazir Bhutto, Megawati Sukarnoputri, and Hasina Wajed. Here's a big long list of female Muslim leaders.

The point is, it's an ignorant question, but one that's likely to resonate unless the Clinton campaign can educate people on the subject. Yes, women have to work harder than men to be taken seriously. Someday, God willing, that and racism will be things of the past.

Since Iraq was such a big part of the debate I might as well mention it. I thought Bill Richardson took himself out of the running by advocating a standing UN peacekeeping force. The last thing the world needs is a UN with its own army. Also, Biden pointed out that Richardson's plan to pull out and leave zero residual forces in Iraq would mean the evacuation of all our diplomats and aid workers over there as well. I understand that's where Richardson thought he could differentiate himself from the other candidates, but he needs to re-think it.

I was most impressed with Clinton and Biden's plans for Iraq. They're the only two who understand the logistics involved and have thought through the question of "then what?"

As for Obama and Edwards, they've improved during the debates but they're still not as good as Clinton. In fact, I thought Obama was doing VERY well until the question about whether he'd meet with the evil-doers as president. He immediately answered yes and Biden and Clinton spanked him for not laying the groundwork before the meeting. They rightly pointed out that a meet 'n' greet would be used as propaganda and accomplish no other purpose.

I felt kinda bad for Obama after that. I'm sure he just meant that he'd start diplomatic talks with North Korea, Iran and Syria, but it really highlighted his inexperience in foreign relations.

Gravel was cranky and Kucinich was scrappy but unrealistic. Dodd was invisible.

It was an interesting debate, but CNN treated it more like a novelty or entertainment than a forum for discussing issues. Some will think the snowman and the Bubbas were funny. I didn't. As for who won, I gotta give it to Hillary. Listening to her talk about redeployment schedules for army brigades really hammered it home for me that she knows what she's talking about and she made the "withdraw now" candidates look pie-in-the-sky.

But don't take my word for it. Go watch the debate yourself.

Posted by American Pundit at July 24, 2007 2:20 PM
Comments
Comment #227282

AP…I didn’t watch last night, but MSNBC is having another of their “Super Tuesday“‘s and it appears that most of their superflous reporting has been done away with for the day. Kucinich was just interviewd briefly and was directly asked what his exit plan was, and he continually went back to fact that we were lied into Iraq. Then when pushed for an answer, it was just that we need to get out. He lost big points there. This is going to be a long haul to election day, and we’re possibly going to be sick of all of them…..people want answers, not speculation and the standard rhetoric. Saying to get out of Iraq is their plan, that isn’t enough, but there really isn’t an answer beyond that. The situation changes daily, and we may just very well be looking at an 11th. hour helicopter escape once again. Another thing that bothers me is that this is one damn scary time, and I’m not sure that anyone in their “right mind” would really want to step into the Oval Office right now………….

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 24, 2007 2:52 PM
Comment #227283

About 2 years ago I posted here that I would vote for Hillary in ‘08 if she was the nominee. Looks like I’ll get that chance.

Posted by: George in SC at July 24, 2007 2:54 PM
Comment #227284

What debate? You call a moderator asking questions a debate??? As an old high school debator and debate coach, it was a glorified interview with multiple participants!

We need (and DESERVE!) a real debate on real issues!

Posted by: Rachel at July 24, 2007 2:56 PM
Comment #227293

Sandra,

people want answers, not speculation and the standard rhetoric. Saying to get out of Iraq is their plan, that isn’t enough…

I’m glad democrats are finally beginning to understand this.

…but there really isn’t an answer beyond that.

Yes there is. Work with the military instead of making them do whatever fits your political views at the time. Bush is guilty of this and that is one reason for the problems we’re having. But the people who want to pull out just because it’s politically expedient are making the same mistake.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… If congress wants to control strategy, they must meet with both the American and Iraqi military leadership and work it out with them.

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 24, 2007 4:29 PM
Comment #227296

AP
So what is wrong with a UN peackeeping force?

Posted by: BillS at July 24, 2007 4:36 PM
Comment #227298

The Traveler….after going in based on lies and irrelevent data, yes, we wanted out and ASAP. I think there is enough intelligence on this side to understand that we can’t just stop in our tracks and walk out. We also have enough sense to know that leaving involves strategy and tactics, and that all takes time. The problem is, that 4 years later, this adminstration still goes with the mindset of “stay the course”, but adds “the surge” to that, and what has been achieved is more loss….cost, equipment, respect, support, and most damning of all…..death and mutilation!!!!!
I don’t see or hear any different or better plan from the Republican candidates either…they’re still too afraid to step away from Bush’s incessant mode and subject themselves to his goon squads.
It shouldn’t be strictly upon us to work with the military when Bush fires those leaders and professionals who don’t say what he wants to hear! He won’t work with them himself if they step away from his mantra. And it doesn’t seem that the Iraqui government,and/or military is ready to take over and do for themselves. We’ve drawn lines in the sand, and have had to move them time and again when they were crossed…………….

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 24, 2007 5:40 PM
Comment #227299

AP:

Very good article. I thought for a few months that I would be voting for a democrat for president for the first time in my life. But Feingold dropped out, and frankly, I am so unimpressed with what remains, I am not sure where my vote will land this time around.

“The questions were Iraq-heavy and I was disappointed that there wasn’t much time allotted to healthcare, immigration or the economy.”

I agree. I think CNN stubbed their toe big time here. In general, I did not like the format. It seemed like a variety show, not a debate.

“The point is, it’s an ignorant question, but one that’s likely to resonate unless the Clinton campaign can educate people on the subject. Yes, women have to work harder than men to be taken seriously. Someday, God willing, that and racism will be things of the past.”

It might be “ignorant,” but it is the perception of most people in the US, IMHO, that women are still widely oppressed in Muslim nations. This perception (reality or not) will be tough for Hillary to get past.

“I was most impressed with Clinton and Biden’s plans for Iraq. They’re the only two who understand the logistics involved and have thought through the question of “then what?”

I agree on Biden, but I don’t think Hillary has the first clue what it takes to move a mechanised division half way around the world, let alone the proper chain of command, basic operational tactics, or the diplomatic outlook in the Middle East. I sensed her handlers constructing her answers with her semi-artful regurgitation of snipits.

“As for who won, I gotta give it to Hillary. Listening to her talk about redeployment schedules for army brigades really hammered it home for me that she knows what she’s talking about and she made the “withdraw now” candidates look pie-in-the-sky.”

See my last answer. I don’t think she has a clue other than what her handlers and researchers have said, and she carefully spits the facts out as presented to her.

AP, if I were forced to vote for a Dem right now, it would probably be Biden. Real experience can’t be substituted for by good handlers. So you know, I don’t see a Repub in the race worth voting for right now. The closest choice would be Rudy simply because he at least attempts to be fiscally conservative and socially moderate.

P.S.: My marine colonel brother-in-law says the only hopefuls who could have gotten us out with our cajones still intact are not even in the race—General Clark and Fred Thompson. I know. How could he possibly think these two divergents could be in the same boat. I don’t have time to explain, but his reasoning was shockingly clear. Food for another post.

Posted by: Chi Chi at July 24, 2007 5:42 PM
Comment #227305
It might be “ignorant,” but it is the perception of most people in the US, IMHO, that women are still widely oppressed in Muslim nations. This perception (reality or not) will be tough for Hillary to get past.

Are you seriously suggesting that we pander to other people’s prejudices? If we are going to hold it against Clinton that she is a woman, why not declare that Jews shouldn’t have any role in the US foreign policy, too? There is far more animosity towards Jews in the Middle East than any other group. And we should rule out Richardson and Obama too, because we all know there are widespread stereotypes about Black and Hispanic people…

Let’s dictate our OWN values!


Posted by: Woody Mena at July 24, 2007 6:36 PM
Comment #227309

TheTraveler,

The leaders of Congress meeting with the military leaders sounds nice in theory, but it isn’t going to happen before January 2009. Bush is vigorously opposed to any congressional oversight for the military, and what he says goes.

Bush’s strategy is to leave the Democrats with no flexibility on the war. The only choices are to cut off funding, impeach him, or shut up. That’s his interpretation of congressional oversight, not mine.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 24, 2007 7:01 PM
Comment #227311

Sandra,

We also have enough sense to know that leaving involves strategy and tactics, and that all takes time. The problem is, that 4 years later, this adminstration still goes with the mindset of “stay the course”, but adds “the surge” to that, and what has been achieved is more loss… cost, equipment, respect, support, and most damning of all… death and mutilation!!!!!

This is why, instead of simply leaving and making those problems worse, we need to work out a strategy with the Iraqis that will allow us to pull out slowly and eventually leave them in full control of their own country.

It shouldn’t be strictly upon us to work with the military when Bush fires those leaders and professionals who don’t say what he wants to hear!

This makes no sense. Working with both militaries is the only responsible thing congress can do. Bush can’t fire generals or congressmen, so what’s he going to be able to do about it? Not much.

And it doesn’t seem that the Iraqui government,and/or military is ready to take over and do for themselves.

There’s disagreement about this, even within the Iraqi government itself. All the more reason to work with them instead of leaving them to their own devices.

The causes of the war and the events of the last four years may be frustrating to some, but they have to realize that it’s all beside the point. Leadership is not about fixing the past, but looking at the situation right now and creating the best plan for the future. Many Democrats want to pull out ASAP, but that’s a very dangerous road to take, not for us but for the Iraqi people. I think that as Bush’s last day in office draws nearer, more and more congressional Democrats (and presidential candidates) will realize that they have to come up with something more acceptable. And hopefully the Republican candidates will realize that they can’t continue what Bush is doing and pretend it’s working.

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 24, 2007 7:14 PM
Comment #227312
Bush can’t fire generals

This is the key point — he can! They must strictly obey him as long as they are in the service.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 24, 2007 7:20 PM
Comment #227315

The leaders of Congress meeting with the military leaders sounds nice in theory, but it isn’t going to happen before January 2009. Bush is vigorously opposed to any congressional oversight for the military, and what he says goes.

This is exaggeration taken to such an extreme as to be absurd.

You know, I think modern Democrats are the only political group in history to give their opponents too much credence and themselves too little. Of course, that’s not what Woody’s doing here, though. He’s just making excuses. If the Democrats worked with the militaries to put together a serious strategy, there would be more than enough votes from both sides of the isle to get it passed.

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 24, 2007 7:33 PM
Comment #227316

Woody,

Bush can’t issue unlawful orders and he can’t fire generals for simply disagreeing with him. Unless they actually disobey a lawful order, the only thing Bush could do is move them to other units.

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 24, 2007 7:42 PM
Comment #227319

My goodness. Iraq is costing us 120 billion a year and it is the main fare for debate, as entitlement spending threatens 10’s of trillions in losses for the American people and economy beginning in just 10 years.

Classic case of the shell game. Iraq is so convenient for Democrats and Republicans running for office. Allows them to dodge the really, really huge problems for which they have no answers or, worse, have, but are unwilling to share in public.

Our own border security is a far more urgent problem than Iraq. We are only losing a few dozen a month in Iraq and they are willing to die for that war. There will be another attack from within our borders by Hezbollah or al-Queda and it will potentially kill many thousands in a matter of seconds. Where are Democrats on border security? Leave the borders open.

The Democratic candidates are a disgrace to our founding fathers and U.S. Constitution, which defined national defense and security as one of the very most IMPORTANT roles of a federal government. These candidates are abdicating that responsibility before they are even elected. And voters will elect one of them.

Madison, Jefferson, Washington, Franklin would have a few choice words about this lot of Democrats. So would JFK, FDR, Eisenhower, and most especially Harry Truman.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 24, 2007 8:13 PM
Comment #227320

Traveller, he did both, though in a manner as to insulate from himself from those orders. Notice Donald Rumsfeld is gone, not the President. Notice Shinsecki is gone, not the President. Notice Libby is gone, not the President. This president, according to his defenders never decides anything.

Yet they tout him as “The Decider”. He decided long ago it is better those under him fall, instead of he, when the policies, tactics, and strategies he assents to, fail. Makes it hilarious when he cites our economy on the rebound as his doing, when in fact, the global economy was in a dip, and it recovered as fast as ours did. Either all those other nation’s leaders were as capable and smart as Bush, or, the bounce back was cyclical.

Bush should be given credit for not having delayed the bounce back by cutting taxes to stimulate the economy. But the damn fool now wants to make those tax cuts permanent as his government racks up over 3.5 trillion in national debt in just 6.5 years. Pitiful! Absolutely pitiful, that this nation is led by a person who rejects reality in such a flagrant manner, and that so many loyalists can’t see through their loyalty to the reality that exists.

An 11th grade student with Economics 101 could have handled this better than Bush.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 24, 2007 8:24 PM
Comment #227321

Traveler,

I think I gave a fair description of the Bush/Cheney position on military oversight. It’s not an excuse - it’s a fact. I know Cheney for one has said that if the Democrats don’t like how Bush is running the war they can impeach him.

Look at how that general brushed off Hillary Clinton. They don’t want Congress’s participation, just their money.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 24, 2007 8:24 PM
Comment #227322
I’m glad democrats are finally beginning to understand this.

Democrats always understood that. That’s why we haven’t just pulled the rug out from under the operation. The only way you can seriosly say something like that is if you get all your info about the Democratic position on Iraq from right-wing talk radio. :)

Work with the military instead of making them do whatever fits your political views at the time.

I think I have to disagree with you here. The military should always be subordinate to the civilian government — the politicians.

However, once the military is given a mission, the politicians should take their advice seriously (which the Bush administration never did). That’s why Sen. Clinton is asking if the Pentagon has a plan for an orderly withdrawal.

…who could have gotten us out with our cajones still intact are not even in the race — General Clark

What if Clark was Clinton’s SecDef, Chi Chi?

BTW, Travler, Bush is the Commander in Chief of our military. He commissions military officers — and he can take away their commissions. It’s been done many times since the founding.

But I think Woody is referring to the way Bush sidelined Gen. Shinseki for wanting more troops and Gen. Casey for wanting a withdrawal.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 24, 2007 8:26 PM
Comment #227323
If the Democrats worked with the militaries to put together a serious strategy, there would be more than enough votes from both sides of the isle to get it passed.

It’s not matter of votes. The White House position is that Congress can’t dictate strategy. He could simply ignore whatever law is passed, and if the Dems go to the SCOTUS they will probably claim it is a political dispute.

If you want Bush to listen to Congress, complain to him not me.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 24, 2007 8:28 PM
Comment #227324
Look at how that general brushed off Hillary Clinton.

You mean Edelman. He’s actually some kind of neo-con civilian lacky over at the Pentagon — a former aide to Cheney and Wolfowitz. SecDef Gates (who seems like a good guy) had to come out and apologize:

“I have long been a staunch advocate of Congressional oversight, first at the CIA and now at the Defense Department,” Gates said. “I have said on several occasions in recent months that I believe that Congressional debate on Iraq has been constructive and appropriate.

I had not seen Senator Clinton’s reply to Ambassador Edelman’s letter until today. I am looking into the issues she raised and will respond to them early next week.”

I think Gates can’t wait until the Bush administration is gone.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 24, 2007 8:39 PM
Comment #227325

The Traveller-
Here’s what people don’t understand. Can he issue unlawful orders? Why yes, he can. If nobody gets in the way enough, it can happen. And can he fire generals for disagreeing with him? If they do it loudly enough (Gen. McArthur), yes, but even short of that, he can assign them somewhere else. These people serve at the pleasure of the president. He is their commander in Chief.

Which, when you come down to it, is the problem with your Assertion that we can just sit down with the military and work something out. We can’t work with the military until Bush acknowledges that while he has command of the military, Congress decides when we go to war, and when we continue it no longer.

He wants the power all to himself, but that’s not the way the founders or the law have set it up. The Executive Branch is supposed to carry out the wars, but according to the wishes of the Congress, as with every other kind of legislation. While it’s true we don’t need micromanagement, this administration, with its complete lack of accountability is only suffering from that from the inside as officials the late Republican majority never questioned and made excuses for clogged the arteries of the system trying to make their pet doctrines work.

Without the President’s cooperation, hopes of working out agreeable strategies are in vain. Bush has demonstrated a stubborn resolve to defy what the majority of Americans believe is the right course, and he has indicated that he has no interest in giving in.

I don’t think you understand that the intensity of Democrats on this issue is the result of this longtime refusal on his part to compromise, and acknowledge the will of the American people as regards Iraq. At every juncture, Bush has refused to moderate, to move towards the middle on Iraq, to acknowledge concerns as concerns and not political attacks aimed at depriving him of his precious power.

A man in his position can kill a war by making it about his own ego, about protecting his hide and that of his friends and cronies. Instead of relieving tensions, Bush has made an artform of elevating them. The Right even cheers him on, seeing his obstructionism as righteous. What they don’t realize is that what’s lost them power is their unwillingness to reconcile themselves to their critics, to see whether there is room for correcting mistakes, to see where they can work with the Democrats, especially now that we hold the majority.

The Democrats are favored by the populace, because whatever our flaws, we’re willing to helpt them get what they want. You should look at the numbers concerning who they want in Congress, see the numbers that tell us that the Republicans in Congress are much more dissatisfactory than the Democrats. You should see that on most issues, they trust us, not the Republicans.

And why? Because the Republicans have been willing to push matters on multiple fronts into crisis, just to prove their ideology correct. The Republicans make a big deal out of consistency, but Americans, as per Emerson, do not wish to be saddled with that foolish consistency which is the hobgoblin of small minds.

Whoever is flexible enought to take care of America’s concerns will win America’s trust. Whoever’s more committed to businesses, special interests or politics, will find themselves on shaky electoral ground. I write this warning to everybody, outside, and inside my party.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 24, 2007 8:46 PM
Comment #227328
He could simply ignore whatever law is passed

That’s true. Bush says he’ll veto any attempt to change course in Iraq.

BTW, did you guys see this poll?

By a large margin, Americans trust Democrats rather than the president to find a solution [in Iraq]. And more than six in 10 in the new poll said Congress should have the final say on when to bring the troops home.

Yikes! You know things are bad when the majority of Americans want to put the military under Congressional control!

Posted by: American Pundit at July 24, 2007 8:48 PM
Comment #227331

The Traveler…why can’t you see and just accept the fact that Bush has been doing things illegally all along, so why reject the idea that he can, and has, dismissed people who don’t play by his rules?
And as far as the last comment you made…check this out.

Commanders plan for Iraq presence through 2009 By Kristin Roberts
Tue Jul 24, 1:43 PM ET


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The senior U.S. commander in Iraq is preparing a plan for military operations that sets summer 2009 as the goal for achieving a sustainable level of security throughout the country, his spokesman said on Tuesday.



The draft, developed by Gen. David Petraeus’ staff, lays out a series of security-related goals over two years, envisioning U.S. troops in the war zone through 2009.

The plan, first reported by The New York Times, comes as Democrats in the U.S. Congress press for a strategy change that leads to withdrawal.

The Bush administration, however, has called for more time to establish security in Iraq so that Iraqi politicians can make progress on benchmarks seen by Washington as critical to long-term stability.

Security gains in parts of Iraq, however, have been slow to materialize, underscored by Petraeus’ goal of sustainable security throughout the country by summer 2009.

While Petraeus’ campaign plan stretches through 2009, the Pentagon stressed it was a planning document.

Decisions on how long troops will stay in Iraq will not be made before Petraeus submits a September progress report on the current security crackdown focused on Baghdad, said Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman.

“There is a timeline — a timeline for an assessment, an assessment that as you know we will be conducting in September,” Whitman said.

“Decisions and direction will flow based on that assessment and recommendations from commanders as well as the leadership of this building — the secretary of defense,” he said.

Petraeus’ spokesman in Baghdad, Col. Steven Boylan, would not discuss troop levels anticipated by the campaign plan. He also would not say whether Petraeus’ staff was preparing plans for a possible withdrawal, should Bush change the strategy.

The United States added about 30,000 troops to Iraq, bringing the total force to about 157,000, under the current security plan aimed at establishing enough security to allow Iraqi politicians to make progress toward reconciliation.

All of the so-called “surge” forces have been in place since June 15. Democrats in Congress, however, are calling for a strategy change leading to withdrawal.

Gates met with some senior Democrats in the House of Representatives, including the House speaker and chairmen of the Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, on Tuesday to answer questions about Iraq.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said he did not know if the lawmakers asked about the Petraeus plan.

By Kristin Roberts
Tue Jul 24, 1:43 PM ET
Reuters

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 24, 2007 9:14 PM
Comment #227332

AP,

Democrats always understood that. That’s why we haven’t just pulled the rug out from under the operation.

Some. Not all.

The only way you can seriosly say something like that is if you get all your info about the Democratic position on Iraq from right-wing talk radio.

Or from listening to their speeches, watching their interviews, reading articles on the blue side of Watchblog… ;-) It’s not all of them to be sure, but there are many in Congress with the dangerous “it was a mistake so let’s just leave and damn the consequences” attitude. See Sandra’s quote from Kucinich in her first post. Even when they’re not for an immediate pullout, they often make it sound like they are.
There are two reasons that right-wing talk radio can get away with characterizing the entire party like that. One is that many, if not the majority, of your party’s supporters want to leave Iraq ASAP, and they must be pandered to. The other is that the Democrats (for about a decade now) have a problem selling themselves and getting their points across. It’s an image/advertising problem and it can’t entirely be blamed on the Reps. Whatever the Republicans gained with talk shows, etc., they lost with Iraq.
I’ll get back on topic…

I think I have to disagree with you here. The military should always be subordinate to the civilian government — the politicians.

We’re not in disagreement. All I want is for the military to be involved in strategy planning.

However, once the military is given a mission, the politicians should take their advice seriously (which the Bush administration never did).

I agree here too. I just don’t want Congress (or the next president) to repeat that mistake.

Bush is the Commander in Chief of our military. He commissions military officers — and he can take away their commissions. It’s been done many times since the founding.

He’d need a damn good reason for it and he’d still have to answer to Congress.

David,
I’m really not in disagreement with your post, either.

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 24, 2007 9:15 PM
Comment #227338

All
I have never seen anything in the Bush policies or plans to indicate any intention of EVER pulling out of Iraq.Their best scenario involves setting up a puppet regime and controlling the country from the largest embassy ever built and keeping a large number of US troops stationed there on the huge military bases we have been constructing. They do not plan to leave and never did.

Posted by: BillS at July 24, 2007 10:08 PM
Comment #227339

Wow, I’m getting it from all sides here! Where to start? How about…

Sandra,

The Traveler… why can’t you see and just accept the fact that Bush has been doing things illegally all along.

I wouldn’t say illegally, but stupidly. Very very stupidly.
Thanks for that article. It remains to be seen if Congress will support Petraeus’s plan, But I can guarantee that not many Democrat supporters will.

AP,

Bush says he’ll veto any attempt to change course in Iraq.

Override it. All you need is a bill with bipartisan support. I already gave you the winning move for that game.

Woody,

It’s not matter of votes. The White House position is that Congress can’t dictate strategy. He could simply ignore whatever law is passed, and if the Dems go to the SCOTUS they will probably claim it is a political dispute.

They wouldn’t have go to the SCOTUS. If Bush ignores it, impeach his ass. Like I said, such a strategy would have bipartisan support. Now, just to be clear, I don’t particularly like the idea of congress dictating military strategy to the president. But sometimes needs must. I don’t believe it’s illegal and that’s what Congress has to do IF they want to change the course of the war before January ‘09.

Stephen,

Your post just accentuates what I said about Democrats giving too much credence to their opponents and not enough to themselves.

I don’t think you understand that the intensity of Democrats on this issue is the result of this longtime refusal on his part to compromise, and acknowledge the will of the American people as regards Iraq. At every juncture, Bush has refused to moderate, to move towards the middle on Iraq, to acknowledge concerns as concerns and not political attacks aimed at depriving him of his precious power.

Yes, I agree. But I’d say both sides have been guilty of that. Like a tango, it takes two to compromise. I’ve heard both sides calling for the other to compromise on this issue, but no one ever wants to make the first move.

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 24, 2007 10:09 PM
Comment #227344

While Congress cannot dictate strategy, they CAN put a lot of conditions on funds alloted for the war. They can even go so far as denying any funding at all. They could also, theoretically, deauthorize the war altogether as it is currently being fought under a Congressional mandate.

I don’t particularly like the idea of congress dictating military strategy to the president. But sometimes needs must.

If it’s not done through funding or through a blanket deauthorization of the war, there is nothing else Congress CAN do. Fact is that that Congress lacks the will to cut off funding altogether, and there’s no way they’d have the guts to even think about deauthorizing a war they already helped to set in motion with their votes. Not even Harry Reid is willing to go that far. You can’t just invent an unconstiutional “third way” because the normal channels are too difficult or frustrating.

Just because somebody thinks there is a “need” to change the Constitutional separation of powers in order to achieve some outcome they desire—because Congress lacks the will and the votes to go the traditional route—isn’t reason enough to do it.

That would be like George Bush banning abortion and arresting abortion doctors because he thought there was a “need to do so” under the pretext that Congress and the Courts had failed to produce that outcome on their own.

Posted by: Loyal Opposition at July 24, 2007 11:34 PM
Comment #227345

Okay The Traveler……just for the sake of fairness, what would you consider a comprimise? Better still, what do you suppose Bush would consider one, and when, then, is the last time anyone ever heard of him agreeing to one????
It is abundantly clear that he only works one way…….his way!and to hell with every other opinion or idea out there….
Don’t forget that a large percentage of the public now wants out of Iraq, and they are just as angry with their Republican reps as the Dems are with theirs. The voters are telling what we want, but are still getting held back by that percentage on the red side, who don’t want to comprimise. So…now what?

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 24, 2007 11:51 PM
Comment #227356

just for the sake of fairness, what would you consider a comprimise?

Hard to tell… It would take both sides working together, which neither side is willing to do. Predicting the outcome of an impossible situation is like trying to predict the weather: useless.

what do you suppose Bush would consider one…

That’s another hard one, because I don’t think he knows the meaning of the word.

…and when, then, is the last time anyone ever heard of him agreeing to one????

Never, as far as I know…
I’m not sure what the point of all that was. Just restating the obvious, really. But your next point was a bit more interesting:

The voters are telling what we want, but are still getting held back by that percentage on the red side, who don’t want to comprimise.

And a bit wrong. You see, as I said before, a compromise requires two sides (seriously… it’s in the dictionary). One side that won’t compromise blaming the lack of compromises on the other side not compromising is silly at best.

So… now what?

I still like the strategy I laid out above. Good for the Democrats. Good for the Iraqis. Bad for Bush. I really don’t know why you guys have a problem with it (then again, a Democrat taking the advice of a non-Democrat is like Bush taking advice of anyone: completely unheard of).

Nothing’s “holding the Democrats back” on this. They got themselves elected to a majority. If they had people with actual leadership skills running the party, bush would be nothing but a petty annoyance to them right now.
I think part of the problem might be that some democrats believe their own propaganda. They made a completely inept man out to be an all-powerful dictator, and for some reason, they came to believe it. Then people like Woody act like they have no power to change anything.

Posted by: TheTraveler at July 25, 2007 2:32 AM
Comment #227366
Then people like Woody act like they have no power to change anything.

Come on now. Look at what I wrote:

Bush’s strategy is to leave the Democrats with no flexibility on the war. The only choices are to cut off funding, impeach him, or shut up. That’s his interpretation of congressional oversight, not mine.

It’s look like we agree on the facts now, namely that they can cut off funding or impeach him. (Although keep in mind the President is supposed to be impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors” , not simply being stubborn and incompetent!)
Both options are hazardous politically, but impeachment is probably the safer of the two.

I never said they are powerless, it’s just that the WH has been very wily about making their options as unattractive as possible.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 25, 2007 9:17 AM
Comment #227371

Woody:

“Are you seriously suggesting that we pander to other people’s prejudices?”

Are you seriously asking this stupid question?

I neither said this nor implied it. And your insinuation is insulting. If you are not going to take the time to read what is written without implication, then you should not comment on it. Reread what I wrote please.

I am not advocating this position or opinion. I simply stated that, right or wrong, I believe this is the perception of most voters, and Hillary is going to have to deal with that fact.

Posted by: Chi Chi at July 25, 2007 10:45 AM
Comment #227372

Chi Chi,

I wasn’t trying to insinuate anything, but asking a direct question. I take it your answer is “No”, in which case we agree.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 25, 2007 11:14 AM
Comment #227378

The Traveler….I agree, that comprimise is good, but obviously works only when both sides are willing to meet somewhere in the middle. I think there has been some subtle movement, and I know you probably won’t agree, that it needs to be the Republicans to make more movement in that direction. Just look at the fact that we are just a very few votes short of being able to do anything decisive, even though the Right is getting more and more pressure from their constitucancy that they want out of Iraq as well.
This whole thing is a quagmire, a nightmare that just should never have happened, and because it did, and the way it did, we are going to be scarred for a very long time!! The innocents and ignorants will pay a precious price for years to come.
And, oh ya….we can’t work with the military as long as Bush is C in C and he ain’t gonna change his storm-trooping attitude.

Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 25, 2007 1:38 PM
Comment #227394

“Without the President’s cooperation, hopes of working out agreeable strategies are in vain. Bush has demonstrated a stubborn resolve to defy what the majority of Americans believe is the right course, and he has indicated that he has no interest in giving in.” Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 24, 2007 08:46 PM

Stephen, you’re confusing me. The first sentence talks about “cooperation” and the last sentence talks about the President “giving in”. Which is it?

The Democrats elected to the Congress aren’t interested in ending any war any time soon. If they were they would introduce a simple bill, with no amendments, no pork, nothing else but a simple yes or no on ending the war by ending its funding which is their right as congress.
You won’t see this happen as they lack any backbone whatever and just want to politicize the issue to enhance their campaign coffers. And, they are not likely to get the support they need for ending the war and they are to cowardly to stick their necks out and stand for something. Sorry this sounds so harsh but haven’t all of you figured this out yet? I continue to read all your blogs shouting about public support and will of the people but it doesn’t mean squat if our elected leaders won’t lead.

Posted by: Jim at July 25, 2007 6:39 PM
Comment #227408
The Democrats elected to the Congress aren’t interested in ending any war any time soon…as they lack any backbone whatever

Interesting. It couldn’t possibly be because Democrats want to exit Iraq responsibly with a better plan than we had going in?

Nothing’s “holding the Democrats back” on this. They got themselves elected to a majority.

That’s not quite true. Johnson is out and Lieberman votes with Bush on Iraq, so we’ve only got 49 votes. Far short of the 60 needed to break the inevitable Republican filibuster and even further from the 66 votes needed to over-ride Bush’s veto.

Even with a compromise, we won’t see 20-or-so Republicans break ranks with Bush.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 25, 2007 11:51 PM
Comment #227412

The draft, developed by Gen. David Petraeus’ staff, lays out a series of security-related goals over two years, envisioning U.S. troops in the war zone through 2009.
Posted by: Sandra Davidson at July 24, 2007 09:14 PM

If this is true, then the Generals either expect the Republicans to hold the White House, or they are listening to the Democratic Presidential candidates, whom none of the front-runners have announeced an actual plan to pull troops any time soon.
Why then, is it that Democratic leaders, (Pelosi and Reid) in Congress are undermining their own Presidential candidates by whining and complaining about the need for an immediate pull out. Why are they constantly saying we’ve lost the war, and need to come home?
If this situation turns around within the next eighteen months as it has taken a turn for the better of late, how will Hillary, Barak, or “Baby Face” Edwards find the balls to stand up to Pelosi and Reid and tell them we are going to stay and help win this thing?
The Democrats have positioned themselves so that failure and defeat is the only option available, and certainly acceptable to their political base. Quite unfortunate!!!!

JD

Posted by: JD at July 26, 2007 12:10 AM
Comment #227418
as it has taken a turn for the better of late

Yikes! You’d better check your news sources. Sectarian killings are back to the rate they were before the surge and the Iraqi government completed zero of eighteen benchmarks. If that’s a turn for the better, we’re in more trouble than I thought.

You’re also wrong about the Democratic candidates who all favor a responsible, orderly withdrawal ASAP.

You need to find yourself a less ignorant news source, JD.

Posted by: American Pundit at July 26, 2007 12:53 AM
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