Feb 3, 2007

Dancing with the Devil in the pale moonlight.

Russ Feingold has a well-written article up on TomPaine.com about ending the war in Iraq and Congress’s ability to do that. I am sure it’s no surprise that Russ is vehemently against the escalation of the War in Iraq. He chaired a hearing earlier this week, in the Senate Judiciary Committee, that addressed Congress’s power to end the war in Iraq. I question Congress’s commitment to ending the war. Many of the Democrats ran on a platform of ending the war this past November, did they not? Yet, we see nothing but posturing and non-binding resolutions coming out of the Senate and House. Even some republicans have stated they question the logic in sending more troops into the civil war currently taking place in Iraq. Republican Senators such as John Warner and Chuck Hagel have come out against an escalation of the war. Every group has an idea of how to send the President a message that we simply cannot increase our troop numbers in the war in Iraq. The Moderates, the Left and even some on the Right all have an opinion on how to send the Shrub a message.

Well, as the old saying goes: Opinions are like asshole’s..everybody has one.

I do not want anymore posturing and messages being sent to the President. If they wish to send him a message, text-message the sumbitch, ok? He has heard the message loud and clear. He has sent forth his minion, our Vice President, to spread his “message” regarding our message in November:

Bush and Cheney don’t care what the majority of American’s want. Bush is the Decider-in-Chief and he will do as he sees fit with regard to the war in Iraq..so suck it up and deal folks.

Back to the non-binding resolutions; they are weak and a waste of their time and our tax money. In order to gather all the congressmen and women together, the majority of legislators against the escalation of the Iraq War have decided to back the Warner-Levin resolution. This resolution is the weakest of them all my dear reader. So far, 7 republicans are backing the “Warner-Levin Resolution” which merely states that these folks, who we elected to represent us, “disagree” with the Shrub’s plan to send more troops into Iraq.

To which I offer a hearty..WTF?

I find myself agreeing with Senator John McCain on the subject of non-binding resolutions. In an LAT writeup there is this quote from Mr. McCain:

“Where is the intellectual honesty if you think that you’re sending young Americans into harm’s way in a futile effort?” McCain asked. “I know if I felt that way, I would say, ‘My resolution is a binding resolution that cuts off funding.’ That’s the intellectually honest approach.”

Now, bear in mind that I have no love for Mr. McCain. I just happen to agree that it’s intellectually dishonest as hell to push a resolution that does nothing other than voice an opinion. An analogy that comes to my mind is a child that insists on running across a busy street without stopping to look for oncoming traffic. Do you merely stand there and tell the child to stop, or do you grab that child’s arm and say; "Don’t do that again!" I would hope that you would stop the child from carrying out an activity that is dangerous to his or her health and well-being.

The Warner-Levin resolution is the former. This resolution also includes language that opposes any funding cutoff in an attempt to lure more republicans to support it; “The Congress should not take any action that will endanger United States military forces in the field, including the elimination or reduction of funds for troops in the field.”- Nothing like a non-binding resolution without any teeth and removes from the table a valuable tool that is the sole hammer the legislative branch has with regard to the war in Iraq; Cut off the funding for the War.

Up steps Russ Feingold and Christopher Dodd. They are the only ones putting their money where their mouth is at this point, by stating they will not support the Warner-Levin resolution. Feingold proposed legislation Wednesday that would mandate a withdrawal from Iraq within six months after the bill is passed. In a WaPo article Friday, Dodd and Feingold are quoted as saying the following about Warner’s resolution:

Dodd called it “essentially an endorsement of the status quo” in Iraq, while Feingold denounced it as “a deal with the devil.” “This is the United States Senate. This is not some city council somewhere,” Dodd said. “It seems to me sending something down that engages the president, that forces the administration to pay attention is something we ought to be considering.”

Our elected officials are afraid to put their money where their mouth is. The Pro-Bush Republican’s are threatening a filibuster of any resolution that goes against the President’s plan. Democrats are now jumping on board the Warner-Levin resolution like it’s the best idea since sliced bread, in order to circumvent the threatened filibuster and get their weak-ass opinion out there and on The Shrub’s desk. For weeks now, both the Senate and the House have spent precious time arguing about how to tell Bush NO.

Our elected representatives are dragging their feet on doing what Congress has the power to do: Stop funding the War. It’s the responsibility of Congress to reign in an executive branch that no longer represents the majority of Americans. There is precedence for Congress exercising its constitutional authority to stop U.S. involvement in Iraq. In 1970, Congress prohibited the use of funds for introducing United States ground combat troops into Cambodia or providing U.S. advisors to Cambodian military forces. In late June 1973, Congress set a date to cut off funds for combat activities in Southeast Asia. President Clinton signed into law language that prohibited funding after March 31, 1994, for military operations in Somalia, with certain limited exceptions. And in 1998, Congress passed spending legislation that prevented U.S. troops from serving in Bosnia after June 30, 1998, unless the president made certain assurances.

All this time-wasting, non-binding bullshit needs to stop. Its time for Congress to step up to the plate and push for an end to the funding of this war as many of them promised during their election runs this past year. Let the citizens of America see who is continuing this debacle, which is costing billions of dollars and hundreds of lives each month it continues unchecked. Every elected representative must be held accountable for his or her vote on the issue of ending the War in Iraq by using the checks and balances our Constitution has given them. Its time to put up or shut up my dear reader. I am sick of this Congress acting like they are doing something about the war in Iraq when in actuality they are doing nothing but wasting time grandstanding for the cameras. If they won’t rent a set of balls and stop funding the war, then they need to sit the hell down and shut up about it, and deal with the consequences of their actions..or more accurately, their non-actions.

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Cross-posted at Bring it On!

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