The Battle Rages On

While our soldiers are waging a tough urban battle against a faceless enemy, no end in sight, no real goals for success laid out, there is another battle being fought up on Capitol Hill.

Congress is currently enjoying, or rather not enjoying, the lowest approval rating it’s had in ages. While some rightwing blowhards see this as an opportunity, and some even misguidedly still believe this is because America stands behind Bush (don’t ask me how, but they’re out there), the logical analysis is simply this: We want our troops out now, Americans saw that the passage of the last Iraq War appropriations bill was a failure to do this, and so the public ire has been brought down upon them.

Many folks believed that was that. Dems went belly up, and there’s no fight left in them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

According to the Politico (h/t memeorandum), you can expect an announcement today that there will be another Democratic effort starting in July.

Among some of the fireworks to look for in upcoming weeks and months:

-Four ammendments, including a withdrawl timeline attached to the Defense Authorization bill in the Senate.

-A freestanding timetable bill in the House, setting a goal for April 1st of next year.

-A “deauthorization” of the Iraq War that could be attached to the House’s version of Defense authorization following the fourth of July.

-A push to prevent permanent military bases in Iraq in the House.

-A readiness bill in the house that prevents soldiers from returning to Iraq until they’ve spent equal time here at home.

And through it all, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have the hardest job of all, whipping together the Out of Iraq caucus who can be tricky in that they have a tendancy to vote down all but the harshest legislation against the Iraq War, and the Blue Dog caucus who are tentative about voting for any Anti Iraq war legislation out of the fear of being seen as too anti military by their local constituents.

A lot of people feel as though congress failed them earlier this year. I know Mikey T. did, I know that a few of the folks over at the Newshoggers did. But the Dem’s didn’t just go belly up. They were put in a tough position, a position that perhaps Biden put best during the second Democratic debate:

…And I knew the right political vote, but I tell you what: Some things are worth losing elections over.

BLITZER: Senator Biden, why are you reluctant to say now: They were wrong, and you were right?

BIDEN: Because I don’t want to judge them. I mean, these are my friends. We have worked together. We’ve worked hard to try and end this war. We have people telling everybody: Just stop the war, Congress. We have 50 votes.

We’re busting our neck every single day. So I respect it.

But look, I cannot — as long as there is a single troop in Iraq that I know if I take action by funding them, I increase the prospect they will live or not be injured — I cannot and will not vote no to fund them.

It was a tough play, but the battle is far from over.

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