How To End A War

Democrats will be instrumental in ending the Iraqi war, or at least American involvement in it, but they will not get credit for it.

I wrote the above sentence about a month and a half ago. It was a small idea in a larger piece that sought to explain why Democrats went “belly up” in their attempts to force Bush into a drawdown of troops by holding funding for the troops hostage.

The point was simply that, with as narrow a majority as Democrats had, they could not force the President’s hand without vast bipartisan support, picking up an extra seventeen votes to override the inevitable veto that is promised for any legislation that attempts to hold the president accountable.

Given that Republicans have a base that are more supportive of the war, politically they have the wiggle room to stonewall any anti-war legislation put forth by Democrats. Even now that the war is unpopular on both sides of the aisle, Republicans find themselves in a position to stall out Democratic legislation until the time is right to provide their own, and use that to not only “end” the war, but also to take credit for it, leaving the Democrats looking weak and impotent.

Republicans claim to be the party of big ideas, but, I predicted, even when the Democrats have the biggest idea, Republicans would swoop in and steal it.

If chatter on the Hill is correct, it would only go to show how prophetic that tiny sentence above really was.

The legislation proferred by Republicans in the Senate, would force Bush to reseek authorization for the war in Iraq, and among other things mandate a drawdown. Given that I think there is still lingering war support in the GOP demographics, though Democrats are working on their own initiatives, Goppers could have it in their ability to make sure that this is the one that actually makes it to the president.

Obstructionist in nature, I don’t put it beyond the Republican party to block Democrat attempts at drawdown or de-authorization, and truthfully, Democrats would be foolish not to jump at any opportunity the Republicans give them to vote for legislation that would at least force SOME accountability on the Commander in Chief.

With many people hopping mad at Congress’s failure earlier this year to bring the war to an end, and Republicans able to hold off at least until next year, time for Democrats to act is running out, and I shudder to think how low the polls would go should they pass up on this legislation.

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