Clearly having had enough of Republican colleagues putting their blind loyalty to George W. Bush ahead of American opinion and the lives of our troops, Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) gave a powerful speech on the Senate floor Wednesday in which he ripped the GOP for their failure to lead and fulfill their duties to our country.
Saying "our troops don't lose wars, bad polices, bad leadership loses wars," Biden, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, let loose during comments before the vote to even open debate on the Democratic proposal to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq by this time next year.
Here's Biden on the Senate's responsibility to the troops:
"They should have the courage to stand up and tell the administration, they have had a God-awful policy, they have put our troops in a position that, in fact, has made it virtually impossible for them to succeed at the outset.More Biden on the folly of the Bush-McCain Doctrine of sending yet more troops to Iraq:
"They deserve a policy. They deserve a plan. There is no plan. We went to war with too few troops, we went to war unnecessarily. We went to war with these men and women ill-equipped, they're coming home ill-served.
"It's about time we have the courage to stand up and say to the president 'Mr. President, you have not only put us in harm's way you have harmed us! You have no policy, Mr. President'
"I'm so tired of hearing on this floor about courage. Have the courage to tell the administration, 'stop this ridiculous policy you have.'"
"This is a cycle of self-sustaining sectarian violence that 20,000, 30,000, 50,000, 100,000 Americans will not be able to stop. This is ridiculous. There is no plan. I ask the president and everyone else who comes forward with a plan, whether it's 'capping' or 'surging' or whatever they have, what will answer the two-word test? Then what? Then what? Then What?And on how Bush is breaking the U.S. military:
"What happens after we surge these women and men? And by the way, you say General Patraeus is one who believes... He may be the only one who believes this is a good idea! Virtually nobody else thinks it's a good idea."
"So as long as the president keeps us on this ridiculous path, taking us off a cliff -- I ask my colleagues, does anybody think they're going to be able to sustain keeping American forces in Iraq, at 160,000, for another year and a half? What do you think? What do you think is going to happen in Tennessee, in Delaware, in Illinois?And he ends with what every person in Congress should be saying right now: "Mr. President, you're leading us off a cliff. Stop!"
"Are we gonna break this man and woman's army? What are we gonna do here? How many times are we going to ask those 175,000 to rotate, three, four, five, six, seven times?"
I haven't always been a fan of Joe Biden's and don't know that I'll ever quite forgive him for the hideous Bankruptcy bill passed a few years ago, but this is a passionate, long-overdue speech that it's good to hear from a Senate Democrat. It's certainly the way all Democratic candidates for president should be talking.
Here's the full video:
You can read more from Bob at BobGeiger.com.