Democrats in Congress have a new plan to win back the White House. The strategy is to avoid any war-funding showdown with President Bush that would take place anytime near election day. How will they do this? A plan is currently in the works to combine the remainder of the FY 08' supplemental ($102 billion dollars for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) with an additional $70 billion dollars in war funding that would fully fund the war into the next Administration. The idea is to appropriate all war funding as soon as possible in the hopes that voters will forget this betrayal by November.
It seems like a very backward strategy being that both Senators Clinton and Obama, to their credit, are both campaigning on a platform of withdrawing our troops from Iraq within their first 60 days of taking office.
I have no doubt that either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama will be a far better President than John McCain. My concern is that this plan from the Democrats to write a final blank check for the Bush presidency to continue the war/occupation of Iraq will cause an adverse effect and backfire in our faces.
How can the Democratic presidential nominee run on ending the war when his or her own party authorized approximately $170 billion dollars in unconditional war funding? My uneducated guess is that both Democratic candidates will obviously have to deviate from their party's plan in order to pack enough heat to credibly confront John McCain in the general election.
Another important aspect to take into consideration is that John McCain, despite Bush's "below freezing" approval ratings, is neck and neck with Hillary and Obama in nationwide polls. This Democratic plan automatically assumes that McCain can't win the election. Believe me, McCain can win. And just for the record, Pat Buchanan said McCain would make "Cheney look like Ghandi." (Just a little something to get you brainstorming).
Furthermore, when the 527 hack ads begin to replay McCain 1000x over saying we could be in Iraq for maybe 100 years, McCain will have plenty of ammunition to use against his Democratic rival -- as will every Republican candidate running for Congress. After all, if the war is so terrible, and the Democrats are running to stop it, why would they vote to fully fund it into 2009? Just something for the "party faithful" to contemplate.
Beating the dead horse ...
Remember all the great stuff we heard back in 2006? "We will change course in Iraq and hold the Bush Administration accountable." All generic terms, but still very promising. Giving what we have seen and what we know now, is it wrong to feel disappointed, frustrated, and untrustworthy of the Democrats this time around?
I always operated by the rule that "actions speak louder than words." Caving in to President Bush and his Republican allies time and time again, while simultaneously threatening accountability isn't sitting well among the Democratic base.
To be clear ...
This is not an attack on all Democrats. Guilt by association is a terrible policy in my opinion. We have many great leaders in the Democratic Congress who have never stopped fighting to end the war in Iraq despite the possible consequences for drifting out of the party mainstream. The Out of Iraq and Progressive Caucuses are great examples. Give credit where credit is due.
Moving forward ....
While the people we elected to change course in Iraq in 06' begin their 08' campaigns on the same theme, more of our troops and innocent Iraqi people are being killed on a daily basis. Primarily because these very same elected officials failed to act out of fear of political ramifications. In addition , they now plan to appropriate almost $200 billion dollars more to continue this deadly cycle -- the cherry on top, just to seal the deal. How dumb do they think we are?
I'm not calling for "cutting off funding." Instead, I'm regurgitating the campaign slogans of the Democratic party in 2006. "Bring our troops home" "End the occupation" & "Hold the Bush administration accountable." Too bad it was "all talk & no action" on their part. This personifies everything that is wrong with government today.
The gift of 20/20 hindsight affords us the ability not to be fooled again. We don't have to be pundits or armchair quarterbacks. We can look back clearly at what we were promised, what was actually delivered, and decide if we want to take another risk by electing the same people who broke their commitment to us.
We know what we'll get if the Republicans regain the White House and both Houses of Congress -- Bush/Cheney 08.' What we don't know is what we'll get if the Democrats prevail. Should we all flip a coin?
For clarity ...
I'm not saying to vote for John McCain, not in a million years. Nor am I saying to deviate from the Democratic party if you are a member. However, until Democrats in Congress fully understand that we will not vote for leaders who won't lead, they'll continue to take us for granted and assume they have our votes because of the lesser of two evils dilemma. This gross underestimation of the "will of the people" by "do nothing" politicians is exactly what we need to change. Once we accomplish that, maybe we will be taken a little more seriously.