THE BLOG
03/22/2007 02:27 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Time for Progressive Members of Congress to Support the Change of Course in Iraq

Will Congress' most liberal members stand up to George W. Bush, or will they join him?

That is the question they will face in a matter of hours, when they vote on the Democratic proposal on funding our troops' safety and equipment, in Iraq. To be sure, the legislation is not perfect. Compromises were made to get the votes of Blue Dog conservative Democrats, and still more concessions were made to get other Members to support the bill. But, while not perfect, the legislation being offered is clearly a compromise that opposes President Bush's "stay the course on steroids" policy. It is not the end all, be all, but a significant first step in bringing about what the American people, Generals, the Iraq Study Group, and the troops want - a change of direction in Iraq, focused on disengaging troops from the Iraqi civil war.

They say politics makes strange bedfellows, and so it is with this bill, where we see an odd joining of some progressive members and conservatives loyal to the President's failed policy. Most Republicans want no change from the status quo, and many progressives want nothing less than an immediate pullout from Iraq.

I want to stress this: I understand and respect the ideological concerns that those progressives have, but when the buzzer goes off and they have to cast this all important vote, they must ask themselves if they are willing to kill the only alternative to the president's policies, and thus give us more of the same?

The sad irony of it is, this line of thinking is what got us here in the first place. If you remember back to 2000, many of those on the far left said that Al Gore wasn't "pure" enough in his ideology, and that they could not, in good faith, vote for him. So, they went to the polls and voted for Ralph Nader. Look at where we are now.

We all would like a better bill, with fewer compromises. But, this is the choice we have. The question now is: Will some progressives reject an alternative because it's not perfect enough, and thus give us something much, much worse - status quo?