THE BLOG
02/07/2007 11:08 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Attention, Senators: The Gavel is Mightier than the Myth

The Republicans have thus far demonstrated a damnable willingness to use strategic resolutions to thwart the will of the people and the majority of the US Senate, over the dead bodies of American troops. This is not about the filibuster per se. Remember, when Dems were in the minority the filibuster was sacrosanct.

Let's face it. The Democrats are flummoxed. Radical rightwing Republican Judd Gregg submitted a resolution that the Senate would not cut off their funds. If the Dems vote for it, it undercuts the impact of the other non-binding resolutions. And, they fear if they vote against it, that the Republicans will wave that bloody flag in many elections to come.

On the same day, the poorly strategic Democrats (after all, they have not only the people, but the right policy on their side, one would think that would be enough!) had Robert Gates before the Armed Services Committee.

All they had to do was ask Gates this question: "Mr. Secretary, if the Congress were to set a date certain in the future, and voted to prohibit any further funds being used for our military in Iraq, would you allow a single troop to be put at risk by keeping him in Iraq without adequate protection? That is, Mr. Secretary, would you go along with the President if he tried playing "chicken" with the lives and safety of US troops?"

One would hope that Gates would say "no".

Then, follow up: "Mr Secretary, that means, doesn't it, that a vote to cut off funding by a date certain does not increase the risk to our troops for lack of funds?"

Then, the clincher: "Mr Secretary, would you please tell the American people, and your President, that a vote to cut off funds to fight this war at a date certain is NOT a vote that endangers the troops?" "I know you do not agree with that policy, but I want you to explain to the American people that, if it were enacted, that you would behave responsibly, and not allow their son or daughter to be in harms way without maximum protection.. If the American people believe you will play "chicken" with them, daring Congress to change its mind by holding soldiers hostage, then the President's positive rating would decline from 26%, where it is now, to about 6%, and it would remain puzzling just what redeeming value those 6% saw."

So, haul the Defense Secretary back up before you committee, and get him to explain the process that would occur if the Congress cut off funding, say, in 6 months. When the radical rightwing noise machine, populated by those who only send other peoples' children to serve, slanders the integrity and patriotism of those who cut off the funds, just play the Gates testimony over and over. First, however, you have got to GET THE TESTIMONY!!!