An unpopular president who is a member of an unpopular party is pushing an unpopular war. So of course, Democrats have to pre-emptively surrender for fear that "some" might criticize them.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) came out on Wednesday in favor of holding a vote on a bipartisan Iraqi withdrawal bill. Meanwhile, the party’s left wing renewed calls for a pullout and announced a new campaign to block funds for arming and training the Iraq Security Forces.
The bipartisan legislation, authored by Reps. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) and John Tanner (D-Tenn.), would order Bush to draft plans to withdraw from Iraq but not require them to be implemented. Rep. Phil English (R-Pa.) and two other Republicans have signed on as cosponsors.
“I would like to see us move forward on that,” Hoyer said. “The president ought to come up with a plan for withdrawal.”
Does this bill even pass the logic test? Who cares if Bush has to come up with a "plan for withdrawal"? That's not going to do our troops stuck in Iraq any good. Unfortunately, Pelosi looks ready to sign on.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she supports Abercrombie’s bill, even though she rebuffed his efforts to get the bill to the floor in the final days before the August break. She indicated that she is now developing plans to bring it to the floor.
“We probably will take it up with another piece of legislation that I’m not about to announce right now,” Pelosi said at a Wednesday afternoon news conference [...]
Pelosi said she’s been encouraging Democratic representatives to employ any personal relationships they’ve developed with Republicans to find bipartisan ideas for Iraq legislation.
Here's the bottom line -- the voters elected a Democratic House and a Democratic Senate in 2006 to get the f' out of Iraq. Democrats don't need to compromise with Republicans. If there's no money, there's no way to continue the war. And with Democrats in total control of the House, and with the ability to filibuster any funding bill in the Senate, our side can hole up any bill that doesn't do what WE want to do.
Republicans have to compromise with us. We have the electoral mandate, not the unpopular Republicans and certainly not Mr. 25%. And the compromise is 1) we give you the money, and 2) you give us the timetable. We can even compromise on #2, working together to figure out just how long troops ought to remain (from, say, six months to just before Bush leaves office), depending on what military leaders on the ground say would be the safest, most efficient way to get them out.
But telling Bush he doesn't have to do shit for his $200 billion other than come up with a "plan" isn't a "compromise", it's capitulation. And, by giving Republicans a free vote on a paper tiger bill, they even get to go home and campaign on their efforts to "end the war".
This approach is morally bankrupt, tactically bankrupt, and politically bankrupt.
Leave it to our Democratic Party to unilaterally disarm against their impotent foe.
And as of now, Hillary and Barack are still hiding, afraid of showing "leadership" on the issue (look at the banal fluff on the Clinton and Obama blogs).