This situation is a collapse for Democrats. We had a strong start, pushed back against the President’s failed policy and held our ground that the supplemental should include binding language to end the war. But now, as Congress gets ready to send the President a bill that does nothing to get our troops out of Iraq, we are just folding our cards. As one person commented under Greg Sargent’s great post at TPM cafe, "Send the Congressional Dems over to my place for some poker - I could use a windfall right now."
This is no time to back down. This fight to end the war isn’t something that we can just put off or kick down the road. As mcjoan pointed out, it doesn’t make any sense to wait until this "mythical September" when Republicans will suddenly decide that we need to get out of Iraq. Why should this wait until September? First Americans had to put up with a Republican Congress that did nothing, and now we are faced with a Democratic Congress that is giving the President exactly what he wants – continuing his failed policy and leaving our troops stuck in the middle of a civil war. Some strategy. We can’t back down when the stakes are so high. I know you’ll keep ratcheting up the pressure, and that’s exactly what we need right now. Now is the time to be pulling out all the stops to end the war.
Thanks everyone for your supportive words and thoughtful questions. I know a lot of you want to know what more you can do to "ratchet up the pressure." I agree with Edgar08 who says that in order to ratchet up pressure on the President, Dems themselves need to keep feeling the pressure. I heard stories this week about Senators who voted last week against Feingold-Reid, went back home to their states over the weekend, and then got an earful from constituents tired of inaction on the war. I guarantee you that your elected leaders are hearing you and it does make a difference.
To answer those of you who asked if I would support a supplemental without binding language to end the war, the answer is no. I think this conference report is an affront to the will of the American people and does nothing to help change course in Iraq.
I also agree with those of you who think we should have sent the same bill, or a similar bill, right back to the President. Congress should have stood strong, acknowledged the will of the American people, and insisted on a bill requiring a real change of course in Iraq.
To those of you who want to know what I plan to do next, I am already looking for the next opportunity to push the Feingold-Reid legislation. We’re expecting to take up a defense bill in the floor period following the Memorial Day recess, and that may be the best opportunity to keep pressing the Senate to get on the right side of history and end this war.
Thanks again, everyone.
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