I predicted this last May:
And unless significant progress has been made in Iraq by next summer, I have no doubt that the Democrats would seek to pull a Viet Nam and try to cut off funding for our operations there. At the very least, they will seek to gain control of the conflict in some way by using the power of the purse strings.
Charlie Rangel, who would take over the powerful Ways and Means Committee if the Democrats were to win the House in November, said this recently and reported by The Hill today:
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) will chair the powerful Ways and Means Committee if Democrats win control of the House next year, but his main goal in 2007 does not fall within his panelâ€™s jurisdiction.
â€œI canâ€™t stop this war,â€ a frustrated Rangel said in a recent interview, reiterating his vow to retire from Congress if Democrats fall short of a majority in the House.
But when pressed on how he could stop the war even if Democrats control the House during the last years of President Bushâ€™s second term, Rangel paused before saying, â€œYouâ€™ve got to be able to pay for the war, donâ€™t you?â€
Rangelâ€™s views on funding the war are shared by many of his colleagues â€“ especially within the 73-member Out of Iraq Caucus.
Some Democratic legislators want to halt funding for the war immediately, while others say they would allocate money for activities such as reconstruction, setting up international security forces, and the ultimate withdrawal of U.S. troops.
â€œPersonally, I wouldnâ€™t spend another dime [on the war,]â€ said Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.).
This is why the Democratic Party is the biggest bunch of snivelling cowards on the planet.
Knowing full well that they would lose votes if this position was made part of their campaign strategy (and probably energize the GOP base to boot), they are seeking to cover up their true intentions if they manage to win through in November:
Having lost the last two elections in part because of national security issues, Democratic leaders have been reluctant to spell out their exact Iraq war funding strategy.
â€œI donâ€™t think the Democratic leadership should put that out at the moment,â€ Woolsey said.
But Democratic leaders will be under tremendous pressure from campaign donors and activists to take bold steps on Iraq should they be setting the legislative agenda in the 110th Congress.
â€œIf we have the majority, itâ€™ll be because of Iraq,â€ said Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii).
If what Abercrombie says is true, why hide the fact that Democrats want to cut off funding for our troops in the field? Why not spell out to the American people exactly how Democrats are going to end the war? After all, if the polls are to be believed, this is what the American people want – to leave Iraq. Why the subterfuge?
The reason is that the Democrats know full well that even though support for the way the Administration is waging the war is at just about rock bottom, only 17% of Americans believe we should leave immediately while another 31% want the troops home in 12 months time according to the latest Gallup poll (Must watch ad for access to premium content). What’s more, 51% of Americans believe we should stay as long as it takes or even send more troops to get the job done.
This is why the Democrats must cower in the shadows without revealing their true Iraq policy.
And let’s not forget the pressure on the Democrat’s new majority from “party activists” who will almost certainly take credit (deserved or not) for the victory. They will not only want an immediate Iraq exit but also an immediate impeachment inquiry in the Judiciary Committee. For that, I’m sure putative Committee chairman John Conyers will be more than happy to oblige.
Why can’t the Democrats be proud of what they’re about to do and announce it to the world? Why sneak around behind the voter’s backs?
The reason is that they are so confused about what the best political strategy would be that they are torn between satisfying their shrieking base who are screaming for us to get out of Iraq and acting like responsible adults who realize there is a war on:
Abercrombie stressed that Democrats are not going to sever funding for the troops. Cutting off funding is â€œeasy to say and another thing to do,â€ according to Abercrombie.
Whatâ€™s more like likely, he said, is to fund the conflict in a way that will end the war by reallocating money to new initiatives.
â€œWeâ€™re going to continue to give the troops everything they need,â€ said Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
A House Democratic leadership aide said, â€œThe bottom line is that should Democrats regain the House, Democrats will leave no soldier left behind in Iraq. As long as thereâ€™s soldiers in the battlefield, funding will continue.â€
Well, which is it? “reallocate” money or give the troops everything they need to continue the fighting? Not even the leadership can tell you.
Could the Republicans use Democratic confusion on what to do about Iraq? Not if they’re smart. The word “Iraq” is not being uttered much by Republicans who prefer “The War on Terror” as a catch all for our efforts against global jihadism. In this respect, Republicans are playing their own little political games with Iraq policy although with few exceptions, Republicans have made it crystal clear that they prefer staying until the Iraqis can protect themselves.
Iraq withdrawal and impeachment are both explosive issues to be sure. But considering the impact on the country, don’t you think that the Democrats should make it absolutely clear about their intentions before the American people vote for them?