Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Of Dem Presidential Candidates & the Senate Vote to Defund Iraq War

The Good: Both the Washington Post and the NYT are reporting on the failure of the Senate to pass a bill today that would have ended funding for the Iraq war. This from the NYT:

Democrats who are highly critical of President Bush’s Iraq war strategy suffered a stinging defeat today when the Senate overwhelmingly rejected a measure to cut off money for the military campaign by March 31, 2008.

The measure, in the form of an amendment to an unrelated water-projects bill, was effectively rejected, 67 to 29, with 19 Democrats voting against it in a procedural vote. Sixty “yes” votes were required for the measure to advance, so it fell short by 31 votes.

Though the vote was largely symbolic, the outcome was nevertheless significant, in that it underscored the divisions among Democrats over how to oppose the Bush administration’s Iraq policy, as well as widespread fear of being seen as undercutting American troops.

Today’s vote was preceded by an emotional debate. “Too many blank checks have been given to this president,” said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader, who was a sponsor of the cutoff measure along with Senator Russell D. Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin.

“As we speak, more than 150,000 brave American troops are in the middle of a violent civil war,” Mr. Feingold said. “Meanwhile, the president has repeatedly made it clear that nothing — not the wishes of the American people, not the advice of military and foreign policy experts, not the concerns of the members of both parties — will discourage him from pursuing a war that has no end in sight.”

“Congress cannot wait for the president to change course,” Mr. Feingold said. “We must change the course ourselves.”
The Bad: Harry Reid claims that he is still not discouraged in his campaign to end the war by hook or crook, and the majority of Senate Democrats per this vote now support an immediate withdraw. Harry Reid continues his Orwellian doublespeak with calls for "fully funding" the soldiers with calls for ending the mission for which the funding is needed. And according to Congressman Steny Hoyer, it appears that Congress may adjourn for Memorial Day without passing the funding measure. Those in this country who care will be honoring our soldiers in harms way while the Dems take a much needed vacation from the trials of subterfuge. And yet again, there is no indication that in debate over this measure, anyone brought up the only issue that matters - the blank check we will be signing if we retreat from Iraq - the one that dwarfs by orders of magnitude the cost of securing and stabilizing Iraq.

The Really Ugly: Obama and Clinton both voted for the bill, as did all other Democratic Presidential hopefuls in order to establish their bona fides with the far left, but then Hillary tried to muddy the water just enough to be able to claim that she really wasn't voting to end the war. This is dissimulation, Hillary style:
Two candidates for their party’s nomination in 2008, Senators Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, said for the first time on Tuesday that they would support legislation to curtail major combat operations in Iraq by March 31, 2008, cutting off financing for all but a limited mission of American forces. Both of them were among the 29 who voted “yes” on the procedural vote today.

“We are doing everything we can to influence the president to change the war in Iraq,” Senator Clinton said shortly after the vote. “It’s very important for us to do all we can to try to express the will of the American people.”

But when asked by a reporter whether she supported the underlying idea of the Feingold bill, to cut off financing for major combat operations next spring, she declined to say yes or no. One day earlier, a spokesman said the senator supported the legislation.

“I’m not going to speculate on what I’ll be voting on in the future,” she said today.
How ridiculous and craven can you get? Though I must admit, this is nothing more then Hillary acting consistent with with her more then a little inconsistent past. Raise your hand if you want to trust any Democrat, let alone Hillary, with this nation's national security? They have no principals that go beyond the ballot box and the polls.

Read the entire story from the NYT and from the Wash. Post.

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