From the Washington Post:
War opponents dismissed the bill as a capitulation to Bush and said they would seek to hold supporters in both parties accountable. But backers said the bill’s provisions — including benchmarks for progress that the Iraqi government must meet to continue receiving reconstruction aid — represented an assertion of congressional authority over the war that was unthinkable a few months ago.
Bush, who had vowed to veto any legislation with restrictions on troop deployments, announced he would sign the $120 billion package, which was approved 80 to 14 last night in the Senate, after a 280 to 142 House vote.
Surrendering to a president who manages 30/70 approval ratings is amazing to me. Amazingly stupid.
The message Democrats sent is…
- The are afraid of Mr “28 Percent”
- They don’t know that the majority of Americans actually support the Democrats on the war funding issue.
- That since Democrats won’t fight for the important “life and death” stuff, why trust them with leadership on anything?
It frustrates me that Democrats buy into the idea that they’ll be blamed, somehow, for not giving the President exactly what he wants. It is absolute bullshit, and political malpractice, to chicken out in such a obvious way. Democrats had real momentum, and they gave it away when they blinked.
Democrats initially showed real toughness by sending Bush a bill that funded the troops and ended the war. Predictably, Bush vetoed that bill (and vetoed funding for his own war!). Instead of realizing the vast storage of political capital they have on hand, Democrats folded quickly, and sent Bush a “clean” bill, which funded the troops without any real accountability.
And you know what? Maybe, at some point this summer, the coalition of Democrats standing up to Bush was going to break down.
But it didn’t have to happen this soon, this early, and in such a gutless manner.
A fellow liberal blogger asked me at last weeks’ Drinking Liberally if I too was quitting the Democratic Party… I had to smile, as I knew he was joking. I told him, “what the fuck else am I going to do?”
Some Democrats constantly throw in the towel in a way conservative activists don’t. First it was Bankruptcy Reform legislation, then it was John Roberts, then Sam Alito, then this. Certain lefties always threaten to ditch the party, to “work down ticket”, to stop doing whatever it was they were doing to support the candidates who have let them down. This goes on until the pain goes away, but is soon reignited by the next great “letdown.”
If I’ve managed to glean a difference between blogger activists and regular activists, it’s that the blogger activists are way too quick to throw in the towel. These so-called reality-based freedom fighters of the blogosphere are nothing more than fair-weather friends. It’s an odd thing to say, considering I’m a “blog-guy,” but the lack of resolve shown by liberals on the web illustrates why blogs are only good for so much.
The Democrats who know nothing of blogs are often the toughest. These Democrats know that the road is long, and it is hard, and that you can’t explode in outrage at every opportunity. Even if Democrats keep voting for more funding for Bush’s war, I’ll still be around. Somebody has to be, if only to tell them that they’re wrong.