Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Yep, A Milestone

I haven't posted on the House Iraq funding bill from last week because frankly I wasn't sure exactly what to make of it. From everything I was reading it distilled into two possibilities, one it was a mistake to spend so much energy on something so flawed and toothless or two it was a milestone of Democratic leadership in the House. The more I read over the weekend and today it seems I really must settle on the "milestone" side.

E.J. Dionne argues today for the milestone option:

"The vehemence with which the president opposed it made it clear to a lot of people that this was a change in direction and that it was significant," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee....But the president's uncompromising language and his effective imposition of an April 15 deadline for the funding bill -- after that date, he said, "our men and women in uniform will face significant disruptions" -- may solidify Democratic ranks without rallying new Republican support.

....With most counts showing Senate Democrats needing only one more vote to approve the call for troop withdrawals next year, antiwar pressures are growing on Sens. John Sununu (R-N.H.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Norm Coleman (R-Minn.). All face reelection next year, as does Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Ore.), who is already seen as leaning toward the withdrawal plan.

The thing is that even though the bill is completely flawed and doesn't go nearly far enough in getting the troops home it is more symbolic than functional. If just one of the wavering GOP Senators votes for the bill then it will say to the nation and the world that America is through with Iraq and it leaves Bush isolated. This will be especially true if he follows through on his veto threat. It will then be George Bush alone withholding the much need arms, armor and support the troops so desperately need. He will truly be alone in his ownership of this debacle.

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