Iraq: Not The President

Ezra Klein wrote a great piece taking apart the very silly Roger Cohen's lament that "liberal hawks" like himself are misunderstood. They are NOT neocons Cohen insists. Ezra responded:

This shouldn't be necessary to say, but increasingly, it seems like the only point worth making to the commentariat. American politics isn't about you. It's not about your ideas, or your personal vision of the world, or your purity. . . . It is the impact of your ideas, and your commentary, that matters. . . . Here's why: Roger Cohen is not president. George W. Bush is. And until Roger Cohen's foreign policy vision integrates itself with an understanding of American power, and how ideas interact with the current administration, he is, effectively, a neoconservative, or, worse, an enabler of the neoconservatives who's able to advocate for their policy agenda without needing to answer for their failures.

(Emphasis supplied.) Great stuff. But it is worth asking this question - are progressive pundits, progressive blogs, and progressive activists considering how their "ideas interact with the current administration?" I think not. There is precious little discussion from most about the fact that the only way to stop the Bush Administration's Iraq Debacle is to not fund it after a date certain. So either they are of the view that NOTHING can stop the Iraq Debacle while Bush is President (and if they think so, they should say so), or they are just as guilty of the narcissism Klein accuses Cohen of. Moreover, while George Bush will not be President after January 2009, neither will Ezra Klein or any other progressive pundit, blogger or activist. More.

Let's assume for a moment that in fact there is nothing that can be done to stymie Bush while he is President and that the Iraq Debacle will continue and that we will continue to live under the threat that Bush may springboard an attack on Iran through the Iraq Debacle. And we just hold our breaths and wait it out until January 2009.

Consider for a moment what appear to be the most likely scenarios for what we will see in January 2009. A Congress slightly more Democratic. And either a Hillary Clinton presidency or a Giuliani, Thompson or Romney presidency. How will the ideas of progressive pundits, blogs and activists "interact with the current Administration?" Are we confident that a Clinton Administration that may include a Michael O'Hanlon and preoccupied with reelection in 2012 will end the Iraq Debacle? We surely do not expect a Republican Administration to "lose Iraq" do we?

The impact of our ideas, writings and activism on the "current Administration" (whenever "current" may be) is important to consider. But what about our impact on the "current" Congress? Why no consideration of that? Why no consideration of the role Congress SHOULD play? Why no pressure on Congress to carry out its Constitutional duty? And why not now? Will we "wait out" Bush only to realize that there will be a new President we have to "wait out?"

No, the time is now to try and pressure those who MAY "interact" with our ideas. Standing silent now while the Congress continues to fund Bush's Iraq Debacle is not an option.

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    Excellent. A clarion call. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 10:11:28 AM EST

    You know I was kidding (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 10:19:18 AM EST
    when I said THIS post would change the discussion.

    But this one plus a thousand like it might.


    Sure. But don't give up. (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 11:33:59 AM EST
    "Never give an inch" (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 11:39:59 AM EST
    Agree completely. (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 11:14:46 AM EST
    either they are of the view that NOTHING can stop the Iraq Debacle while Bush is President (and if they think so, they should say so), or they are just as guilty of the narcissism Klein accuses Cohen of
    There is too much defeatism around.

    The fact that someone might think that nothing including not funding the occupation will end it while Bush is still president, is no reason for those someones to agree with or accede to continuing to fund it.

    Unless their name happens to be Pelosi, apparently...

    Helen Thomas (none / 0) (#15)
    by Edger on Sat Oct 06, 2007 at 09:33:38 PM EST
    Last week at a debate in Hanover, N.H., the leading Democratic presidential candidates sang from the same songbook: Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York, and Barack Obama of Illinois and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards refused to promise to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq by 2013, at the end of the first term of their hypothetical presidencies. Can you believe it?

    When the question was put to Clinton, she reverted to her usual cautious equivocation, saying: "It is very difficult to know what we're going to be inheriting."

    Obama dodged, too: "I think it would be irresponsible" to say what he would do as president.

    Edwards, on whom hopes were riding to show some independence, replied to the question: "I cannot make that commitment."

    They have left the voters little choice with those answers.

    Some supporters were outraged at the obfuscation by the Democratic front-runners.

    On the other hand, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., are more definitive in their calls for quick troop withdrawals.

    But Biden wants to break up Iraq into three provinces along religious and ethnic lines. In other words, Balkanize Iraq.

    To have major Democratic backing to stay the course in Iraq added up to good news for Bush.

    Now comes a surprising Clinton fan.

    What Is the Progressive Answer? (1.00 / 1) (#13)
    by MSimon on Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 10:29:53 PM EST
    To Burma?

    To Saddam's Mass graves of women and children?

    To gender apartheid in the Arab world?

    To Iran hanging children for being gay?

    Blame Bush? Yeah that will change things right away.

    Ever heard the term "topic" before? (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 10:49:27 PM EST
    Did you flunk out of troll school? You're not very good at it.

    There is a specific problem in Missouri (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 12:00:18 PM EST
    that is probably duplicated in many states.

    Claire McCaskill, Democratic Senator, continues to vote for and support continuance of the occupation, and remains deaf to her constituents. She isn't up for re-election for another 5 years, so threatening her with lack of voter support is having no effect.

    I've been discussing an idea over at Show Me Progress, but don't know if it is a feasible idea re campaign finance law.

    The idea is to threaten her where it hurts. In her wallet. Is it possible to create fund that people can contribute to instead of to her, that will be used to pay down her debts and pay her expenses ONLY if she not only votes no on the next supplemental vote and the FISA vote, but comes out definitively and unambiguously for defunding the occupation and setting date certain for withdrawal prior to the 2008 elections, and until she does that money would be used to cover operating expenses and advertising expenses along with a letter campaign to media.

    A "Bankrupt McCaskill" campaign? Redirect any contributions to her?

    If the Democrats accomplish defunding and ending the occupation of Iraq before November 7, 2008 you'll get your money.

    If they don't, you won't.

    Is that clear? Come back or call back when you've done it. Have a nice day.

    A laywers thoughts might be helpful...

    IOW (none / 0) (#7)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 12:15:30 PM EST
    Defund the recalcitrants....

    That's not a request for legal advice, btw... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 12:18:26 PM EST
    Just wondering if anyone knows if anything like that has been done elswhere.

    opposite of Feingold's e mail. (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 01:10:12 PM EST
    Maybe he'd be willing to be the conduit.  Faucet open.  Faucet closed.

    There's a thought! (none / 0) (#10)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 01:42:04 PM EST
    I think it might work. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 03:23:54 PM EST
    Do you know of any reason legally that it couldn't be done?

    I have zip info on campaign finance laws. (none / 0) (#12)
    by oculus on Fri Oct 05, 2007 at 05:46:03 PM EST
    "Balkanize Iraq" (none / 0) (#16)
    by diogenes on Sun Oct 07, 2007 at 10:05:42 PM EST
    The various independent countries in the Balkans are doing quite well as far as an absence of violence goes, though NATO troops are in Bosnia and it took bombs to clear Kosovo.
    This would be a great outcome for Iraq.