When "The Netroots" Is Clueless

As always, I speak for me exclusively

I can not tell you how frustrating it is to me to read this post from Matt Stoller:

I've honestly been very confused about the debate over Iraq, and much of my time has also been taken up with the Fox News scuffle over the past three weeks. Fox News was a fun fight, fun because it was so clean-cut. The objectives were clear, and what victory meant was clear.

Iraq is different. It's huge. It's the problem. . . . [T]he progressives are being pretty unstrategic and obnoxious, though that doesn't really matter either. The Blue Dogs, as usual, suck, though that too doesn't really matter.

If you're looking at it from the inside, all you see i[s] bleakness. It's unlikely that we'll be able to get a bill through the House, and through a Senate filibuster, and through a White House veto, and past a constitutional crisis. Right? The votes aren't there. They just aren't.

Matt has not been paying attention and neither has Chris Bowers.

Just today I wrote AGAIN:

I've written this too many times to count, but one more time for the hard of head:

Many ask 'so what is a Democratic Congress to do?' With Mitch McConnell promising filibusters to all attempts to revoke the Iraq AUMF, cap troop levels and to cut funding for the Iraq Debacle, what is it I am asking of the Democratic Congress.

Let me explain again - I ask for three things: First, announce NOW that the Democratic Congress will NOT fund the Iraq Debacle after a date certain. You pick the date. Whatever works politically. If October 2007 is the date Dems can agree to, then let it be then. If March 2008, then let that be the date; Second, spend the year reminding the President and the American People every day that Democrats will not fund the war past the date certain; Third, do NOT fund the Iraq Debacle PAST the date certain.

Some argue we will never have the votes for this. That McConnell will filibuster, that Bush will veto. To them I say I KNOW. But that does not fund the Iraq Debacle. Let me repeat, to end the war in Iraq, the Democratic Congress does not have to pass a single bill, they need only NOT pass bills that fund the Iraq Debacle.

But but but, defund the whole government? Defund the whole military? What if Bush does not pull out the troops? First, no, not defund the government, defund the Iraq Debacle. If the Republicans choose to shut down government in order to force the continuation of the Iraq Debacle, do not give in. Fight the political fight. We'll win. Second, defund the military? See answer to number one. Third, well, if you tell the American People what is coming for a year, and that Bush is on notice, that it will be Bush abandoning the troops in Iraq, we can win that politcal battle too.

Understand this, if you want to end the Iraq Debacle, this is the only way until Bush is not President. If you are not for this approach for ending the war, tell me what you do support. I think this is the only way. And if you shy away from the only way to end the Debacle, then you really are not for ending it are you?

The Dem House Leadership is not really for ending the Debacle. The are for SAYING they are for ending it. And that is something altogether different. Altogether reprehensible. Altogether stupid.
Depressing as all hell to see the Netroots completely not understand an issue. But defunding and the Spending Power is the issue where they know nothing. It's makes me too angry to comment cogently on this. I am disappointed to say the least.

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    Congress actually using its Constitutional powers (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by Compound F on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:37:07 PM EST
    would be construed as "incivility" by Broder, and "treason" by Fox.  But considering that they are finally opening up some investigations, public perception may not be their biggest concern.  Their biggest concerns may be geostrategic, and they are simply flummoxed, because there are no good outcomes.  Included in the bad prognosis is the potential broadening regional conflict, in which case the nukes could come into play.  No doubt they have tough decisions, but they must make them, and lead.  Leaving the outcome to Bush/Cheney is not advisable or even rational.

    Interesting (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:38:19 PM EST
    but not exactly my point.

    On Iraq, why is the Netroots so clueless or so disinterested? What happened?


    they are still in love. November was just (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by tanya on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:48:33 PM EST
    a short time ago. They had a tremendous victory. Now they have to hold they accountable and responsible. This is still the honeymoon. They still need a reason to believe.

    It isn't cynicism that comes with age it is reality. The reality tha the real fight starts the day after your candidate wins. That is whan the hard work begins. Some are tking it up and that I'm glad to see for others it will take more time for reality to strike.


    Then they forgot how the win happened (5.00 / 6) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:52:32 PM EST
    The two years of fighting to get them strong on Iraq for 06. Just stupid.

    they are stuck in the old (5.00 / 6) (#20)
    by tanya on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:03:17 AM EST
    if we attack them it is just giving fuel to the right. That same argument has prevented any real critique of the labor movement for years. We see how well that has worked out.

    Too many have taken on the roll of cheerleader rather than gadfly. Now is when we should be holding their feet to the fire not making excuses about why action is impossible, or worse spewing spin rather than deconstructing it and pointing out what is really going on.

    Many, like myself came to the blogs because I couldn't stand listening to the news without any real analysis or critique. If many in the blog world persist in the role of cheerleader they will endup beving viewed in the same light as the MSM. Just another cheering squad for 'our team".

    The thin i fear most about this tact is that a lot of new young activists will simply fall by the wayside due to disillusionment. They have to be prepared for what is coming and learn that electing smeone is only the beginning not the end.


    Sorry to say this (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:37:25 PM EST
    but we are sort of profanity free here.

    Love your rhetoric but I am a hypcrite here on the swear words.

    I can't wait to see what happens after the 08' (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by tanya on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:41:01 PM EST
    election with a dem in the WH and still no end in sight. Other than Edwards has anyof them said what thy will do if the troops are still there in 09'?

    Well (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:05:41 AM EST
    I hope it does not come to that.

    But that seems to be the wish of the Dem leadership and, noew it seems, the Netroots.


    If they don't defund now there is no way (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by tanya on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:13:13 AM EST
    it will be over before 09'. The dems will never defund it with a dem in the WH. If anything they will send in more troops. It will be nixon in 68 all over again. Never did I think I would live to see this twice in my life.

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:40:38 AM EST
    If we still have troops in Iraq (none / 0) (#77)
    by TexDem on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 08:42:16 PM EST
    It will only be as a base camp for what is going on in Iran. If these guys aren't forced to get out of Iraq, from their perspective they will have a green light for Iran.
    Stop the funding NOW.

    'your' option (5.00 / 10) (#6)
    by buhdydharma on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:42:47 PM EST
    Needs a catchy name and some publicity.

    But even then, that still apparently leaves The Dems about 1/2 a clue short. I asked you a looong time ago if Hoyer was going to be a problem. You gave an answer that was appropriate for that time, but I think this is what I saw coming....even without the forekowledge of whiphood.  This is not a good situation. Now I wish I had followed the Murtha/Hoyer battle more closely now so I knew who to blame, at least.

    Hoyer obviously sympathizes with the blue dogs....and the progressives (thank god) aren't responding to whatever whip he is using.

    But as I say....more cowbell. I'll see if I can find some somewhere. As to Stoller...maybe Obey's name works!

    Defund the Debacle (5.00 / 7) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:51:09 PM EST
    Just do nothing.

    yeah,but (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by buhdydharma on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:59:55 AM EST
    if we don't control the spin, its a loss.

    Not for the troops, thank god, but for the Dems.

    That would play right into the stereotype (if not spun correctly) and who knows....could even pull Fox news' ratings out of the toilet.

    The Spin is the key part of the plan....and thats what they will NOT do if it is uncontrolled chaos.

    As it is now.


    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 01:01:24 AM EST
    And my plan covers that.

    zactly (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by buhdydharma on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 01:04:04 AM EST
    So (none / 0) (#73)
    by buhdydharma on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 02:26:10 PM EST
    You disagree with BTD's plan?

    What do we do now then?


    Did you see the document dump (none / 0) (#78)
    by TexDem on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 08:54:09 PM EST
    Smitheus diaried about it today.

    Catchy name (none / 0) (#75)
    by Alien Abductee on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 05:32:28 PM EST
    How about the "Iraq for Iraqis Plan"? Short for "Handing Iraq back to the Iraqis and bringing our troops home."

    What the heck gives us the right to be there anyway? No WMDs, no rationale at all for even being there.


    why..... (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by buhdydharma on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 06:22:13 PM EST
    Manifest Destiny gives us the right, lol!

    Iraq for Iraqis is not bad! But it doesn't quite communicate the plan.  Let's keep working on it!


    Iraq for Iraqis (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 09:10:49 PM EST
    The Bookseller's Story, Ending Much Too Soon
    Hayawi had worked at the bookstore all his life. His father, Abdel-Rahman, opened it in 1954, and after he died in 1993 his five sons inherited the business.


    He was always a proud man. Every so often, Hayawi would repeat this story: He was driving to Syria on business in his yellow Caprice and was stopped at a U.S. checkpoint, manned by two Humvees, outside the Euphrates River town of Ramadi, in western Iraq. Through a translator, one of the American officers, clad in camouflage and dusty from a desert wind, began to ask him routine questions.

    " 'What are you doing here?' the soldier asked.

    "I said, 'What are you doing here? You're my guest. What are you doing in Iraq?' "

    "He laughed and he patted my shoulder," Hayawi recalled.

    Anthony Shadid via War & Piece


    It took me awhile to understand. (5.00 / 6) (#7)
    by joliberal on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:46:37 PM EST
    I think that people get confused over the differences between the passage of a regular piece of legislation and the way that budgets are funded. Before I read your series on this issue, I didn't realize that passing budgets worked any differently than any other bill.

    Everyone isn't as ignorant as I am about the details of how our government works, but perhaps many people are still confused over the procedural differences. I must believe that the Dem leadership is a little more educated than I am about these things, so their apparent inability to grasp the logic on defunding is perplexing to say the least.

    Well (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:49:20 PM EST
    then why do Stoller and Bowers not do a little homework?

    I don't know. (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by joliberal on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:03:25 AM EST
    Aside from you I have seen very few people lay it out clearly. Many of the Dems in a position to understand certainly aren't spreading the word about the reality of the situation. I don't think the Democrats want people to know that the only way to end the war is to defund it. Because then they would have to do it, and for some reason that makes them very afraid.

    Maybe they should stand mute (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:04:59 AM EST
    until they understand it?

    I would be shocked... (5.00 / 5) (#33)
    by joliberal on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:14:26 AM EST
    if you hadn't already suggested that to them. lol

    It would appear that it might be necessary (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by prairiefire on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:21:50 AM EST
    for you to spend some of your credibility capital to hand feed them, repeatedly if necessary. It seems the netroots has caught a monster case of pitiful helplessness from our obfuscating Dem leaders. Their minds seem to be mired in the filibuster/veto ditch. Doing nothing on Iraq appropriations equals de-funding does not seem to compute at any level.

    I've written 20 posts on teh subject (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:23:33 AM EST
    and many have been widely covered.

    I just think they have not done their work.

    And, I think they show poor judgment when they decide to pntificate4 on the subject when they clearly know so little about it.


    You're going to have to go to them (5.00 / 4) (#43)
    by prairiefire on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:31:14 AM EST
    where they live when they start spouting nonsense until they catch on. It will be a test of your patience but there is so much at stake I hope that you consider it.

    Posting at MYDD? (5.00 / 5) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:39:40 AM EST
    There's a thought . . .

    No one articulates the de-funding (5.00 / 5) (#49)
    by prairiefire on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 01:02:32 AM EST
    position better than you including any of our elected Dems.

    Ah, I always enjoy friends visiting me. n/t (none / 0) (#68)
    by cal11 voter on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 10:07:53 AM EST
    Friends being the key word (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 10:17:14 AM EST
    BTD, you are right about the right way to go. (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by cal11 voter on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 10:21:25 AM EST
    I think the Dem leadership has lowered their expectations which has resulted in many Dems lowering their expectations.  Fortunately, not all Dems.

    Everyone who reads (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Alien Abductee on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 03:20:21 AM EST
    about this approach to defunding makes the same error - looking at it as a matter of having to take positive action against great odds instead of seeing it from the other side, where non-action (something there's potentially an abundance of) can be used to achieve a positive and clearly defined goal.

    Partly it's a matter of the typically American action-oriented mindset, but also it's been a long and wearing six years. It seems both the politicians and the pundits are worn out and utterly stuck in linear and uncreative thinking. The Democrats' plodding plans  to cobble together standards, benchmarks, and timelines are just more evidence of this. The more details brought in to negotiate, the more compromised and fraught the result will be (and pointless anyway, since a restrictive bill will be vetoed).

    If I were going to punditize, I'd suggest pressing Blue Dogs to go along with the Progressives would be most fruitful along "fiscal responsibility" lines. That's their primary raison d'etre. What could be less fiscally responsible than spending $105 billion on a war that's actually sending U.S. security backward further and further by the day?

    Posting on MyDD and engaging the misapprehensions directly is a very good idea.


    Matt commentsd here (none / 0) (#67)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 09:59:50 AM EST
    and still seems to not understand it at sll.

    I'm getting cynical (5.00 / 5) (#14)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:53:28 PM EST
    Hoyer is counting on us not to understand how the budgeting process works.

    This is Painful (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:49:12 PM EST
    These guys aren't stupid. To some degree, I think we were scared away from the Iraq issue by the fight with Lieberman, which I wonder if we never should have tried.

    In any case, I think you're right BTD, and I hope you manage to convince more people.

    Paintful? (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:50:27 PM EST
    I suppose. I think these giys need to do their homework before they shoot off their mouths.

    Well, (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:01:53 AM EST
    I just care that we get things right as a "movement."

    As a movement (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:04:05 AM EST
    I want to fire them as leaders on the Iraq issue.

    Their performance has been Gawd awwful.

    The rest of the blogs have been just as bad.


    It'll be interesting to get a response (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by brainwave on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:53:29 PM EST
    from Stoller and Bowers. I just posted a link to this in a comment to Stoller's diary. It's hard to imagine how people who are normally so well clued in can apparently be so out there in the wilderness over a policy issue of such importance.

    I doubt it (5.00 / 6) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 11, 2007 at 11:59:44 PM EST
    Frankly, I think theyu do not understand it. I think they have not taken the time to actually try and understand the issue.

    I read their thread, and it amazes me that they think Bush is not going to veto this legislation.

    It WON't PASS Bush's veto. If it gets past McConnell's filibuster.  Matt thinks it will tells you how little they have actually thought about the issue.


    As a "realist" (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:03:06 AM EST
    I think defunding is much easier than impeachment.

    I totally understood that! (5.00 / 5) (#25)
    by Compound F on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:06:13 AM EST
    And I agree.  Progress?  Yee-Haw!

    More effective at this date too. (5.00 / 5) (#28)
    by jerry on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:10:39 AM EST
    I would love to see the guy impeached, but at this date, it seems that to start things up would just hurt us in 08.

    The upside to BTD's plan is that it gives all of our candidates something to agree on and is much more obviously to the point of doing something about the war.  Impeachment will be spun as just BDS.


    regional ME stability is more important (5.00 / 4) (#42)
    by Compound F on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:27:15 AM EST
    than impeachment.  That is simply a utilitarian fact.  And defunding (along with direct negotiations  with regional players, including security agreements with Iran) is probably the best way to avoid a larger conflagration.  As Matt Stoller says at least three times in his post, Americans hate George Bush and the Iraq war.  What's the difficulty in defunding?  It couldn't be more simple.  What's the catch?  The loss of American regional power.

    Since word for word repetition isn't working (5.00 / 5) (#26)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:07:14 AM EST
    maybe you ought to mix up your three steps.  Start with step 3 and then do flashbacks to steps 1 and 2.  And if that works, you can switch careers and become a screenwriter.

    Seriously, it's like you've instituted your own "No Blogger Left Behind" program and you're only teaching the test at this point.  There's no point in getting angry at disappointing students.  You've just got to find another way to reach them.

    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:09:34 AM EST
    Mary, now I don't have to be nice to some folks just because.

    The problem is not my delivery - it is that they have never even heard of the idea.

    They know nothing but insist on writing as if they know something.

    Silence from them would be better at this point.


    By "some folks" (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:12:43 AM EST
    do you mean me?

    Of course silence would be better. But they aren't going to be silent.  


    Umm (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:19:05 AM EST
    No, not you. I'm surprised at your question.

    Just checking (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Maryb2004 on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:22:20 AM EST
    I like things to be clear.  

    Me too (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:31:33 AM EST
    In that case (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:12:44 AM EST
    your loss of the FP megaphone at dailykos is especially annoying.

    I lost that megaphone in 2006 (none / 0) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:22:11 AM EST
    I know (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:26:00 AM EST
    That doesn't really change my point though.

    Negotiations work best when you can walk away... (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by jerry on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:14:07 AM EST
    A big problem with elected officials is that they cannot (will not) just walk away from their office.  So they refuse to take stands that will hurt them at election time.

    What would seemingly be good is if the party could convince those in safe seats or those with announced retirements to take point and introduce the initiatives that others are scared to.

    Jerry (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:18:19 AM EST
    Why not have the LEADERSHIP do that.

    I agree they should... (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by jerry on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 02:02:15 PM EST
    Yes, why not have the leadership do that?

    Except they haven't so far, and the way the incentives are set up for them, I don't anticipate them starting anytime soon.

    Is that leadership?  I don't think so, but then again, ironically, I think it's pretty rare that the leaders take point, usually they assign point and support the person that actually is in the lead.

    And that's what they could do here.  Find a safe seat and/or a short timer, and provide support to keep the seat safe as needed and get that person to take the riskiest lead position and draw all the heaviest flack.

    Note: I have no idea which end of the gun is the dangerous end, so do be careful about any of my military analogies.


    Yes, this is a profanit free site (5.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:24:58 AM EST
    And I have to delete comments with profanity.  Law firms use censor software and this site was banned once because of it. It took me three days to track down the company, find the employee with the authority to reverse the banning and get it corrected.

    You can use asterisks, like bullsh**t, but really, you can say it using regular words just as well.

    So please, think before you type if you don't want your comment deleted.

    Eh (5.00 / 7) (#52)
    by Jay Elias on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 01:26:08 AM EST
    The trouble, as I see it, is simple: no one wants to say the hard truth: we cannot win this war.  We've lost.

    How to end it isn't the trouble.  How to convince people, especially elected leaders, that it is better to say that now rather than when it is obvious to everyone is the trouble.  IMHO, of course.

    BTW, I had to register here just to say that, so try not to call me too many kinds of dumb BTD.  Nice to see your work again.

    I think (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 01:32:35 AM EST
    That part of the convincing is to make withdrawl the only legal option. If the House democrats aren't willing to push this point, then, as Chuck Hagel said, they should go find another job--like selling shoes.

    Their are several of us here (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by TexDem on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 09:19:11 PM EST
    Some have been here awhile, but I think most of us have come in the last month or so.

    Welcome aboard. I'm sure Jeralyn can't be disappointed in the increased traffic.


    Jay (none / 0) (#81)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 09:39:00 PM EST
    I think htat is part of it, but the inertia is what is bothering me.

    sorry if i appear clueless with this question but (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by conchita on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 01:32:55 AM EST
    where else have you taken your argument besides here and dailykos?  maybe you need to post at mydd as you mentioned above and other blogs and clone yourself (i.e. the rest of us here become btd clones) - and the clones post as well.  break the message down into simple, easily understood points and get it out there - the blogs, traditional media pr effort, LTEs, flyers, whatever is managable.  if you have already done any of this, i apologize for the redundancy.  if you haven't and think it is worth a shot, i am ready to be cloned and i think i can bring people to the party.

    It's not about BTD (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by brainwave on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 08:38:45 AM EST
    He's argued convincingly that his proposal already is that of the Out of Iraq Caucus.

    and if you don't think it would be (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by conchita on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 01:39:46 AM EST
    appropriate to work from talkleft, i know someone who has set up a site (not sure if it has been designed) for this purpose.  just sayin'.

    Dem. House & so-so Senate. (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by walt on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 05:54:51 AM EST
    I get home from the bar & my computer is flashing & buzzin' & there's an e-mail from this crazy dude who has my secret code & pulled my chain under one of the other names for the pup tent trouble-maker.  So I come here to this website, where no KUSSING is allowed, & see my beloved Maryscott chastised about the words in the very 1st post, & go through the steps to create an account on a blog that only uses the least meaningful words in the English language, & try to write something useful????  Now, BTD, you've been whaling & wailing on this "de-fund" routine for a little bit of a while now.

    So . . . I've had time to think & observe--a pair of dangerous behaviors.  Surrounding your personal e-mail to my anonymous, secret self are missives from Sen. Barbara Boxer (she is cute in that cable-knit sweater) requesting money for Al Gore, Jim Dean requesting money for some group of Democrats who want to teach me how to be a progressive or a liberal, Howard Dean requesting my money for regular Democrats, Harold Ford asking for a donation to the not-quite Democrats, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, & my State party & scores of others asking for access to my credit cards.

    Wes Clark didn't ask for money, but wants me to sign on to support his stop the war gig & get involved with the veterans group.

    My response to all but Clark is: NO money, honey, until you do something to end the crap in Iraq!  This is now a single issue project friends.  If you aren't on the bus to get out of Iraq, you are not riding on my dime, my dollar, or other in-kind donation.  [insert appropriate expletive here]

    I'll deal with Clark later.  He's singing out of the righteous hymnal & on the exact right song.

    Now, BTD, or whomsoever sent me that pushy e-mail, you need to take a look at why Pelosi, Hoyer, Reid & Durbin are "slagging" your idea.  It's penny-ante, kewl kidz, inside-the-beltway politics.  Very hateful, but a game they feel compelled to play.  The Democratic Party leaders want to get Bu$h xliii on record in a veto of legislation to end or de-fund or benchmark the war.  They are seeking a confrontation.

    Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps later the gruesome foursome will actually cut off the money by using the BigTentDemocrat process of inaction--de-fund, just don't DO a bill.  Ziff.  Nada.  Zero.

    But, for now, it's show & tell time.

    Yeah.  GIs die, lose extremities, have their quality of life destroyed, fall into the cracks of doom & despair as the political operatives play their baloney games.  Even so, the "experts" want George W. Bush on record against ending the war.

    After all, they really are politicians.

    As for the bloggers--they really are rather ordinary schmucks, now, aren't they????

    respectfully (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Matt Stoller on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 09:10:32 AM EST
    Respectfully, your pet solution is not THE ANSWER.  There is no THE ANSWER.  Strategy is actually putting out a set of parameters that actually map to reality, and the reality is that there is not the discipline in the party to do what you suggest, however intelligent and thoughtful.  In other words,  if what you suggest were possible, we wouldn't be in this situation.

    Respectfully (5.00 / 4) (#66)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 09:56:29 AM EST
    What I map out is the only solution even if you harness all the political willpower in the world fo0r any pet solutin of your own.

    The 60/67 vote/Veto problems are insurmountable.

    Wjat you and Chris and the Netroots have done is simply not thought the issue through and have gone and spun your wheels on a bunch of hooey.

    Everything does not have to directly be arguing for what I argue for - defunding by annopuncement and not enacting - but that is the only way it will happen in the Bush Presidency.

    That you think there is another way boggles my mind.

    Finally, I think you folkjs have basically given up on the issue - nopw you buy into the  "let's get a new President or the 111th Congress to do it" line.

    I think it would be much more honest if you folks just said that then and let us know you put up the white flag.


    Lwt me ask you specifically Matt (5.00 / 3) (#69)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 10:16:00 AM EST
    what you and Chris are talking about here:

    This wasn't the situation we had in mind, but any legal opposition to the war should suffice, given the way this administration operates. If they are going to flaunt any opposition, why haggle over the degree of opposition? The only continuing opposition to the current bill I can imagine now is a pure moral objection to supporting the war at all, even through a means to try and end it. But to do so would be to take yourself out of the debate and politicking entirely.

    What the  heck is Chris Bowers talking about? The issue is FUNDING the war, not registering your objections. Bush could care less about your objections.

    And the funny thing if that is the point as Chris says, then what happens if it is stripped or if Bush certifies whatever you think he has to certify? Nothing of course. You guys continue:

    I don't know if you agree with me, but I think this is a step in the right direction for progressives in the House. Just being willing to make a show of force for left-wing opposition to what Democrats do is a step in the right direction. You are right that this wasn't good enough (and the Senate bill showed it clearly wasn't good enough--progs like Feingold can do better to change Democratic direction all on their own than an entire caucus can do, apparently). But it was a step in the right direction.

    You mean caving in after opposing the bill? Showing that the Dem Leadership will stand up to you but not the Blue Dogs or the GOP? Woo hoo! What a win!

    And, you are also right that the votes aren't there, either. Whether in the House, the Senate, or the White house, this bill is probably going down. I am mostly concerned about how hard the House leadership is willing to fight back. It is a bar fight primary moment.

    The truth about McCain  
    by Chris Bowers on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:20:58 AM EST

    And the Dem Leadership got laid out. Woo hoo!! Yay team!  Oh wait, you think the bill will "pass":

    I think the bill can pass, actually.  The important test is what happens when Bush says 'no, I don't think I have to listen to Congress'.

    If I were a prog caucus member, I would cut a deal with leadership and say 'I'll support your stupid compromise if you support our strong enforcement of that compromise when Bush gives Congress the middle finger'.

    by Matt Stoller on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 12:23:15 AM EST

    Pffft. IF it has any teeth at all, McConnell will filibuster or Bush will veto. NOT passing bills is the way to do this.


    The Democrats Cannot "Win" (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by pyrrho on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 04:38:25 PM EST
    becuase each fight reveals that they support the basic pnac notion of an American hegemony, not built on a forward looking world economy of the willing, but on old and rather tired geopolitics.

    When they fight, they show they don't really want to fight, and thus "lose" the only fight really being faught, a political scam to fool voters.

    It's like some people are debating if Dems don't climb the ladder because they don't want to fix the roof, or becuase they are afraid of heights. What about both?

    Seriously? (none / 0) (#51)
    by sean mykael on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 01:04:47 AM EST
    we are fast approaching a point where we need to ask why we should place any trust in the House Dems.

    After everything that has happened in recent years, I have a hard time believing that you're just getting around to asking whether or not you can trust the House Dems. Even with a newly elected congress...you said it yourself
    The Dem House Leadership is not really for ending the Debacle. They are for SAYING they are for ending it.

    The Dems have no incentive to defund the war. Elections aren't for another 2 years and the American people seem to be more interested in Anne Nicole or Britney's head.

    I have a hard time believing that even if the Dems did decide to cut funding and got enough votes to get past a veto...that Bush wouldn't just find a way to get around it. Time and again he has shown that he has no respect for any kind of separation of powers. After all, he is "the Deciduh"

    What other options to end the war, other than pulling the funding?

    Bring back the draft.

    Not that it's going to happen either.

    I don't know; I just don't have any faith in any of these politicians to do anything. Whats even more messed up is that when it comes to presidential prospects for 08 the only ones I see talking about getting out of Iraq are Edwards and Hagel, and personally, I don't think Edwards stands a chance. I hope that I'm wrong.

    You're right Big Tent; a date needs to be set and funding needs to be cut off. I just have a hard time believing that even if DailyKos and MyDD and TalkLeft and whoever else were all on the same page, that it would even matter.

    My point... (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by sean mykael on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 03:18:01 AM EST
    Is that while BTD is correct that we need a funding deadline...
    I don't trust the Dems to do anything about it...
    whether the netroots are united on the issue or not.

    BTD also asked what other options there were other than cutting off the funding.
    My answer was to bring back the draft.
    I was just reading over at Dailykos and it would seem that I am not alone.

    As for this

    Rebut that with facts.  You can't.  It's the truth.

    Rebut with facts? What facts? The Dems will either decide to cut funding or they won't. I can't see into the future and have no idea what facts I could present that would prove how the Dems will handle this matter. All I have is my opinion...which is that the Dems...as a whole...don't seem very interested in getting out of Iraq any time soon.

    I have no idea where the animosity is coming from. Have I wronged you in some way?


    So Bush tries to play dictator? (none / 0) (#55)
    by andgarden on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 01:34:14 AM EST
    He'll have to go the Iran Contra route to fund the war if the Democrats cut the money. That just isn't going to go over with anyone.

    In the last six years... (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by sean mykael on Mon Mar 12, 2007 at 01:51:23 AM EST
    Ive seen a whole bunch of stuff happen that I never thought anybody would go for.

    You're probably right, but you just never know with these guys.

    I hate to be so cynical or pessimistic...I just don't trust any of them anymore.