On The Iraq Supplemental: KISS

A lot of folks are strategizing on what to do on the Iraq supplemental funding bill. A lot of complicated suggestions. I think that KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) applies here. Don't try to finesse this. Not Bush. Not the Blue Dogs. Not the American People. The American People have said two things. End the war. Don't abandon the troops. The war will be funded for some period of time. No one can hope otherwise.

I propose my old refrain:

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. . . .; Second, spend the time to the not funding date 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.

Get the votes for that. Should be easy. No restrictions, benchmarks, etc. Bush will ignore all that. But he can not fight the war without money.

In short, fund the troops AND end the war.

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    Is there any advantage (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 10:04:36 PM EST
    to making the funding bills really short? (Say, nothing further than the end of this year on the first go-round.)

    On Feb 28 (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 10:09:58 PM EST
    Kucinich proposed 90 days.

    Constitution says it can't go beyond two years (none / 0) (#5)
    by TexDem on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 10:35:19 PM EST
    iirc, it doesn't say anything about a shorter time frame.

    One advantage is (none / 0) (#6)
    by Edger on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 10:40:12 PM EST
    you get them home faster, and need less boxes.

    FWIW (none / 0) (#10)
    by LarryE on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 12:15:08 AM EST
    I suggested two post-veto scenarios involving short-term funding here.

    The idea is to keep the issue of funding alive to give repeated chances to cut or cut off funding.

    (This in addition to refusing to pass a bill at all, which would stop the emergency funding immediately - but I believe that too many in Congress are still too intimidated by visions of being accused of "abandoning the troops" to do that.)


    March 31 08 (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 12:37:39 AM EST
    is the earliest date you'll get votes for,

    I think it would be a great idea (none / 0) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 09:06:43 AM EST
    but boy howdy would the military bureaucrats and contractors scream bloody flippin murder and giant death straw soldier scenarios would be rolled out.  They would be making lots more of those PPJ war funding pornos for youtube.

    Tracy.... Military? You sure?? (none / 0) (#26)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 12:20:24 AM EST
    They would be making lots more of those PPJ war funding pornos for youtube.

    Now just when I have been nice, said nothing to you, or about you, here comes a snarky personal attack.

    What's the matter? Mad because I haven't offerred you a starring role?

    Sorry, I have my standards.


    Why not end the war? (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Lora on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 08:54:44 AM EST
    It IS simple.  If those who want the war to end are in power, it should happen like you say.


    If I honestly believed for half a second (4.50 / 2) (#3)
    by Stewieeeee on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 10:20:53 PM EST
    that it would play the way how you imagine it playing, I'd be all for it.

    Set the date.

    Bush passes the date.

    Then it's Bush who is defunding the troops, right??

    Well.  I'm going to offer an extremely offensive analogy, but here goes.

    Kidnapper sets a date for ransom.

    The family and the authorities pass the date.

    Kidnapper says to the hostage, "It's your family that wants you dead."


    Probably didn't like that.

    I just think how you think it will play is wrong.

    Nobody's going to believe under the scenario that's described that once the date is passed that it was Bush who defunded the troops.  They're going to think it was a democratic party led congress that defunded troops.

    Deferring a game of chicken (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 12:06:37 AM EST
    The kidnapper analogy is a little off the mark in my mind, but it comes close to what bothers me about this approach.
    spend the time to the not funding date reminding the President and the American People every day that Democrats will not fund the war past the date certain

    First, I don't think the Democrats are good at hammering a message home. Even (as has so often been the case these last few years) when the facts are overwhelmingly on their side, it's been distressing to see how little they have to say for themselves.

    And even if they do make some attempt, Bush and his opponents will counter continuously that what happens on the 'Date Certain' will depend on the conditions at that time. And of course, he'll do nothing to wind down the war in the meantime.

    So, what is the endgame? You say, don't pass any more funding bills. Meanwhile, the war is in full force. What happens on the 'Date Certain'?
    It sounds like a big game of chicken.


    That's what it is (none / 0) (#11)
    by Stewieeeee on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 12:21:15 AM EST
    And only republicans play political chicken.

    your observations are apt.  democrats are neither good at it nor do they believe it is good for the country to do so.

    what's annoying is how the message i'm conveying about democrats is ignored in and of itself as a powerful message.

    when actually.  over time.  i believe it will resonate.


    The analogy begs the question (4.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 01:24:29 AM EST
    It's not really clearcut whether Congress or the White House would be in the role of the kidnapper in your analogy.

    Of course, I would say the WH. But the WH would say Congress. In any case, that's the nature of the public discussion that would be occurring.

    It's not a discussion likely to reflect credit on either side.


    Congress would be (none / 0) (#19)
    by Stewieeeee on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 01:43:25 AM EST
    the role of kidnapper in the way it was presented by me.

    The point is the family of the hostage don't really want the hostage to die, and every one knows that, by the same token, everyone knows bush doesn't really want the war to be defunded.

    it remains, wether we like it or not, a function of congress.  setting a date, reminding everyone about that date every day between now and that date, and then watching bush traverse that date doesn't change that.


    I know that's what you meant (none / 0) (#21)
    by Demi Moaned on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 02:49:39 AM EST
    And it's what I called 'begging the question'.

    By golly you have it right. (none / 0) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 12:21:43 AM EST
    Oh WOW (none / 0) (#4)
    by Stewieeeee on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 10:26:28 PM EST
    I posted what I said above and then saw this over at HuffPo.


    BTD and Beinart sittin in a tree.

    I wrote about that piece already (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 12:38:02 AM EST
    oh... crap (none / 0) (#17)
    by Stewieeeee on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 12:51:23 AM EST

    i missed it.


    If it's non-binding goals, Bush may not veto. (none / 0) (#7)
    by cal11 voter on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 10:55:16 PM EST
    He could always spin it as an effort to compromise and cooperate with Dems while maintaining his authority to act as he deems necessary.

    Right. (none / 0) (#8)
    by roboleftalk on Wed Mar 28, 2007 at 11:41:27 PM EST
    In short, cut the crap, cut the kabuki.

    that's not what i think is being suggested (none / 0) (#12)
    by Stewieeeee on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 12:26:24 AM EST
    what's being suggested is that it's all kabuki so, as the good chef might say:  Bam lets take it up a notch.

    it's kabuki regardless.  raise the stakes.


    They can (none / 0) (#13)
    by Che's Lounge on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 12:34:03 AM EST
    KISS my a**.

    Heh (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 12:38:19 AM EST
    The Republicans are going to try (none / 0) (#20)
    by Alien Abductee on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 01:57:42 AM EST
    to make sure it isn't simple, of course. They're trying to confuse things re what Congress's proper powers are:

    Charlie Black, a Republican strategist who is close to the White House, said the administration could win the argument with the public "if they handle it right and communicate it well." Republican leaders say they will back Bush as he tries to make the case to the public that Congress does not have the power to dictate the management of the war.

    "We have a constitutional republic that says the commander in chief of our forces is the president," said Senator Mel Martinez, the Florida Republican who is also chairman of the Republican National Committee. "It gives the power of the purse to Congress; it doesn't give the power of moving troops around to Congress."

    When Dems talk about forcing Bush to withdraw the troops by a date certain (instead of saying ending funding by that date), the Republicans are going to turn that into Congress trying to "move troops around."

    Dems better be ready to cut that particular meme off at the pass by saying very clearly that power of the purse is exactly what Congress is exercising here and that where Bush wants to move the troops is still by all means up to him.

    This debate is very frustrating for me (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 09:43:04 AM EST
    There have been days when I thought that anyone mentioning the word mission to me one more time and I was going to have to lock myself in a  deprivation tank just to hear myself think again.  Soldiers always talk about mission and are trained only to focus on mission and bring that mission to a successful completion.  When they practice stuff.....any stuff....then they debrief and critique how they could have done better, completed it with less damage, finished faster.  It is enough to drive a woman mad sometimes cuz then spouses come home on mission and have to be tossed into a deprivation tank until they can hear their partners think again ;)  I hang out with all of these mission people at this time in my life....mission, mission, mission, and nothing is more important than the mission when you go to work UGH!  What a stark comparison though to my party right now.  Jesus help me they stand around and debate if there are two S's in the word mission instead of working the mission.  They can't critique themselves because they act like criticism is water and they are the Wicked Witch of the West if someone has some to toss at them!  Help me Lord!  10% of the people will hate you no matter what you do or who you are, another 10% will despise you no matter what you do or who you are.  Get used to it, it is a fact of life and if you want the Iraq War ended then END IT!  JUST DO IT! If it is your mission then embrace your damned mission!  Put down the martini and work your mission!  No more alcohol for any Congress person until this mission is completed damn it......the Kennedy's ought to have this damned thing done by next week then!

    Oh. Really??? You do??? (none / 0) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 12:26:02 AM EST
    I assume you are not attending discussions were classified information is being discussed.

    Now that would be a big no-no.


    the long view (none / 0) (#25)
    by diogenes on Thu Mar 29, 2007 at 01:47:04 PM EST
    Hey guys, take the long view.  The Democrats seem to be certain that they'll win the presidency and keep congress in 2009, so they can withdraw on January 21 2009 and get all the credit they would richly deserve.  How much more difference would six months make anyway in a five year war?