Leaving Iraq: Details Tomorrow, Progressive Caucus Impatient

Congressman Murtha said today:

MR. RUSSERT: What are the Democrats going to do to try to stop the war in Iraq? REP. MURTHA: Well, the, the details haven’t been released yet. Until the members see it, we’re not going to talk about the details of what’s going to happen. That will be released tomorrow.

I'll withhold judgment then Congressman. Meanwhile, the Out of Iraq Caucus is:

becoming increasingly frustrated by what its members say is the Democratic leadership’s unwillingness to heed their calls for decisive action to the end the war.

Me too.

Some Blue Dogs expressed concern:

“My concern, representing the state where we’ve got the highest percentage call-up of guard and reserve in the country, I want to make sure Congress does not do anything that hamstrings troops on the ground,” said Representative Jim Matheson, a Utah Democrat who is a member of the Blue Dogs, a coalition of party moderates and conservatives.

This concern is easily met. Announce a date certain when the troops will be out, this happens through defunding by the way, with sufficient time lag to ensure the troops are not hamstrung. Say 9 months to a year. Next objection.

The Progressive Caucus understands the realities:

About 30 members of the Out of Iraq Caucus met Thursday to plot strategy. They warned that they might vote against any supplemental bill that did not more strictly limit the president’s options, a vote that could prove embarrassing for a Democratic leadership trying to preserve a fragile majority. “Nothing is going to happen unless we use the power of the purse,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York. “It’s time to draw a line in the sand.”

Only those in denial do not understand this at this point.

What is the Out of Iraq Caucus?

Created as an offshoot of the Progressive Caucus in the summer of 2005, the Out of Iraq group began with about 50 members. Its slow climb began when Mr. Murtha, an influential lawmaker and Vietnam veteran, unveiled his first plan calling for redeployment of troops in late 2005.

“The Out of Iraq Caucus grabbed onto Murtha,” Ms. Waters said. “Don’t forget, we were considered liberals and/or progressives that did not present a real threat to the administration, or even to the leadership.”

Suddenly, though, they had Mr. Murtha’s backing. The group’s numbers have since swelled, and now include a third of the Democratic majority.

The roster includes nine House committee leaders. Also among its membership are Representative George Miller of California, a trusted confidant of Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, and Representative John B. Larson of Connecticut, the vice-chair of the Democratic Caucus and the only member of the leadership in the group.

Time to flex your muscles Out of Iraq Caucus. Vote against sany supplemental bill that does not address your concerns.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Gesture (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Sun Mar 04, 2007 at 11:32:03 PM EST
    It would certainly be a welcome gesture to see the defunding of the war. But is it anything more that a political gesture?

    Can't Bush take money from elswhere?

    Also I imagine that there is a huge slushfund to maintain the war with professional mercenaries if need be. If there is a way to force Bush to send the troops home ASAP, I am all for it.

    No (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 05, 2007 at 01:34:44 AM EST
    There is NOt a 150 billion dolar slush fund.

    Please do not believe this nonsense.


    OK (none / 0) (#3)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 05, 2007 at 09:43:34 AM EST
    But what is to stop Bush from taking money from another pot if the war is defunded?

    What pot? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Mar 05, 2007 at 12:23:34 PM EST
    Social Security? IT does not work that way.

    David Sirota... (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Mon Mar 05, 2007 at 11:56:42 AM EST
    ...does a great job blasting The NYT and New York's political class with his post yesterday: "NYT: Anti-War Dems are "fringe"...and other insults from the Establishment"
    ...Democrats who want to bring the troops home from Iraq do not have a "fringe image" among the public, which also - according to polls - strongly wants the same thing. Then again, maybe I'm wrong: Maybe this statement is just a very public admission that editors and reporters at newspapers like the New York Times really believe they get to unilaterally decide "images," not the public; and from their Beltway vantage point where the only Serious People are those neoconservatives who pushed the war in the first place, anyone who wants to end the war is a Dirty Hippie on the "fringe."

    I'd say that NYT editors or anyone else who thinks that "the only Serious People are those neoconservatives who pushed the war in the first place" are so far beyond the "fringe" that they just didn't notice it when they fell through the mirror.

    At this rate we'll need to establish a "Be Kind To The Deluded" holiday. Maybe it could be on Dubya's birthday every year.