Levin Sets The Stage For The Dem Cavein On Iraq

I guess Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) is not one of those Democrats Krugman claims is being influenced by the base:

Levin said Democrats remain committed to sending Bush a compromise package with the withdrawal language intact, to express the strong concerns among Democrats and some Republicans that the Iraq war is exacting too high a cost for the country to continue.

That language is likely to track closely with the Senate approach, which sets a goal instead of a hard date. "We're going to send him, first of all, hopefully, a very strong bill which would say that we're going to begin to reduce troops in four months as a way of telling the Iraqi leadership that the open-ended commitment is over," Levin said.

"If we don't have the votes to override, and it appears that we don't -- but we never know until that vote is taken -- we will then hopefully send him something strong in the area of benchmarks as the second-best way of putting pressure on the president to put pressure on the Iraqis."

And if the second best way fails then the thrid best way and so on.

This is a joke. There is one way - Reid Feingold. And it does not have to pass.

< Who Are Dems Listening To? | Um, Senator Reid, You Need To Talk To Sen. Levin >
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    Riding the same old damned merry-go-round (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 16, 2007 at 11:52:14 AM EST
    Going no place fast but it does make you feel like you're going to throw up.

    arrgh! (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by conchita on Mon Apr 16, 2007 at 11:55:57 AM EST
    levin set us up for this one a few weeks ago on one of the sunday news shows (can't remember which).  

    time to get on the phone and fax machine.

    This is a leader (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 16, 2007 at 11:58:39 AM EST
    She's taking a calculated risk to end our detrimental outcomes.  She hasn't lost much and she has lost none of her basic needs but she stands to gain much in this process!  Bless her heart, Bless her day, Bless her strength of character, Bless her authenticly led life!

    He got questioned on this (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by andgarden on Mon Apr 16, 2007 at 11:58:55 AM EST
    by some of his constituents.  
    I thanked him for coming, and for voting against the Iraq War initially, and for the Warner/Levin resolution condemning the surge; but with the CBS recent poll showing 58% of respondents favoring limiting the funds for the war by some deadline or other, I mentioned that as per the discussion on places like Daily Kos (!!), folks were wondering about the rhetoric of Barack Obama and himself which made it sound like the Dems were the ones trying to prevent a fully funded withdrawal from Iraq, when it's George W. Bush who is threatening to veto the funding!

            So, I asked him, could he please comment on this, since it's not just Rush Limbaugh urging a funding vote, but also Russ Feingold and Harry Reid, his fellow senators, who wanted to fund a withdrawal by '08.

            Levin replied that first, people like Rush Limbaugh would take advantage of the "cut funding" idea, and that Rush wouldn't be trying to goad us into it unless he thought it would hurt us; and second, that things like benchmarks (on Iraq improving its performance, etc.--I don't think he mentioned Murtha), troop number caps, etc., were better, or possibly language saying "we will withdraw by 2008" but simply not bothering to mention funding. He seemed adamant that defunding was not a good idea, and that it wouldn't get enough support to pass. (He kept mentioning the 67-vote boundary, although I did note to him that they might not need 67, if it were just to get a funding bill to Bush...)

            He also mentioned that from what he had observed, all the pressure from the Democrats so far was having an effect, i.e., Iraqi politicians are really waking up to the need to clean up their act. (So that pressure, in some form like benchmarks in the bill after the present bill that Bush will veto, would be good.) But he said a funding battle, with a likely Democratic loss, could make us look really bad. And he also said that Harry Reid said something about the Feingold/Reid bill not really cutting funding for the troops, since those troops left behind in Iraq as trainers, al-Qaida hunters, etc., would still be funded. But, Levin said, language in the Feingold/Reid bill does talk about cutting funding for the troops.

    what the fergastermash... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by baba durag on Mon Apr 16, 2007 at 11:59:48 AM EST
    I wanna play poker with these guys.  You don't even need a "tell".  They're holding the cards face out.

    stuck to their foreheads ;) (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Apr 16, 2007 at 12:02:22 PM EST
    Why start with a bill that only has goals? (none / 0) (#1)
    by cal11 voter on Mon Apr 16, 2007 at 11:40:42 AM EST
    Is Dem leadership doing it again, or do they think Bush may sign the bill if it only contains goals?

    Bush may sign one with firm deadlines (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Apr 16, 2007 at 11:43:54 AM EST
    It seems to me goals will get signed.

    I think the writing was on the wall some time ago. (none / 0) (#10)
    by cal11 voter on Mon Apr 16, 2007 at 12:09:05 PM EST
    Sen. Nelson has favored setting a goal vs. a mandate.  His support was critical to passing in the Senate.