A Concerted Partisan Effort To End The Iraq Debacle: Reid-Feingold

At the end of a good post on the failed political Presidency of George W. Bush, my friend DemfromCt writes something that I think misses the point:

What America needs is recognition of the problem and a concerted bipartisan effort (including Republicans) to minimize the damage done, rather than a pretense that 'being like Reagan and Truman' will make everything okay in the morning. . . . If Republicans and conservatives are serious about this, they'll call for the firing of Alberto Gonzales. If that doesn't happen (and I doubt it will), all these Rx for Success notes to Bush and the GOP are just so much wasted bandwidth that won't stop a GOP debacle in 2008.

Since, as DemfromCt recognizes, the GOP will not join Dems in "a bipartisan effort to minimize the damage done," what he should recognize America needs is a concerted partisan effort by Democrats to minimize the damage done, particularly on Iraq.

As I have written here many times, it is within the power of the Democratic Congress to end the Iraq Debacle. The Reid-Feingold framework, with an announced date certain, March 31, 2008, for NOT funding the war, is the concerted partisan effort that is needed to minimize the damage of the Iraq Debacle. Today, the Senate takes up the Reid-Feingold proposal. Please urge your Senators to vote in favor of ending the Iraq Debacle in the only way truly possible, by announcing a date certain for NOT funding it.

For those who are not familiar with my thinking on this, I repeat it here:

This is a preemptive post, because I am positive that the defenders of those Presidential candidates who do not endorse Reid-Feingold will trot out the same critiques about the NOT funding the Debacle approach that was used when Feingold first proposed his Not Funding plan in January. To wit, we don't have the votes, McConnell will filibuster, Bush will veto. My response remains

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 filbustering and vetoing 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 political battle too.

This approach is perfectly consistent with the so called "short leash" plan, where the Debacle will be funded in 3 month intervals. But it is only consistent if BOTH are done. The intention to NOT fund the war after March 31, 2008 must be made the Dem position now.

The short leash must be pulled to a stop on March 31, 2008.

Say it now so you can end it then. If you do not say it now, then you can't end it on March 31, 2008.

This approach has the following virtues: (1) you are funding the troops in the field; (2) you are giving the Surge a chance to work; (3) you are laying out a plan the American People support; and most importantly, (4)you can end the Debacle and bring our troops home.

Now if your goal is to RUN on the Debacle (which is unattainable in my opinion, the ruse is too easily seen through) then you won't like this plan.

But if you want to run as the Party that ended the Debacle, or at least the Party that did everything it could to end the Debacle, then you must adopt the NOT funding plan. That means Reid-Feingold.

< Club Feds No More | Edwards to Senate: Support Reid-Feingold >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    The ultimate example of your (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue May 15, 2007 at 09:10:30 AM EST
    "politics of contrast."

    Democrats want to end the war, and Republicans don't.

    Well... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Tue May 15, 2007 at 09:27:21 AM EST
    Most Democrats want to end the war, and most Republicans don't.

    Some democrats don't appear to want to, and most republicans don't want to.


    well, in the House (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by andgarden on Tue May 15, 2007 at 09:30:57 AM EST
    a majority of Democrats do. I'd like to see the same in the Senate.

    That's true (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Edger on Tue May 15, 2007 at 09:41:07 AM EST
    I'm just always pushing, you know? I still haven't heard Nancy Pelosi say anything publicly about Reid-Feingold, unless I missed something.

    Didn't Rahm Emmanuel (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by TexDem on Tue May 15, 2007 at 10:03:10 AM EST
    move closer to this direction lately? It seems I read that somewhere, here or on dkos with a link to the story from TPM, Salon or WaPo.

    She voted for McGovern (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by andgarden on Tue May 15, 2007 at 10:10:58 AM EST
    Is it more accurate (none / 0) (#8)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue May 15, 2007 at 10:38:41 AM EST

    Is it more accurate to say that most Repubs want to end the war with victory for our side, where which side achieves victory is irrelevant to many Dems?

    If they wanted to pull out as winners (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by TexDem on Tue May 15, 2007 at 10:51:52 AM EST
    they should have pulled out in 2003. With no plans and no understanding of what it would take to occupy a conquered country, there has never been an opportunity for victory as the Administration and it's supporters think they are defining it.

    And what do you mean by winning?


    You cannot WIN someone elses civil war. (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by Edger on Tue May 15, 2007 at 10:54:59 AM EST
    You are deluded. No one is buying anymore. Give it up.

    You are either for ending the debacle, or you are for continuing the debacle.


    No (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 15, 2007 at 10:59:55 AM EST
    That would be a false statement.

    You mean... (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by desertswine on Tue May 15, 2007 at 11:06:38 AM EST
    victory as in "Success is not no violence."

    Oh, and congratulations in having passed the 3,400 glorious deaths mark.


    Victory for your side? (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Al on Tue May 15, 2007 at 11:46:30 AM EST
    What, you mean all this time you weren't really trying, but now it's no more Mr. Nice Guy?

    Know what gives me a splitting headache (5.00 / 6) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Tue May 15, 2007 at 10:20:43 AM EST
    sometimes?  I have read several books claiming that "W" wanted to be in the history books as a war time President.  He has attempted to create his place in history using war and I don't even want to really think about how narcissistic and maniacal such a person is.  We all know how he is going into the history books though and talk about Karma coming around and hanging around for generations!  What just kills me though, the thing that brings on a migraine is that if ever a Congress person wanted to go into the history books a hero, if ever a Congress person wanted old people to sit on porches and tell their children about you this is the opportunity.  Be part of that pack that truly initiates the end of this holocaust we call the Iraq War and old soldiers will know all of your names until they draw their last breath.  I will hang a picture of you some where in my house and my grandchildren will all know your profile.  Do what you can to help the doomed.  It will be hard right now, they will fight you and you will have to fight back and have a lot of courage but YOU will go into the history books a hero and the old people will talk!

    What America needs (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by DemFromCT on Tue May 15, 2007 at 12:44:45 PM EST
    is not, alas, what America will get. I don't have illusions about that.

    Whether or not Baker-Hamilton is the best way to go, the outright rejection of it is going to hurt the Republicans, as it is an indication of their disinterest in the necessary remedy... and as BTD recognizes, it is that lack of action on the needed remedy of bipartisanship (Plan A) that drives BTD's suggestion to have the Democrats push that which needs to be done (Plan B).

    I merely reiterate for the record that when partisanship is necessary (and sometimes it is), it is because of the lack of the preferred bi-partisanship.

    Point accepted (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue May 15, 2007 at 12:53:22 PM EST
    What drives me crazy... (none / 0) (#16)
    by conchita on Tue May 15, 2007 at 01:34:55 PM EST
    is when I call my senators' offices and am told neither Schumer nor Clinton have released a position on Reid-Feingold.  And in Schumer's office the staffer answering the phone clearly did not know what I was refering to - wanting to know to what was the amendment attached - yet she knew about the Water Regulatory Act.  Arrgh!  Can't help but wonder if they pay attention at all.  I shudder to think that Hillary stands a chance at becoming president.

    Waiting to see if Senator Clinton's office replies (none / 0) (#17)
    by oculus on Tue May 15, 2007 at 01:39:07 PM EST
    to my e mail from home last night.  I'm not a constituent though.