A Large Grain of Salt

Impeachment X KagroX writes a relatively balanced piece on defunding:

Defunding presents a more muddied picture. Savage notes:
Prompted in part by Cheney, the Bush administration has championed an aggressive view of executive power under which Congress cannot restrict the commander in chief's options, short of cutting off funds for the troops. This constitutional interpretation, which is disputed by many legal scholars, has surfaced repeatedly in recent months.
I think this presents an accurate picture of what's been said on the record -- that is, that even lunatics like Cheney, Addington and Yoo say in public that defunding the war ends it. . . .

Interestingly, Kagro is skeptical:

It's taking it with a large grain of salt. Like I said, I make no objection to your preferred method, and would vote (or not) with you when the time comes.

Funny how Kagro has no salt available when it comes to the possibility of removing Bush and Cheney even though that requires 17 Republican Senators voting for removal. More.

Let me pull out my own salt shaker, and not just for my margarita, I do not necessarily believe the Democratic Congress will pursue the defunding option I favor. Heck, you could even say I think it is improbable. But it is much less far fetched than the idea that 17 Republicans in the Senate will vote to remove President Bush and Vice President Cheney. That is simply delusion. If we are going to keep our salt shakers handy, then removal of Bush and Cheney should not even be discussed. It is never going to happen.

Could 218 House Democrats possibly agree to NOT fund after a date certain? I think it is possible. Not probable. But possible.

That said, I think Kagro's piece is fair in its skepticism, even though I disagree with him. This part in particular does not make sense to me:

In truth, though, there's no logical distinction between the right the president claims to defy legislation directing combat operations and any right he might claim to continue funding those operations in the face of a refusal by Congress to appropriate funds.

Actually, there is all the difference in the world. It is one thing to be able misuse appropriated funds. It is is entirely different, indeed, impossible, to use funds that do not exist. What Kagro describes here is misuse of appropriated funds:

Yet there are other hurdles standing in the way of such a plan, if it exists. The Iraq occupation is an enormously expensive operation, costing on the order of $10 billion monthly. That money, presumably, would have to come from somewhere. And even though Dick Cheney still claims among the presidential portfolio the otherwise-discredited powers of budgetary impoundment (thanks again, Charlie), it would be no mean feat to find and shuffle $10 billion monthly.

It would be no mean feat? It would be impossible. There is no loose 10 billion dollars lying around. What's Bush gonna do? Cancel all the defense contracts? Raid the Social Security Trust
Fund? Default on the Nation's debt? Not pay Halliburton? Here Kagro grasps at straws. This is simply an impossibility.

This is taking skepticism to delusion, the reverse mirror of his belief in possible removal of Bush and Cheney.

Guess what? I desire removal of Bush and Cheney too. But I know that it is not going to happen. Knowing that, I look for ways that we can check Bush and end the Debacle that are within the realm of the possible.

But like Kagro:

None of this should be taken as expressing my opposition to defunding impeachment and removal as an option. There are potential insurmountable hurdles to making it work, of course . . .

And because there are insurmountable hurdles, I think it is a waste of time to discuss it. In any event, good to see Kagro abandon his negativity towards the not funding option.

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    I'm sorry I didn't have an hour (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 02:14:09 PM EST
    to fight with him about it.

    I think it was a great improvement (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 02:15:03 PM EST
    over the crap he has been writing.

    I love his skepticism though. So effing funny.


    I'd like to think (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by andgarden on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 02:21:52 PM EST
    that he hedged his words because he knew he was going to get a reaction from me.

    You are very kind to Kagro (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 02:50:04 PM EST
    From my position as a soldier's spouse and trying to raise my kids alone with a husband in the middle of friggin hell and then finally seeing some fight out of my Senate last night I just lost it.  I couldn't find anything balanced in his delusions.  It is very very irritating and often crazy making being in this stupid serving military minority while people debate whether or not they should even fight for the only decent thing to fight for.  Makes me scream silently to myself in a very dark space in my mind.  I don't like the things that Cindy Sheehan has said about Democrats these days, I don't like what Kagro slaps up there after finally a filibuster and then people write about how AFRAID they are to even consider defunding...........somedays the only people who seem balanced to me at all are three or four people who hang out here and THAT IS IT!  Sometimes I'm just one miserable biotch. I'll open a very private door into my life right now and tell you that my husband and I spent the past weekend in tears.  It happens about once every six months right now where all the emotions and forces that soldiers and their families are going through finally bubble over and if you have a strong family and marriage you can make it and you hold each other and you cry.  We sat on our porch in chairs and watched the rain and cried together and our seven year old son cried with us because he feels what his parents are doing their best to survive.  I see soldiers grabbing any kind of buoy they can find right now to cling to and fail miserably to find any purchase.  Iraq wasn't their war the day they all found out without doubt there were no WMD's and now it's just a matter of degrees of loss.  And what a bunch of drunks your soldiers are right now too but what can they do, some numb has to be found because everything was a lie and now they are all trapped.  It wasn't what they ever thought would happen to them being soldiers for the United States of American.

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 02:53:13 PM EST
    He is an advoacte for impeachment so it is a relative qualifier.

    As you can see, I think Kagro is really still full of it, but less so than normally, when he was flat out dishonest about defunding.


    I thought of you as the Southern Senator (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 03:04:30 PM EST
    talked so fervently on and on about how we had to invade Iraq to fight Al-Qaeda.

    Tracy (3.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Peaches on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 03:08:10 PM EST
    somedays the only people who seem balanced to me at all are three or four people who hang out here and THAT IS IT!

    There are more than three or four people out there and they have a lot of different opinions and carry a vast amount of disparate experience with them. If you are going to judge whether or not people are balanced based on if they agree with you or not, then you are going to be sorry and sad for a long time to come. Your experience as a soldier's wife gives you one unique perspective, but it hardly gives you access to absolute truths. There are a lot of paths. Each of us chooses a unique one and walks it. Keep walking and talking - its all you can do.

    You can't change ever change the world (it changes well enough on its own), you can only change your perspective.


    I did not call you dishonest (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 09:51:08 PM EST
    I called you delusional IF you think there is any chance of removal of Bush and Cheney.

    That is my honest opinion.

    You write:

    But, if impeachment hearings were begun by the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow, and articles of impeachment were voted out to the floor of the House in a few months, and those 218 votes could be found, neither you nor I can say for certain one way or the other how a Senate vote might come down after the trial. To suggest you know otherwise makes you as hubristic as the deluded crew that took us into Iraq.

    Of course we can say, for all practical puyrposes, to within an inch of certainty, how it would turn out. It is silly of you to compare that two the DELUSIONAL predictions of Bush, Cheney, Wolfie and Rummy on Iraq.

    How can you possibly compare the two? Frankly. that is the BEST evidence of how far gone you are on this.

    What a ridicuous comparison MB. The result in Iraq was very easy to predict. Heck, any sane person did.

    The result on removal is 100 times easier to predict.

    You have jumped the shark MB.

    When you address ... (none / 0) (#27)
    by Meteor Blades on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:30:57 AM EST
    ...a comment to me and say "Honesty fails on so many levels?" what exactly ARE you saying except a sly implication that I am being dishonest? What exactly DOES that rhetorical inquiry mean?

    "fails on so many levels" (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 08:26:20 AM EST
    is a quote from your comment about me.

    The honestu of my opunion "failed at so many levels" is  my point. Reread it.

    I would never attack your integrity ever. I trust it implicitly.

    I am criticizing your judgment.


    You're spared (1.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Peaches on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 09:27:39 AM EST
    What I like about you Tracey is the same thing I like about Jim. In each of your own unique ways you are caricatures that are almost too obviously made up by a very bad writer in a bad novel to believe they are true.

    The internet is a strange place, but fun sometimes too. Doesn't matter, but sometimes I don't believe one thing about the history Jim says about himself.  He can't help that and neither can I. Same thing about you - too good to be true.

    You know what Peaches (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 05:23:28 PM EST
    If I thought that most Americans were anything like you I would tell my husband to take the contractor job that was offered him two weeks ago.  $300,000 a year to teach Iraqis to fly Jet Rangers because they are cheap and that's what we are going to buy for them to protect their country with.  If all Americans were anything like you none of you would deserve what my husband does, what he sacrifices, what his family is sacrificing right now, and that is exactly how I would change my perceptions for A$$holes like you.  I would just go shopping and not bother you in the blogosphere and you could sit in your ivory tower all day and continue to whine about how violent the world is like some creationist who refuses to grasp that mankind is still a primate on his best days.

    I could gice a (1.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Peaches on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:30:26 AM EST
    rats ass about the sacrifices your supposed husband makes. You are a figment of all of our imaginations and especially Edgers. Nice try though. You've fooled a few.

    No Peaches, I'm real (5.00 / 2) (#47)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 04:33:17 PM EST
    Don't like throwing this up because you hate me so much and it does have my real name in it but maybe you will finally leave me alone then.  And it did hurt to have to deal with how I felt about Cindy Sheehan vs. how much damage I think she is doing these days instead of good.  I suppose there will always be a certain place in my soul that will love her forever and maybe when all of this is behind us all we can forget about small minded days when "thoughtful" words eluded us all.

    No, I don't hate you (none / 0) (#48)
    by Peaches on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 04:45:53 PM EST
    or edger or AW or whatever you want to be called.

    I used to listen to this guy in a radio booth who had all these characters he had in the studio with him. His name was Steve Cannon. His sidekicks were Ma Linger, Morgan Mundane, and Backlash Laru. Every year he'd come to the state fair and the people would flock to his booth and ask for Ma, Morgan and backlash. But, funny, every year they'd be on vacation, sick or some family emergency. We ought to have a state fair.

    I'm just one guy and I entertain myself with scenarios. You may be real, but you sound like a caricature. I don't cry over you and as I said before, I could give a rat's ass about your supposed husband and what the hell he supposedly does.


    I don't expect you cry for me (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 04:58:57 PM EST
    why do you think I expect that?  I am one person, one American, living this experience from this one position.  I believe one of the most wonderful things about Americans is that we often challenge ourselves to attempt to understand situations from many points and perspectives.  ONE OF THE THINGS I'm very worried about is our soldiers, particularly our very young soldiers because I know them and they are goofy and youthful and so trusting of their elders with big titles in front of and behind their names.  I saw what Vietnam did my Uncle and my Uncle was such a wonderful person.  He was my mother's only brother and he loved me so much it made up for a lot of what my dad couldn't give me.  He wasn't drafted, he signed up as soon as he legally could and had graduated HS  He wanted to do the right thing and he asked what he could do for his country.  He shot himself in the chest in front of the VA hospital in June of 2005 at the same time that my husband had come home from Iraq and wasn't exactly acting very sane himself.  This is my walk and my personal journey and I share my concerns with other Americans because I can and perhaps we can all find a greater good and make better decisions, and I fight for what I believe in as I'm sure that you do as well.

    because, (none / 0) (#50)
    by Peaches on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 05:00:36 PM EST
    You're all drama.

    That's all you are. Get over it. We don't care. You got three people here who care remember. Now, get the F#%$ over it.


    Wow (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by squeaky on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 05:11:36 PM EST
    You are really off the wall on this Peaches. Tracy adds huge amounts to TL and is a good writer.

    She must remind you of yourself, or something, cause you sound nutty when you lash into her.


    Since you aren't my God (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 05:11:57 PM EST
    or anything at all that cares about me in anyway why would I for one moment give a rip about what you want me to do or expect from me?  You could care less about my safety or comfort or that of my familys so why would I care that you despise my expression of discomfort?  You don't like me so don't read anything I post.  It is a free country. I'm one of the few military family members out there who feels strong enough to deal with other people who feel like we are getting exactly what we deserve right now.  Usually people like you completely shut us all down and send us running home crying.  Sorry I'm just a little bit tougher than that and more of a problem for you to beat into the dirt.  

    And sorry so much drama (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 05:22:39 PM EST
    but it is sort of an unfounded war and people are dying in it and coming home broken from it and I think it would be kind of nice if we ended it.  I think as a spouse of an active duty soldier I might be less dramatic if we did something like that.

    I'm sorry (none / 0) (#54)
    by Peaches on Mon Jul 23, 2007 at 08:54:03 AM EST

    Believe it or not, I actually thought about this weekend. Sometimes, Fridays bring out the worst in me. I need to get out from under this necessity of working for the man.

    After a weekend of weeding, harvesting beans, lettuce, cabbage, beets, tomatoes and cucumbers, and applying another round of organic fertilizer I feel refreshed and ready to tackle another week. I'd suggest you avoid me by Friday, though.

    About the drama: Listen (if you please), no one can get us out of the situation we are in in Iraq. Many people would want us to get us out of there. Many people never wanted us to go there in the first place. But we are fighting an institution that has inertia all on its own. One idea for getting us out of there is BTD's idea for defunding the war and it is a good idea. Other's have opined various problems with such a proposal and have offered alternative plans. No one's intentions are completely pure, but most of us want out some way or another. What set me off last week is your assertion that if you are not one of the core group of BTD groupies who merely echo what he says without adding anything but drama to the argument, then you don't care as much and I think that is BS and dishonest.

    I have great sympathy for anyone who is caught in the war, but I think you are attempting to exploit that sympathy with your efforts here. That you cry with your husband over his and other's deployment in Iraq generates much sympathy. That you use this anecdote as a means to demonize others who are against the war but don't support defunding as the best means for getting us out of there with the least amount of fallout will cause people to lose respect your integrity.

    So, when I said I could give a rat's ass about your husband, harsh words that they were and I wish I could take back, they were not directed at your husband or meant to disrespect his service. It was meant to say that his service and deployment is not germane to the argument for what is the best means for ending this terrible war.


    Nicely done, Peaches. (none / 0) (#55)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jul 24, 2007 at 12:21:17 PM EST
    I have to say, Peaches (none / 0) (#39)
    by Edger on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:35:35 AM EST
    That this is one of the most small minded and mean spirited hate filled comments I've ever seen you make.

    You're better than that. I hope you're just having a bad day.


    Oh, was I talking to you? (none / 0) (#40)
    by Peaches on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:51:07 AM EST
    Come to think of it, Maybe I was?



    Well, maybe I was wrong. (none / 0) (#41)
    by Edger on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:52:39 AM EST
    Maybe you're not better than that.

    Sorry, I let you down (none / 0) (#42)
    by Peaches on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 09:57:27 AM EST
    The way it works for me is if I have zero expectations of someone, they can't let me down.

    You've never let me down.


    I guess I was right after all. (none / 0) (#43)
    by Edger on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 10:00:18 AM EST
    I wasn't wrong.

    You can have the last word. I think you just can't help yourself.


    LOL (none / 0) (#44)
    by Peaches on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 10:04:15 AM EST
    Last word? I long ago gave up on the idea of you shutting up.

    You're a waste of breath and space. You responded to me. out of boredom I reply to you. Otherwise, as you well know, I ignore you.


    See? (none / 0) (#45)
    by Edger on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 10:09:26 AM EST
    Yes, I see. (none / 0) (#46)
    by Peaches on Fri Jul 20, 2007 at 10:11:01 AM EST
    Looking for me in Denver?? (none / 0) (#36)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:08:07 PM EST



    Oh, and "Impeachment X" (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 03:13:41 PM EST
    made me chuckle.

    damning w/faint praise (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 03:21:47 PM EST
    Could an anti-impeachnik explain (none / 0) (#10)
    by yourstruly on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 04:52:26 PM EST
    exactly how their "defunding" goal can be met?

    As I recall from the last time I looked at the numbers, those for impeachment were higher than the public support for defunding.  

    If Bush is going to "defy" any and all efforts to defund and withdraw, what's the plan for getting past his veto?

    Let me give BTD a breather ... (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Meteor Blades on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 05:24:50 PM EST
    ...and explain that the idea is that the House will refuse to send any bill to the President. No bill to sign, no funding. It's elegant. It would be great if it happened. Its chances are, like impeachment, very very unlikely because there are too many Democrats in the House who fear being tainted with the brush of "you abandoned the troops."

    that's what I thought (none / 0) (#14)
    by yourstruly on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 06:12:42 PM EST
    what I don't understand about this plan however, is exactly what the advantages are.  

    It seems to me the effort will result in putting Bush in a position where he creates just another issue over which he should be impeached.

    If they defund, or should I say refuse to fund, won't they still have to send at least a bill to fund the withdrawal?  What if the defiant Bush vetoes that, holding the troops hostage?  Won't we still be back to the 67 vote issue?

    It seems to me that the political fight advocated for in lieu of impeachment, creates as many probs as it is designed to avoid.  Even if the dems should eventually prevail somehow, it still seems to me like a far easier and expedient course, to compel them to try and stand behind a "criminal" president, that impeachment investigations would undoubtedly reveal. This seems like a far easier task, than wading through all the BS associated with who does and does not really support the troops--- which will be the "debate" I'm guessing.  Americans know a crook when they see one, but making sense out the aforementioned debate might make some heads explode.

    Impeach and remove the bum, and the Iraq debate will evaporate, as far as the obstruction presently seen.  If Bush holds to his promise to "defy" all remedies sought by the dems, what remedy will they inevitably have left to deal with him with, other than his removal?

    That's why I say, this battle seems like a much more lengthy path to the same inevitable destination, if the problem is ever to be resolved.


    No on every count (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 07:17:17 PM EST
    The trick is to make the last funding bill the actual last funding bill.

    Will Bush not withdraw in the last funded period? Perhaps. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.


    Let me call your "no" and raise you one. (1.00 / 1) (#18)
    by yourstruly on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 09:33:42 PM EST
    No, a case for impeachment is far easier to make to the people, than one over this. Impeachment would be a slam dunk, your idea is like shooting from at least mid-court.

    Something else that is noticably lacking from your "idea", is speculation on how Bush would react to it, given his intent to "defy" all efforts of this kind.

    It seems to me that if he actually does anything short of bringing them home, it would lead to a showdown in the SCOTUS, if he doesn't walk over there as an immediate reaction to having no funding.  Risk/benefit-wise, is that preferable to impeachment, given who's sitting on it now? Sorry, but I'll take my chances with a successful impeachment and removal, before putting any such questions before this SCOTUS. Scalia would no doubt follow Jack Bauer on this one.

    Not only do I think you take a longer path, but a far riskier one as well. If the goal is ending the war and bringing them home, I'll lean towards the safer bet for accomplishing that goal.  The SCOTUS deciding in Bush's favor is a far worse defeat for this cause, than a failed removal in the senate. Given this, it seems to me the safest route is to use your idea as the final option, not the other way around--since they would both if successful, accomplish the same goal.

    There are zillions of reasons he needs to be impeached anyway. Getting us outta there will be but one of its many benefits as well. This of course, is something your idea alone doesn't provide either--additional and not inconsequential things like restoration of the rule of law--things like that.

    It was a criminal disregard for, and violations of the law that took us into Iraq to begin with.  We wouldn't want to encourage such conduct in future presidents would we?  It's one thing for us to acknowledge that all pols lie, while quite another to give them license to do so, without fear of reprisal. That is the condition Bush has enjoyed for far too long.

    The BIG difference between you and I, is that I'm convinced impeachment hearings would result in "Must see TV", and an education for the public, which would inexorably lead to a collective "Network" moment, delivering those 17 votes plus that you think impossible to achieve.  There has to be some point where most of them will think it political suicide to stand by Bush.

    It already has once with Nixon. Other than your opinion that it won't happen this way, what do you base your "opinion" on?  


    Oy vey (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 09:52:57 PM EST
    What Republican Party have you been watching these 13 years?

    This is  foolishness imo.


    Putting all of one's salt ... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Meteor Blades on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 05:22:13 PM EST
    ...into one shaker is what I would call "delusional," BTD. But, of course, it does allow you to focus your oratory. I, on the other hand, have to spread my energy fighting with people who think BOTH defunding AND impeachment are ridiculous measures to be discussing because both allegedly face insurmountable hurdles. Calling people delusional because they don't agree with your take on something fails on so many levels. You know how many progressives told me I was pissing in the wind with my editorials calling for Richard Nixon's impeachment in early 1973?

    It's very likely there won't be impeachment. It's very likely there won't be defunding. It's very likely that even with a Democrat in the White House we'll have 10-40,000 U.S. troops in Iraq by the end of 2009. So, gee, let's not talk about trying to get past any of the hurdles.  

    Honesty fails on so many levels? (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 07:15:47 PM EST
    See that is just ignoring the argument Meteor Blades.

    REMOVAL requires 17 Republicans in the Senate.

    Not funding does not.

    Even now you argue as if these are the same.

    That is simply flat out wrong of you.

    Removal will not happen. It is delusional to think it ever can.

    Not funding is unlikely to happen.

    The differences between the two are obvious to me.

    They should be to you. Frankly I am shocked that you do not see the differences.

    imo, it is delusional to believe there is ANY chance of removal. That is what I believe. I am sorry if my honesty offends you.


    This (none / 0) (#20)
    by Edger on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 09:52:11 PM EST
    voting for articles of impeachment requires exactly the same number of House votes as keeping a funding bill off the President's desk - 218.
    is technically true within your framing of the numbers required.

    However it is misleading.

    The last supplemental the House passed in the spring passed by the narrowest possible margin, with 218 votes in favor and 212 opposed.

    I was also the last in a string of supplementals, but the first passed by a Democratic House.

    If the Democrats pass another with the same 218 and announce concurrently that it is the last one, and that no more supplementals will be introduced, defunding the occupation is a done deal. The political battle will start and I believe it will be won.

    The Democrats have shown that they can pass a supplemental with 218 votes. It's been done.

    You cannot say the same for an impeachment bill.

    I also believe that you cannot say with any level of confidence that there is anywhere near the support in the House for even considering impeachment.

    Pelosi has said it is off the table. It won't happen.

    She can as easily say that another supplemental is off the table and will not happen.

    This is for MB? (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 09:54:53 PM EST
    I even grant the unlikely event of impeachment. I say REMOVAL is NEVER going to happen. I am certain of it.

    I am almost certan there will not even be a single impeachment hearing but I will not call folks delusional for thinking there might be one.


    It is, yes. (none / 0) (#23)
    by Edger on Wed Jul 18, 2007 at 09:59:13 PM EST
    An I agree with you that removal will never happen. For various reasons I've stated elsewhere and for the reasons you've stated.

    You're comparing a ... (none / 0) (#26)
    by Meteor Blades on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:24:01 AM EST
    ...bill that passed with sending no bill at all.

    And that is the problem with the defunding approach that Armando/BTD has described, even though I favor trying to do this. The chances of getting 218 Congresspeople to vote AGAINST sending any bill to Mister Bush are very slim indeed. There is a big difference between sending up a supplemental with timetables attached and not sending up any funding bill at all. We all know what that difference is: Dems in Congress - and not just Blue Dogs - don't want to be tainted with the "you failed to support the troops" theme that will surely be hurled at them if they vote not to send a bill to Mister Bush.

    The chances of sending up another bill and saying this is the last funding bill is extremely unlikely. Why do I say this? Because I have been talking to aides of the California Blue Dogs - all of whom (along with 6 other Blue Dogs) voted for the McGovern amendment - trying to persuade them to help switch their colleagues' views on their stance on the war.

    As to defunding, not a single California Blue Dog supports that approach. Even if all 6 of the other Blue Dogs in favor of McGovern DO support defunding, which I doubt, that is 37 Democratic votes against defunding. I don't think I need to do the math.

    (To answer your question before you ask: No. None of them supports impeachment either.)


    You are mistaken, I think. (none / 0) (#30)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 08:44:59 AM EST
    The chances of getting 218 Congresspeople to vote AGAINST sending any bill to Mister Bush are very slim indeed... is correct.

    However, that is not what either I or Armando has suggested, and it is not needed.

    Armando's plan suggests passing another supplemental, while as I noted above, announcing concurrently that it is the last one, and that no more supplementals will be introduced.

    It will then take NO votes to NOT introduce or pass another supplemental, because... it takes only the Speaker not referring a funding bill introduced by any rep to committee.

    Thomas: V. Introduction and Referral to Committee

    Any Member, Delegate or the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico in the House of Representatives may introduce a bill at any time while the House is in session...
    The title is entered in the Journal and printed in the Congressional Record, thus preserving the purpose of the custom. The bill is assigned its legislative number by the Clerk. The bill is then referred as required by the rules of the House to the appropriate committee or committees by the Speaker, the Member elected by the Members to be the Presiding Officer of the House, with the assistance of the Parliamentarian.
    Admittedly this would be extremely politically risky for Pelosi and might even be the end of her political career, but as Swanson pointed out earlier this year:
    What has been needed all along and is needed now is for the Democrats to show that they have some balls and display A Measure of Morality in Congress
    If you could secretly tell a magic genie "Yes" and suffer horribly and die but save the lives of a million people you've never met, would you say No? This one they don't even ask in philosophy school, much less Congress. But let's think about it for a minute. What's the worst fate a Congress Member could face as a result of voting against funding the war? For most it must be the loss of their seat. How horrible is that? Some of these congress members are freshmen, first elected last November campaigning on promises to end the war. Now they're prepared to vote $100 billion for the war in hopes of getting elected again in 2008. What in the hell did they want to get elected for in the first place? What district is going to receive less money if we end the war and redirect our spending to useful projects than if we continue the war but fund special pieces of pork here and there?

    And yes (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 08:55:04 AM EST
    They are all terrified of "you failed to support the troops" charges, but it is a false accusation as I pointed out here...

    IRAQ: Paying The Price For Idiocy:

    The continuous whine that "we don't have the votes" is also part of the big lie.

    If the Democrats stand up NOW and announce that they will no longer fund the occupation and that there will be no more emergency supplementals introduced when the current one runs out, the situation will become one of NO votes needed to NOT pass a bill. The ball will be in Bush's court.

    The Democrats have absolute power in this debate. What good is it and why should voters let them retain it next year if they are too weak kneed to use it to end the Debacle? If they will not, then by default they proclaim their complicity with Bush.

    The argument that 'defunding endangers the troops' is utter bullsh*t and is completely and irrefutably debunked. (see: Defunding Iraq: Misperceptions, Disinformation And Lies) Let the rethugs try to accuse Democrats of it. Democrats will win that political argument, but ONLY if they have the cohones to do what they know is the right thing.

    As John Freelund wrote on May 27 at TPMCafe:

    Pin Bush and Gates Down

    At the next presidential press conference, I'd suggest question 1-5 be the following:

    "Are you Mr. President, and Mr. Secretary, prepared to leave troops in Iraq without adequate supplies?"

    Watch them squirm, watch them dance. They will not be able to say "yes." This is what the media and the Democrats should have been asking, over and over again, to frame this debate properly.

    The Democrats can do this. They need to be pushed hard to do it.

    And they need to grow some balls.


    And (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 09:06:16 AM EST
    Armando's plan suggests passing another supplemental, while as I noted above, announcing concurrently that it is the last one, and that no more supplementals will be introduced.

    Not to forget:  repeat every day that there will be no more supplementals introduced after a certain date. That way the blame is in the presidents lap.

    And the daily position for the dems is a fully funded withdrawl.

    That is unarguably the strongest postiton of supporting our troops during a time when 70+% of Americans want us out of Iraq.


    repeat every day (none / 0) (#35)
    by Edger on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 09:37:16 AM EST
    that there will be no more supplementals introduced after a certain date. That way the blame is in the presidents lap.

    It does get kind of repetitive doesn't it?

    Maybe we can bore them into doing it by repeating every day that that is unarguably the strongest postiton of supporting our troops during a time when 70+% of Americans want us out of Iraq...

    ...by repeating it so often that they get sick of trying unsuccessfully to argue that it won't work because they know it will work if only they'll summon up the guts to do what they were hired last November to do.

    And remind them every day what is normally done with employees who don't do what they were hired to do.

    Yes? ;-)


    Again, regarding impeachment ... (none / 0) (#24)
    by chemoelectric on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:05:51 AM EST
    I think it's pretty simple: if impeachment is an organic process, then let it happen, don't push it; and if you want to increase the chances, then don't demand impeachment; demand investigations.

    Like who mailed that anthrax? I mean, think about it, that ought to be a massive Congressional investigation, and for argument's sake let's say the trail leads to 'friends' of Dick Cheney. Then impeachment might occur organically.

    I'll sign up for that (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 12:47:43 AM EST
    Well, there are (at least)... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Meteor Blades on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 03:35:14 AM EST
    ...two "factions" who support impeachment. There are those who say something along the lines of Pelosi should hold the vote tomorrow or Conyers should hold a vote on articles of impeachment in the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow. And there are those of us who say, start impeachment hearings and see where they lead. In other words, investigate. But CALL them impeachment hearings. Then, when the evidence is head, vote articles of impeachment up or down.

    But (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by squeaky on Thu Jul 19, 2007 at 09:00:06 AM EST
    Why use such a loaded term when the same results will happen. Investigate is a better word and more honest. It is never good to make a threat that you cannot carry out.