On Iraq: The Mythological Veto Proof Majority

David Sirota is thinking creatively about how to end the Iraq Debgacle. Unfortunately, David does not deal with the reality that the possibility of achieving a veto-proof majority is a myth. David proposes:

So here's the concept (which, though I'm not 100 percent sure, I don't think has been tried yet in Congress): How about when Congress reconvenes in September, Democrats bring a bill to the floor of the House and Senate mandating that, say, 25,000 National Guardsmen be taken out of combat in Iraq and be immediately redeployed to guard America's porous domestic borders - both southern and northern? If Democrats wanted to get even more creative, they could additionally mandate that some of these National Guardsmen being redeployed be immediately sent to forest fire emergency zones - many of which are in Republican states right now. Think this through for a moment. All of a sudden, the illegal-immigration-obsessed Tom Tancredo wing of the Republican Party, which also happens to be the most reflexively pro-war wing of the GOP, would be forced to choose either the Iraq War or beefed up border security. All of a sudden, we would be having a debate about two very real, very pressing priorities, rather than theoreticals and hypotheticals, and we would be discussing exactly how the misuse of our National Guard as a wing of the regular Army harms our ability to deal with the domestic challenges the National Guard was originally established to deal with.

This is imaginative thinking, and I'll even give David a pass on the militarization of the borders. The trouble is it will not work. Bush will oppose it, call it an end run to surrender in Iraq and Republicans ion Congress will fall in line. See, David's problem is he is not dealing with the central reality here, not enough Republicans will ever break with the President to make a strategy requiring a veto proof majority work. This is simply the way it is. It is why I have always urged an approach that does not require Republican votes - the NOT funding after a date certain approach:

This is a preemptive post, because I am positive that the naysayers 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.

Of course, given the lack of quality, both in resolve and smarts, of this Democratic Congress, my approach is likely a pipe dream too. But less so than an approach that requires Republican support.

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    What's really funny (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 01:12:04 PM EST
    is that Sirota's proposal is vulnerable to the old Bush canard that we "fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here." Of course, that's a lie, but it'll be good enough for Tancredo and friends.

    Liberals have always treated the military as a (1.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Fritz on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 03:23:51 PM EST
    jobs program.

    The first priority of the National Guard is to the Military, not the state governors.  The Guard's dual purpose in peace time to help in natural disasters does not excuse the governors from developing alternatives during wartime.  

    Your date certain de-funding has pasted it's time.  The surge is working.  Big Tent, be happy.  To be wrong about success in Iraq is better than being right followed by genocide.    

    The surge is working? Hahahahaha.... (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Edger on Sun Aug 12, 2007 at 04:26:47 PM EST
    It's not funny... but you are Fritzo.

    You may want to ask some Iraqis how well your surge is working, once you extract your head.

    Dr. Maryam, Iraqi Pediatric Oncologist    

    Stop telling lies to yourself American. We know that your racist brutal murdering war criminal troops came from your society and reflect its values. we know that because we see how they behave and have to bury their victims. If you are stupid enough to think we feel anything but hatred and contempt for your soldiers and the country that sent them to make war on my people then you are a fool.

    As to Saddam bad though he was your country is far worse.

    Saba Ali Ihsaan, Baghdad, Irak

    The American "surge" as with everything else they have done is a failure. It's the American way. It makes no difference to me as an Iraki whether you are one of the "nice" racists who call themselves "Democrats" or one of the nasty ones who call themselves "Republicans". All I care about is that your country has its troops in my land raping its people, raping its resources, slaughtering our children, and defiling our Holy Places. The puppet government that rode in behind American tanks cannot pass the laws their American masters so desperately desire passed and is close to collapse. Now would be a good time to "make nice". But that is not the American way either. Not when sand nig*ers are involved. The Americans in Irak are reflecting their culture. Racist, callow, shallow, and seemingly unable read a map, it's just that they are a little more honest, a little bit more openly barbaric about it.

    There is only one measure of progress that matters in Irak and that is the progress in chewing the invader forces into pieces and then spitting them out. Progress on that is excellent.

    They came here as predators and now they are prey. The only thing an American understands is force, we sand nig*ers know a thing or two about that.

    You might ask a few of these people too...

    Sirota is a fool (none / 0) (#2)
    by LonewackoDotCom on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 03:21:47 PM EST
    Any slight respect I might have had for him before has evaporated. In a word, he's a p**. Why not just make an argument opposing illegal immigration, without being forced to cower as he does? Why not make that argument without being forced to do in the most cynical way possible?

    National Guard was recently re-deployed (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Fri Aug 10, 2007 at 03:27:10 PM EST
    from the U.S. border w/Mexico because border patrol is hiring bigtime.  Meanwhile, National Guard's duties included vehicle repair, maintenance, etc., to border patrol sd. they wouldn't miss them all that much.  National Guard was personing the check point near Temecula on the I 15 in Southern California soon after they were assigned to assist the border patrol.  Talk about a traffic jam.  This is over an hour from the actual border.  

    While I appreciate the sincerity of the thought (none / 0) (#5)
    by mopper8 on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 10:55:13 AM EST
    Unfortunately, in the absence of Congressional appropriation, the President can still spend money on items of national security import.  That is, while he may legally be unable to do such things, his office has physical control of the Treasury and, as such, can spend the money.  Not only that, but there is historical precedent for such spending, going all the way back to George Washington dealing with the Whiskey Rebellion, though he certainly wasn't the only President do such things.  

    Now, after the fact, the President could hope for retroactive Congressional approval or face the political firestorm...but that just leads us to an impeachment showdown.  And seeing as how the Dems don't have the votes for impeachment, and I doubt Republicans who approve of such war spending would find the President's actions worthy of impeachment, and finally, that the last 7 years indicate this President will always exercise as much power as his office is literally capable of, regardless of the law...well, refusing to fund the war seems like a losing battle.

    The legal aspect is discussed more in depth here at Kos, and I discuss both the legal and political aspects more here at TPM Cafe

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 08:56:22 PM EST
    It has been discussed ACCURATELY and at length here. By me.

    You are wrong.


    Uh oh (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Sat Aug 11, 2007 at 08:23:42 PM EST
    You new here?