The House, not the Senate, Will end the War

Crossposted from Daily Kos

In his latest front page entry, Markos quotes Dick Durbin saying that he will likely be unwilling to vote against the new supplemental funding the George Bush has requested.

Even opponents of the war, as Durbin calls himself, find themselves likely to vote for the extra money, he said. "When it comes to the budget, I face a dilemma that some of my colleagues do," he said.

He voted against the war "but felt that I should always provide the resources for the troops in the field," Durbin said. "But it's now reached a point where we have got to change the way we appropriate this money."

Though he said he is likely to approve the increased request -- it would accompany a pending request for an additional $147 billion in war funding -- Durbin said he would work to attach conditions to it that would require troops to begin coming home in the spring.

In other words, Dubin plans to do nothing.

Recent history tells us that we should not be surprised. Nor, indeed, should we look for the Senate to end the war.

As I and others have argued repeatedly over the last several months, our ability to end the war rests in our ability to convince the Congress to defund it. Given the partisan makeup of the two bodies, and the rules under which we operate, it seems obvious that we stand a much better chance of achieving the goal I propose in the House.

Just look at the last supplemental vote. In the Senate, Only 14 voted against the bill. Two of those Senators who voted no were Republicans, and they did not vote no because they wanted to end the war in Iraq. In other words, not even a quarter of the majority in that body considered taking a serious step to end the war.

In the House, we see a different picture. 142 members voted no. Most were Democrats. More than a majority of the majority voted against the funding. In other words, if we can convince Nancy Pelosi to operate the House under the "Hastert Rule," which held that only bills supported by the majority of the majority would be given assistance by House leadership, then we can be much closer to defunding. To be sure, it is possible that Republicans will get a discharge resolution and pass the spending anyway, but if they do, then it least our Democratic majority will not be complicit in helping to extend the war.

Put the Senate out of your head. It's the House that matters.

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    Tech difficulties (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 06:02:22 PM EST
    forced me to delete my first version. Seems that it's impossible to edit a diary here.

    Sorry (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 06:38:51 PM EST
    No problem (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by andgarden on Thu Aug 30, 2007 at 08:29:39 PM EST
    that's what backups are for.

    just saw this (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by taylormattd on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 03:43:54 AM EST

    I can't find the recommend button? (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 06:04:42 AM EST
    Help?  Andgarden, you are very politically astute and admittedly young, do you have personal goals in politics?  Just curious.

    Thanks MT (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by andgarden on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 03:21:34 PM EST
    I think the rec button is at the bottom above the comments, but I can't see on my own diaries.

    Personal aspirations? We'll just have to see.


    Ending the War (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by womanwarrior on Fri Aug 31, 2007 at 11:25:52 PM EST
    Well, is there anything we can say to these Democratic wimps, not to mention the R's who claim to be against the President's policies to convince them that it is not supporting the troops to keep them there?  

    Back to Vietnam times:  how did they convince Nixon to withdraw?  Did Congress defund the war?  I have read that we cut the Vietnamese off with no money for bullets or fuel.  But I have not read, that i can recall, what convinced Nixon to pull out.  

    Can someone enlighten me?  

    Big Tent Democrat's argument, (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 10:04:17 AM EST
    which I agree with, is that the Republicans will never be convinced to do anything. At least, not by us. They answer to their primary voters (aka, Bush's 28%).

    I am not qualified to write on Vietnam, but I'm almost certain that there was purse power involved.