Iraq: If I Were President . . .

Jeralyn's post below on Obama's speech demonstrates to me that Obama is not ready to show he should be President by leading now on Iraq as a Senator. I agree with Matt Stoller:

I really think it's weird for Obama and various Presidential candidates to give speeches on their 'plans' for withdrawing troops from Iraq during Bush's term as President. They aren't the President yet, and they won't be President until 2009. . . . What I want to know, on the cusp of Obama's big speech, is whether he will vote to cut off funding for combat operations that are not withdrawals from the country.

And of course, I agree with Chris Dodd:

< Obama's New Iraq Plan: Troops Out by End of 2008 | Senate Leaders to Oppose Ted Olson as Attorney General >
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    Obama did say this: (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Geekesque on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 03:48:28 PM EST
    That is why I will keep speaking directly to my colleagues in the Congress, both Republican and Democratic. Historically, we have come together in a bipartisan way to deal with our most monumental challenges. We should do so again.  We have the power to do this - not as Republicans or Democrats, but as Americans. We don't have to wait until George Bush is gone from office - we can begin to end this war today, right now.

    The key question is what he proposes to do 'right now.'  But, at the very least he's at least talking about now instead of dismissing the next 18 months.

    I am going to say nice things about him (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 05:09:01 PM EST
    in my MYDD post on tomorrow. Seriously.

    I really liked the framing he used. He needs to take the next step.


    Yeah, I viewed this as a good start (none / 0) (#17)
    by Geekesque on Thu Sep 13, 2007 at 12:43:53 PM EST
    but I definitely need to see more.

    My whole take is slightly different than the Dodd stance.  To me, the key is to oppose any funding that doesn't include IMMEDIATE drawdowns in troops from Iraq.  I care a lot more about boots on the ground in the United States than a deadline on paper for 6-8 months from now.  Realistically, once the troops start coming home it'll be impossible for this Preznit or his successor to reverse that trend.


    If I were President (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by scribe on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 04:57:54 PM EST
    well, I started commenting on it and went so long, I did another diary.  Go read it.  I'm ambitious.

    Recommended (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 05:07:49 PM EST
    Great diary.

    Thanks, pal. (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by scribe on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 05:26:37 PM EST
    Did you catch Dodd on Countdown? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Molly Bloom on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 08:52:59 PM EST
    I have to admit he is beginning to resonate. I like his comment that the 1st thing he will do will be restore the constitution.

    He was fantastic (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 09:17:11 PM EST
    I am waiting for some video to post.

    Yes (none / 0) (#1)
    by Maryb2004 on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 02:21:44 PM EST
    Stoller was good today.

    Getting better... (none / 0) (#2)
    by Edger on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 02:29:21 PM EST
    If this is an indication of moving in the right direction.

    Why just (none / 0) (#3)
    by Edger on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 02:36:41 PM EST
    "combat operations", though?

    What I want to know is will Obama come out bluntly and forcefully and unequivocally for defunding the occupation in total and complete withdrawal of all troops, private contract mercs included, before November 2008.

    I think he would be a shoe in to win the presidency if he did so and used his position and power to back the rest of the Democrats into a corner where they had no choice but to do it.


    "Understand this, if you want to end the Iraq Debacle, this is the only way until Bush is not President. If you are not for this for ending the war, tell me what you do support. I think this is the only way. And if you shy away from the only way to end the Debacle, then you really are not for ending the war are you?"

    He might (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 02:38:38 PM EST
    even be able to beat Dodd for the nomination if he did that. ;-)

    I don't think that is entirely fair, (none / 0) (#5)
    by Deconstructionist on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 02:44:48 PM EST
     although I will conceded Obama or other candidates have greater or lesser degrees odf dissonance between word and deed.

      The reason I don't think it is entirely fair is because it is reasonable (even if you don't agree) for a Senator running for President to think proposing or backing a specific piece of legislation will not result in the desired objective but that as COMMANDER IN CHIEF he will be able to achieve the objective.

      Many people, myself included, believe it is simply wholly unrealistic to think that this war is going to be ended by legislation prior to 2009. I can sympathize with and to some extent support symbolic gestures by legislators designed to ratchet up the pressure but I also respect those who believe that such gestures serve no practical purpose.

      My concern would be more along the lines of whether a candidate is saying what he really believes in that regard or declining to lead the push for legislation for purely "electoral" purposes.

    What Dodd didn't say... (none / 0) (#6)
    by joejoejoe on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 03:05:58 PM EST
    ...he'll block legislation with a filibuster or other means.

    BTD, as I'm sure you know Sens. Clinton, Dodd, and Obama ALL voted against the last Iraq appropriation with no timeline. The only Democratic candidate who voted for it was Sen. Biden so that would be the only candidate who isn't already onboard everything that Dodd said.

    What nobody knows is how far Sens. Dodd, Obama, or Clinton will go in the coming weeks to block legislation, actually lead the Senate into a better position, or if all else fails, put themselves between the passage of toothless Iraq legislation and the President's signature with a filibuster. We'll see in the coming weeks but nobody knows right now.

    I'll stipulate that I'll be disappointed in Obama if he doesn't do something to block legislation without a timeline and would move my support (not that it matters, I'm in FL and we don't follow the rules very well) to Dodd if Dodd steps up.

    Dodd (none / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 04:15:42 PM EST
    seems to have taken that video down from his website chrisdodd dot com/StopTheBill although it's still up on youtube.

    I don't understand (none / 0) (#14)
    by taylormattd on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 09:06:38 PM EST
    this question:
    What I want to know, on the cusp of Obama's big speech, is whether he will vote to cut off funding for combat operations that are not withdrawals from the country.
    What does it mean? I seriously am confused by what Matt is asking. To the extent he is asking whether Obama will decline to endorse a bill without a withdrawal deadline, we already know that Obama voted against the last supplemental.

    Isn't the real question whether Obama will speak openly and loudly on the issue of declining to fund and/or declining to support any bill that doesn't include withdrawal deadlines?

    Regarding Dodd, didn't he flat out lie in his press release today? He says:

    I was disappointed that Senator Obama's thoughts on Iraq today didn't include a firm, enforceable deadline for redeployment
    How is this not false? Obama clearly gave a one year deadline in his speech today. I am sick of the pathetic attempts to gain traction in a primary by distorting positions and records, and it seems to be Dodd has joined the others and done just that.

    If I were president (none / 0) (#16)
    by Miss Devore on Wed Sep 12, 2007 at 09:30:32 PM EST
    I'd hope to goddess it would be because people didn't embrace the compromises I made to get there.

    More on Dodd today on mydd (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Thu Sep 13, 2007 at 01:29:08 PM EST