Thursday, May 24, 2007


Harry Shearer, a pretty snarky guy, gets seriously nasty at Congress for backing down from Iran benchmarks and withdrawal dates here. In my experience Harry is almost always right. No change this time, either.

What the hell were they thinking? Here is how it should have played out: Congress submits funding bill with timetables. President vetoes. Repeat many, many times. Each time, Bush would say that Congress is refusing to fund the troops, and each time Pelosi would point out that they are submitting funding bills. Gradually the troops would run out of money, and Bush would have to choose between not accepting what amounts to suggestions on when to bring them home and bringing them home himself, or just abandoning the Army entirely.

However, they changed course. I'm certain that the recent poll which placed congressional approval at 29% had everything to do with it. They thought, somehow, that Americans wanted them to keep funding the war. Even though it's pretty obvious that they were elected to STOP the war.

You can learn much from GW Bush, but the biggest takeway is this - no matter how low his polls go, he will always have a core group who admire him for holding on to his insane, mistaken beliefs. He's consistent on some things, and it gives him the illusion of conviction. Would it kill Democrats to stop triangulating for a while? I'm in favor of compromising when reasonable people can disagree about things, but another thing you can learn from GW Bush is he's not reasonable.

It's also possible that congress remembers the early 90's budget showdown between Gingrich and Clinton. In that scenario, ultimately, Congress got blamed as the obstructionists. I can see the analogy but listen kids: Conservatives are ALWAYS the obstructionists. It's built into the definition of conservatism.

Anyway, I hope the current version of the bill gets voted down before it even reaches the President, because it's hella bad strategy. And I further hope that when 2008 comes around, there's a plausible 3rd party candidate.

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