Thursday, April 26, 2007

So Veto it, Bitch!


The Senate passed the Supplemental today, brushing aside threats of a veto and mountains of stale rhetoric and presidential pissing and moaning about Democrats determined to set a “date certain for surrender."

The Dems kinda shrugged and said “Whatever” like a parent ignoring a toddlers temper tantrum. (When my kids screamed "I hate you!" after I had the audacity to set limits and enforce them, I calmly responded "Good. That means I'm doing my job." Same principle applies here.)

From the Blue Dog conservatives to the progressive left, the Democrats said “No” with one voice to Bush's demand for war money with no policy strings attached. "He's not getting what he wants," said Rep. Dennis Cardoza (Calif.), a conservative "Blue Dog" Democrat. (emphasis mine)

The bill will get to Bush on Monday – and Tuesday will be the fourth anniversary of the farcical dog-and-pony-show on the flight deck of the Abraham Lincoln. You remember Mission Accomplished, right? (I’m guessing he doesn’t whip out the 'ole veto pen before Wednesday.)

Behind the scenes, the talks on the next version have already started, but Democrats are not willing to give any more ground than Bush. House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (Ill.) said yesterday that putting the force of law behind benchmarks has always been an issue that has divided congressional Republicans from the White House -- making it a potential wedge to push next week.

The bill passed yesterday sets strict requirements for resting, training and equipping troops but would grant the president the authority to waive those restrictions, as long as he publicly justifies the waivers. The bill also establishes benchmarks for the Iraqi government to meet: Create a program to disarm militias, reduce sectarian violence, ease rules that purged the government of all former Baath Party members and approve a law on sharing oil revenue.

Unless the Bush administration determines by July 1 that those benchmarks are being met, troops would begin coming home immediately, with a goal of completing those withdrawals by the end of the year. If benchmarks are being met, troops would begin coming home no later than Oct. 1, with a goal of completing the troop pullout by April 1.

As the president commences the wailing and gnashing of teeth over being told “No” the Democrats are getting their act together and going on the offense. Democratic leaders in Congress are working in concert with Liberal organizations and planning hundreds of rallies, meet-ups and news conferences to protest the coming veto. Americans Against Escalation in Iraq is organizing what it anticipates – and fervently hopes - will be a historically large outpouring of sentiment against the Iraq war within hours of the anticipated veto. Planned events include news conferences just after the veto and "signature rallies" -- some of which could draw thousands of people -- the following day in about 50 places represented by fence-sitting Republicans lawmakers.

I, for one, am positively spoiling for this fight. I want to see this newfound backbone and resolve calcify and become a permanent fixture of the Democrats and obstacle to the Republican perfidy, malfeasance and flat-out hackery that have been the hallmark of the last six years.

[--Cross-posted from Watching Those We Chose]

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