Saturday, March 24, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
That's how the Associated Press described yesterday's vote by the House to demand a U.S. retreat from Iraq, and in the perverse calculus of Capitol Hill we suppose it was. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has demonstrated she can pile on enough pork to bribe enough Democrats to cobble together a bare, partisan majority to "send a message" that has no chance of becoming law. Congratulations.
"Today is an historic day," Ms. Pelosi said on the House floor. "The new Congress will vote to end the war in Iraq." But of course the bill does nothing of the sort. If she truly wanted to end the war, the Speaker and her fellow Democrats could simply have used their power of the purse to refuse to fund it. But that would have meant taking some responsibility for what happens in Iraq, which is the last thing Democrats want to do. So they have passed a bill that funds the war while claiming it ends the war.
The bill's "benchmarks" and deadlines certainly have nothing to do with achieving victory in Iraq, or assisting General David Petraeus's campaign to secure Baghdad. They are all about the war inside the Democratic Caucus. On the one hand, they appease the antiwar left by pretending to declare the war illegal if certain goals aren't met by Iraqis or U.S. forces. But on the other, they allow "moderates" from swing districts to claim they are nonetheless "supporting the troops." Acts of Congress don't get much more cynical than that.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
This is the Democrats
Today's Wall Street Journal had a piece on the pathetic politicking on Iraq by the Democrats. As my previous post points out, the Democrats are far from united and so you have to give Pelosi credit, albeit the pure political porcine bribery form of credit, for even pulling off a simple majority on her useless vote. The editors at the WSJ were more kind with the headline of 'A Triumph for Pelosi' The Democrats send their message on Iraq, but the kindness ended there. The opening paragraphs nailed beautifully: