Sunday, January 21, 2007
What Good Is a Nonbinding Resolution?
In the same segment of Fox News Sunday in which Joe Biden dope-slapped BushCheney, Senator Carl Levin explained why he's co-sponsoring a nonbinding resolution opposing the escalation instead of something with more teeth in it.
WALLACE: Senator Levin, if you really believe that this is the wrong policy, to send 20,000 more American service men and women into Iraq, why not take hard action to stop it? LEVIN: It will be a very powerful message if a bipartisan majority of the Congress say that they disagree with the increased military involvement in Iraq. It's so powerful that the Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, has said that they're going to filibuster against this bipartisan resolution — two Democrats, two Republicans. So the power of this resolution is a first step to urge the president not to deepen our military involvement, not to escalate this matter. That is a first step. If the president does not take heed to that step, at that point, you then consider another step. But the worst thing we can do is to vote on something which is critical of the current policy and lose it, because if we lose that vote, the president will use the defeat of a resolution as support for his policy. The public doesn't support his policy. A majority of the Congress doesn't support his policy. And we've got to keep a majority of the Congress — or put a majority of the Congress in a position where they can vote against the president's policy, because that is the way in which we will begin to turn the ship around that is leading us in the wrong direction in Iraq.Sen. Levin is 100% right that losing a vote on the issue would be disastrous, that it's necessary to start with a vote we can win. I notice that Sen. Levin says it will be a powerful message, but doesn't specify that it's a message for Bush. I hope he knows by now that Bush's response to any Congressional action opposing the escalation will be "who cares what you think"? The message isn't that Bush has to change his mind — because he can't and he won't. Bush's response will be the message: he believes he is not answerable to the American people. As Levin said, making that plain is the first step to being able to take the political risks to rein Bush in. It's ironic. This is exactly how Bush justified the invasion of Iraq: set Saddam Hussein up to defy a United Nations resolution, then use that defiance to justify moving against him.
It's not the same situation, because they're not the same people at all. Did Bill Clinton or his surrogates announce that the failure of the impeachment resolution showed that The American People were completely behind him? Bush will exploit the failure of any bill intended to rein him in.
And there's far more at stake in this case.
This is a wedge, driven between the so-called moderate Republicans and the full mooners. There are a dozen Republican seats that may depend on how they handle the war:
CO, NM, NE, TN, GA, MN, ME, NC, KS, OR, NH, VA.
If the Republican Party is deeply divided, and the war is still an issue, look for Democratic sweeps in those states.
WALLACE: Senator Levin, let me ask you something that I hear from a lot of Democrats, that Senator Clinton can win the nomination, but that she has too much baggage to be elected president.
Too much baggage? Well, Bush had DWI's, a string of business failures, a shady inside-trading deal, no-show years at a Texas ANG champagne-unit, untreated alcoholism, and he's never denied his cocaine use, and yet *he* was nominated and very nearly elected in 2000, thanks to brother Jeb and his squeeze Katie Harris.
So what kind of baggage do you have in mind, Chris? And excuse me, but which Democratic party members do have you on record saying this?
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