Democrats put Iraq measures aside

Captain's Quarters:

Democrats have delayed further consideration to restrict or cripple the Iraq war deployments, apparently stunned by the lack of cohesion among their own caucuses and fearful of the backlash their efforts might produce. Harry Reid has delayed the progress of a Joe Biden bill to revoke the 2002 AUMF, and Nancy Pelosi has started to distance herself from John Murtha (via Memeorandum):

Democratic leaders backed away from aggressive plans to limit President Bush's war authority, the latest sign of divisions within their ranks over how to proceed.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday he wanted to delay votes on a measure that would repeal the 2002 war authorization and narrow the mission in Iraq.

Senior Democrats who drafted the proposal, including Sens. Joseph Biden of Delaware and Carl Levin of Michigan, had sought swift action on it as early as this week, when the Senate takes up a measure to enact the recommendations of the bipartisan Sept. 11 commission. ...

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meanwhile, said she doesn't support tying war funding to strict training and readiness targets for U.S. troops.

The comments distanced her from Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who has said he wants to use Congress' spending power to force a change in policy in Iraq, by setting strict conditions on war funding.

Pelosi said she supports holding the administration to training and readiness targets, but added: "I don't see them as conditions to our funding. Let me be very clear: Congress will fund our troops."

It appears that the Democrats may have misinterpreted their mandate, and that they have finally discovered that they're on the brink of demanding surrender while at war. While a majority of Americans have serious doubts about the management of the war, most understand that pulling troops out of a fight means surrender and retreat, and they don't see how that makes America any more secure. In fact, a surrender to terrorists in Iraq will make this country a good deal less secure and embolden the terrorists to continue attacking our interests, and the Democrats seem to be the last to that realization -- or the realization that Americans understand these stakes.


I think the democrats still believe that they have a mandate to lose the war, but realize they don't have the votes in the Senate to secure that mandate. The latest Levin and Biden proposals have even less support than their non-binding resolution did. they have virtually no Republican support. Chuck Hagel has heard from the folks back home and wants nothing to do with Levin's plan. There is no upside for Republicans in betraying Gen. Petraeus and his plan to defeat the enemy. For the Democrats the failure hurts them with their base, but their base can not move Republicans.


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