You Don't Need 60 Votes To Get Us Out of Iraq.

Every time I read articles (like this one, this one, this one or this one) that talk about how the Democrats are having problems getting the 60 votes in the Senate that they need to move Iraq legislation forward, or how they won't be able to get the 2/3rds of both houses that they need to beat a veto, I get angrier. And not with the Republicans who are standing in the way.

The Democrats don't need more than a majority. The President can't spend money unless Congress lets him spend money. If Congress passes a spending bill and he vetoes it, he can't spend money. If Congress fails to pass a spending bill at all, he can't spend money. All the Democrats need to do is stand their ground and refuse to pass any spending bill that doesn't require a firm timetable. That's all that they need to do.

The problem that we've got isn't overcoming Republican resistance. It's the spine of the Democratic leadership. They don't have one. They don't even have shells. I'd call them jellyfish, but even jellyfish can inflict a painful sting. No, we're talking sea cucumbers here - they've got no hard support, and if you stress one too much it reacts by expelling its internal organs all over you.

We've got to stop letting them slide. They're in the majority now, and that means that they shouldn't be able to get off the hook by claiming to be impotent in the face of the big bad Republicans. They've got the support of the public. They need to act like it if they want to retain it.

12 responses so far

  • Coturnix says:

    Hey, sea cucumber can get quite rigid - ask Sheril. Slugs? Worms?

  • Metro says:

    Judas friggin' Priest.
    They refuse to stand up for what they know is right because someone might accuse them of cowardice ...
    But on the other hand--where are the outraged citizens? Where are the protest marches that cannot be ignored?
    Why aren't the streets exploding over this stuff?

  • Craig says:

    Just curious - not that I disagree with your point, but what do you think will happen if Bush refuses to return the troops home and they run out of bullets, gas, etc, because there funding gets cut?

  • Brendan S says:

    Here's my $0.02:
    The Republicans know this war is lost, and a lost cause. We should be concentrating on a solution instead of just 'maintaining'. The reason that we're still there is that Bush etc. al. think that they can stall LONG ENOUGH to put someone else in office (Probably Democrat) that will then LOSE THE WAR. Then, in 4 or 8 years, they can come back and say 'Look, don't vote for the party that LOST the war.' 4 years is a long time for middle America to remember what actually happened.
    The Democrats want the Bush Administration to be the ones to pull out of Iraq. They don't want to inherit the problem, then get blamed for it. I think that they're trying to avoid the 'loosing the war' rhetoric. Cause later on, it will matter.
    Personally, I wish everyone would stop playing politics and do what is right.

  • shhiggins says:

    To Metro - Where indeed are the protest marches that cannot be ignored? More importantly, why are the protests that ARE happening BEING ignored?
    I was at the one in DC on the 15th, and it was desribed as 'thousands', and portrayed almost as a failure because the organizers had hoped for >100K. My estimation, based on only where I could see, measuring the distance on Google maps and being VERY conservative about how much room a person needs to walk was >60K. Yet it was described in every report I read as only 'thousands'!
    In contrast, the counterdemonstration was easily only a ragged bunch of a few hundred at best was described as 'nearly a thousand'.
    Also, the photos shown on the major outlets focussed on the people who were arrested and on confrontations with the counter-protesters. Plus, unless I just could not find it, the BBC website did not mention it at all. With coverage like that it is very easy to ignore it.
    Another question - where were Dennis Kucinich, Neil Young, Jane Fonda, and other prominent antiwar people on that day? That might help a bit...

  • shhiggins says:

    To Metro - Where indeed are the protest marches that cannot be ignored? More importantly, why are the protests that ARE happening BEING ignored?
    I was at the one in DC on the 15th, and it was desribed as 'thousands', and portrayed almost as a failure because the organizers had hoped for >100K. My estimation, based on only where I could see, measuring the distance on Google maps and being VERY conservative about how much room a person needs to walk was >60K. Yet it was described in every report I read as only 'thousands'!
    In contrast, the counterdemonstration was easily only a ragged bunch of a few hundred at best was described as 'nearly a thousand'.
    Also, the photos shown on the major outlets focussed on the people who were arrested and on confrontations with the counter-protesters. Plus, unless I just could not find it, the BBC website did not mention it at all. With coverage like that it is very easy to ignore it.
    Another question - where were Dennis Kucinich, Neil Young, Jane Fonda, and other prominent antiwar people on that day? That might help a bit...

  • shhiggins says:

    To Metro - Where indeed are the protest marches that cannot be ignored? More importantly, why are the protests that ARE happening BEING ignored?
    I was at the one in DC on the 15th, and it was desribed as 'thousands', and portrayed almost as a failure because the organizers had hoped for >100K. My estimation, based on only where I could see, measuring the distance on Google maps and being VERY conservative about how much room a person needs to walk was >60K. Yet it was described in every report I read as only 'thousands'!
    In contrast, the counterdemonstration was easily only a ragged bunch of a few hundred at best was described as 'nearly a thousand'.
    Also, the photos shown on the major outlets focussed on the people who were arrested and on confrontations with the counter-protesters. Plus, unless I just could not find it, the BBC website did not mention it at all. With coverage like that it is very easy to ignore it.
    Another question - where were Dennis Kucinich, Neil Young, Jane Fonda, and other prominent antiwar people on that day? That might help a bit...

  • shhiggins says:

    To Metro - Where indeed are the protest marches that cannot be ignored? More importantly, why are the protests that ARE happening BEING ignored?
    I was at the one in DC on the 15th, and it was desribed as 'thousands', and portrayed almost as a failure because the organizers had hoped for >100K. My estimation, based on only where I could see, measuring the distance on Google maps and being VERY conservative about how much room a person needs to walk was >60K. Yet it was described in every report I read as only 'thousands'!
    In contrast, the counterdemonstration was easily only a ragged bunch of a few hundred at best was described as 'nearly a thousand'.
    Also, the photos shown on the major outlets focussed on the people who were arrested and on confrontations with the counter-protesters. Plus, unless I just could not find it, the BBC website did not mention it at all. With coverage like that it is very easy to ignore it.
    Another question - where were Dennis Kucinich, Neil Young, Jane Fonda, and other prominent antiwar people on that day? That might help a bit...

  • Watt de Fawke says:

    Where is the outrage? On the blogs and nowhere else. Why? Because the police and the courts are Bush loyalists. Who wants to get Tasered? And then arrested and stuck with a criminal record to follow you around from job application to job application? We are afraid of our government.

  • Hmmm... I'm not sure how I feel about comparing Democratic leadership to the extraordinarily charismatic sea cucumber.

  • Metro says:

    @Craig:
    Are you serious? Please don't straw-man the argument with the old "the troops will have to pull their bullets out of their targets and reload them by hand!" crap.
    It doesn't work that way and you know it. If Congress grew some spine and refused funding for the Bush War, then they'd have to fold their tents, board the planes, and come home.
    Their families will be glad to see them, the Iraqis won't waste their tears on them, and they themselves will be relieved of the Sisypusian labour laid on them by the overweening ambition of the former dope fiend and draft dodger who disgraces the Oval Office. Boy, that'd sure suck, eh?
    The Bushies will call this "failure to support the troops." Largely because they don't understand the word "irony".

  • SmellyTerror says:

    It's a political issue. Iraq is a monumental screw up, and it's only going to get worse. There are no good options. A lack of action is a slow disaster, but almost any action will probably be a quick one. No-one wants the shit on their hands.
    Look at it this way: if the Dems manage to get the troops pulled out, and Iraq turns into a bloodbath that makes 1994 in Rwanda look like a nice holiday, who gets the blame? That's right, the Dems. And who gets to make grave, heroic speeches on the nightly news about the terrible humanitarian disaster caused by the cowardly Dems? My man Bush.
    No. They have to sit around and do nothing until they have the Presidency, or have lost it. Then they can risk action.
    ...and if that sounds cold and callous to you, well, I'm not seeing any vast concern for the poor bloody Iraqis from either side. I don't see any of you guys (those who are supporting a pull-out) also fighting with similar outrage for, say, a heavy investment policy for Iraq. Nothing shuts down an insurgency faster than prosperity.
    Withdrawal should be, at best, half the solution. If you do it without a complimentary plan for the stabilisation of Iraq ready to go, then you are guilty of just the kind of short-sightedness that doomed the inital invasion to disaster.