Sadly, it looks like the answer is "yes"
Chris Bowers pointed out that another blank check for Iraq is probably on its way. Whatever you think about funding strategies for Iraq, this is a good illustration of just how the Bush Dogs hurt us. Here's Jason Altmire, of PA-04, at a press conference upon his recent return from Iraq, on Bush's funding requests.
The president has made the decision to continue the mission at its current level, and I am never going to vote to withhold funding to our brave men and women when they are out in the field of battle serving in harm's way.
Glenn Smith nails it when he characterizes Bush as holding the troops hostage:
This is the ugly truth Congress wrestles with but will not name. Congress has been terrorized, like any family whose children are kidnapped and held hostage.
Vote to stop funding? Vote for an immediate start to withdrawal? American soldiers will die. As they have been dying. Bush knows he can blame Congress and the public's lack of "will" for the continued horror.
"They would not have died," he would say, "had the politicians in Washington not interfered with our commanders in the field."
This is Bush's threat. And everyone knows it, but few will talk about it. It is not easy to speak these truths about an American leader. But no other conclusion is possible.
The thing that these Dems don't seem to realize is that they have the numbers--both in Congress and in public support and sentiment--to REJECT the framing with which Bush pushes forward his agenda. Jeffrey Feldman:
According to the Washington Post, Harry Reid is again 'negotiating' with Senate Republicans about ways to end the nightmare on Baghdad Street often referred to as 'the war in Iraq' (i.e., it's not a 'war'--it's a burned-out military occupation). What's up for negotiation this time? You guessed it: Bush wants $50 billion more for Iraq. Apparently, Republicans are willing to sit down and talk about legislation to get out of Iraq, with just a few conditions: they refuse to use the words 'deadline' or 'timetable' or 'withdrawal.' In other words, the Republicans are happy to negotiation with Democrats about ending the war on Iraq, but refuse to allow any of the words Americans use to talk about ending a war.
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Now, I ask myself: would I sit down at the negotiating table if the opposition put forward that kind of condition as their opening position? Let me think...
Here we are, just days away from the fabled "wait until September" promise we got from Democrats...and it looks like they aren't going to do anything different from their capitulation in April. We have to ratchet up the pressure on these Democrats. You can join the campaign for updates on the Bush Dogs here.
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