Thursday, September 20, 2007


By Edward Copeland

Pundits and lawmakers alike seem content to sigh and admit that congressional Democrats are powerless to do anything to stop the war in Iraq, since Republicans are staying in line until after primaries next year and they don't have the power to override an inevitable Bush veto. They may well be right, but that doesn't mean they can't score some points since the majority of the country is on their side and want our brave men and women out of Iraq.

Now, I've recommended this before and I'm going to keep bringing it up in the hope that some Democrat in Congress might see it and get a strategic clue. You will never get legislation that includes a timeline. You don't have the guts or the votes to de-fund the war. You can't even get them to agree to being decent enough to allow our fighting men and women to have at least as much time at home as they do on their tours of duty.

There is an option: It has always been an option. Give Bush what he wants: A pristine, clean war funding bill with no strings or deadlines, just one simple addition: Force them to pay for it by revoking the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans.

That might not get through Congress either and if it does, it will put Dubya in a quandary: Which is more important to him? His messianic mission in the Iraqi quagmire or the wallets of his richest friends? Odds are, it won't get passed either (if somehow it did, all the better) but it will put the already-wounded GOP on the defensive if they dare to oppose it. Do they want to appear as if they are willing to sacrifice American lives but not to sacrifice their wealthiest friends' largesse?

They can't come up with a good rationale for opposing it without an immediate counterstrike pointing out the obvious: They don't support the troops. Democrats will have a great talking point regardless of the outcome and the Republicans will suffer another serious blow. Do it Congress. Fund the war and pay for it by repealing the tax cuts on the richest Americans. Find your guts and do it.

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  • I can't believe you are actually encouraging your party to try to "score" political points from the War. That is morally reprehensible.

    By Blogger TorchofLiberty, at 3:36 PM  

  • They can't seem to get anywhere with actual progress at stopping this quagmire and as long as Dubya and the gang use it for their political gain (hence the Republicans who also want it to end but are too scared to do anything before they secure primary re-elections), I don't see that they have any other choice but to fight political fire with fire. When Dubya (as evidenced by his news conference yesterday) continues to equate criticism of this disastrous war with criticism of the troops, there's nothing morally reprehensible about hitting them on their tax policy, which has nothing to do with the war and will put them in a bind. Until the Dems find a way to wound the GOP's power even further, they'll never make much headway to ending the war so it's time for them to play hardball. It's not accusations of sleaze or incompetence, it simply puts it on the playing field of tax policy and if the GOP chooses to place more importance on protecting the rich than protecting the troops, then it will be their own fault.

    By Blogger Edward Copeland, at 11:13 AM  

  • I'm very much in favor of this as well. In fact, I've been advocating it off and on at for the last year.

    There are many advantages to it. It puts the GOP and Bush on the defensive by calling their bluff. Their war policy all along has been "war on the cheap", that is, none of us has to bear any consequences for essentially open-ended war.

    I think that Dems ought to be able to get such a bill passed by embarrassing congressional Republicans. If they did, that is the best leverage we can hope to get against Bush to force him to wind down this occupation. His "base" of millionaires is perhaps the only group he's willing to listen to. He sure as hell isn't listening to ordinary Americans.

    By Blogger : smintheus ::, at 12:37 PM  

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