Thursday, March 08, 2007

Dems Cut and Run from Cutting and Running

Democrats shelve plans to force Iraqi pullout.

Congressional Democrats have dramatically scaled back their plans to shape the course of the Iraq war, bowing to pressure from Republicans and conservative Democrats to pursue only nonbinding measures, at least for now, as they push to bring the troops home.

In the House, Democratic leaders now concede that they do not have enough votes to use their control over federal spending to force President Bush to begin withdrawing troops. Instead, lawmakers are drafting a far milder bill that would include guidelines for troop readiness -- requirements that the president could waive at his discretion.

In the Senate, efforts to repeal the original 2002 resolution authorizing force in Iraq have faltered as well, amid deep divisions among Democrats. Instead, Senate leaders are scrambling to find a compromise that would mandate a limited mission for US troops, but even that probably would not pass, and may not force the president's hand anyway.

With their thin majority in Congress, Democrats are now confronting the reality that finding a strong, legally binding antiwar measure that also keeps their party together may not be possible.

Riding to power...
Democrats rode to power in November in large part because of antiwar sentiment. Party leaders vowed to quickly deliver on voters' desire to end the war, and polls have suggested that the public is growing more frustrated as US involvement in Iraq grinds on.

Stalled out in two months...
Yet two months after taking control of Congress, the grand total of congressional action on the war consists of a single House resolution that states formal disapproval of the president's decision to send more troops to Iraq. Even that measure, which does not carry the force of law, stalled in the Senate when Democrats could not overcome Republicans' procedural roadblocks.

More here.
(Image courtesy of Warren County NC GOP)