Sure I am. But some of the rhetoric being tossed around the left end of blogtopia these days leaves me wondering what the 'reality-based community' has been smoking.
If the Iraq supplemental is a capitulation, it's a capitulation to hard reality. Sure, if I had a vote to cast on the bill, I'd vote against it. I wouldn't weep much over its passage, though.
Here's some reality to chew on. Failure to pass this appropriation would not bring a single soldier home in the short term. George Bush just won't do that. Remember, there are already plenty of billions of dollars floating around the DoD, dollars which Bush could divert to sustain the escalation of his war. Of course, someone would lose funding for something, and there's likely to be some pain involved.
Given the nature of defense expenditures, there are really only two ways to inflict that pain on the scale required to sustain the occupation. Either defense contractors - particularly those with the biggest and often most immediately useless systems to sell - or men and women in uniform will take the hit.
George W. Bush is the President and Commander in Chief. Who do you think will pay the price?
Will it be a suspension of a new nuclear warhead or a delay in the promotions and pay raises of soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines? Will it delay the development of the next generation bomber or fighter or submarine or will it delay the maintenance of military housing or the delivery of military medical care?
I'm betting that the G.I.s take it in the teeth for the madman. Again.
There are troops in the field, and it's going to take more than a supplemental appropriation to get them out. It's going to take more than one battle to stop the war. It was less than a year ago that there were only 11 Senators willing to vote for a redeployment timetable. Now, a majority of both houses of Congress are on record favoring exactly that. But, as Juan Cole
It turns out that if the American public really wanted out of Iraq in short order, it needed to elect about 11 more Democrats [or Hagel- Paul Republicans] to the Senate than it did.
Of course, there probably aren't eleven more "Hagel-Paul Republicans" in the whole damn country. But it's true - the problem isn't that we have too many of the wrong Democrats so much as that we just don't have enough Democrats, period.
That's why rants about "surrender," "capitulation" and "Vichy Democrats" are worse than useless. The Congressional Democrats took their best shot, and they landed some telling blows. Taking that Kerry fella's boxing analogy
to heart, I'd call this round three rather than round one. Round one was the original supplemental, with targets and timelines, passed by both houses. We won, but the veto was an effective counterpunch. Score round two for Bush.
Round three? Working the corner, I'd like to call it a draw, but if I was a judge, I'd give an edge to Bush's defense, though he didn't score a knockdown.
This is a championship battle, though, barely begun, and it could go the distance.
We can whine and bitch and put our energies into blaming the promoter, the manager, the cut man and the referee.
Or, as that Kerry fella says, we can keep punching.
I think I hear the bell for round four.