- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 13, 2007

These are not the happiest of times for Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the anti-war crowd who imagined that the November election results gave congressional Democrats a mandate to put the president in his place. Mr. Reid doesn’t have the votes to pass resolutions denouncing the war and heap scorn on the sacrifices our fighting men in Iraq. Like Mrs. Pelosi, he lacks the courage of his convictions, to stand on principle and cut off the money for the war.

The House Democratic leadership has endured five days of free-fall, beginning with last Thursday’s dueling press conferences on Capitol Hill, where several prominent congressmen, including House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, stumbled over facts and dates as they tried to describe how their legislation would make it impossible for American troops in the field to do their jobs. The following day, Mr. Obey, now in his 20th term, felt compelled to publicly apologize for a shouting match with anti-war demonstrators, during which he called his critics “idiot liberals” who couldn’t understand that Democrats are using a supplemental appropriations bill “to end the war in Iraq.” (This may demonstrate the actual depth of how strongly Mr. Obey “supports the troops.”)

A larger problem — one that could be more damaging in the long run — is that some on the moderate left are publicly concerned about how Congress is dealing with the war. Ted Koppel, the television interviewer, appearing as a guest on “Meet the Press,” criticized the way lawmakers are setting “milestones” that Iraq must meet to continue receiving U.S. support. If Iraq meets these milestones, the U.S. stays to help Iraqis defend their country. If they fail, we abandon them. “It doesn’t make any sense at all,” Mr. Koppel said. “It ought to be the other way around.” Democrats are making a mistake by demanding that the Americans leave Iraq, because the larger global war against radical Islamists will continue no matter what, he said.

On Monday, the Los Angeles Times, clearly no fan of President Bush’s conduct of the war, denounced Pelosi & Co. for setting benchmarks and conditions to force out U.S. troops. Referring scornfully to “General Pelosi,” the paper opined: “Imagine if Dwight Eisenhower had been forced to adhere to a congressional war plan in scheduling the Normandy landings, or if in 1863 President Lincoln had been forced by Congress to conclude the Civil War the following year. This is the worst kind of congressional meddling in military strategy.” Let the backlash begin.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide