Congress unbound?

January 23, 2007

Many of those who have seen through this war from the beginning have been expressing frustration with the Congress for diddling around with non-binding “sense of the chamber” resolutions against Bush’s surge. MEC over at
Mercury Rising posts a cogent defense of the strategy from Senator Levin on Fox:

So the power of this resolution is a first step to urge the president not to deepen our military involvement, not to escalate this matter. That is a first step. If the president does not take heed to that step, at that point, you then consider another step.But the worst thing we can do is to vote on something which is critical of the current policy and lose it, because if we lose that vote, the president will use the defeat of a resolution as support for his policy.

The public doesn’t support his policy. A majority of the Congress doesn’t support his policy. And we’ve got to keep a majority of the Congress — or put a majority of the Congress in a position where they can vote against the president’s policy, because that is the way in which we will begin to turn the ship around that is leading us in the wrong direction in Iraq.

MEC goes on to point out that the message to be sent is not being sent to Bush, who will never listen anyway. Rather, by echoing the electorate’s disapproval, it is setting up the real message, the one Bush will send to the electorate when he ignores the sense of the chamber resolutions, “Who cares what you think?”

The electorate’s disgust with that message from Bush is what will empower Congress to take the more substantive following steps. MEC’s brilliant observation is that the purpose of these initial resolutions is, in Downing Street parlance, to “wrongfoot” the President.

It’s ironic. This is exactly how Bush justified the invasion of Iraq: set Saddam Hussein up to defy a United Nations resolution, then use that defiance to justify moving against him.

The “surge” was initially supposed to be a two to four month affair. Tonight on ABC, General Keane was explaining that it will take 18 to 24 months to work. That is, for the duration of the Bush administration, the “surge” will be indistinguishable in any respect from an escalation. And that, undoubtedly, by design.

Had the surge duration been as initially advertised, Congress would have had to move precipitously to block it. But Chancellor Bush intends a longer game; and Congress may therefore do well to take a little time to set up its shot.

[Image by dogwelder]


One comment

  1. Thanks for the cite!

    As for the 4-month “surge” actually lasting through the end of Bush’s reign — of course Bush lied about the actual duration. Why should this be an exception.

    #1 on my “I wish people would get a clue” list is “I wish people would see the pattern, realize that everything Bush says is a lie, and stop giving him room to commit the next atrocity.”

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