I've held off on this post all day because I've been sick over it. The House on Friday voted to pass a $124 billion bill that funds the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but for the first time attaches a deadline to the Iraq conflict.
The bill has appalled me because it included subsidies for spinach and peanut growers. It also appalled me because it includes god-knows how many billions more dollars to continue funding the Iraq war (note: I do support the Afghanistan War, and mean no criticism of efforts on that front) as another emergency spending package.
In addition, the bill garnered near unanimous republican opposition (only two reeps voted for the bill, one of which was Walter "freedom fries" Jones), and also brought strong opposition from both liberal and conservative democrats.
The bill has zero chance of being signed into law, as President Dubya has promised to veto the bill the second it lands on his desk. Meanwhile, the Senate is poised to take up its own bill which only includes an advisory message suggesting a troop withdrawal from Iraq.
The bill is a giant bleeding mess, and dems are all over the map. The agriculture subsidies are idiotic. The bill continues funding the wars through emergency spending, although both conflicts have been going on for over four years. Plus, the whole process has managed to unify the republicans - right at a time when they seemed sure to fracture over the war.
This bill disgusts me to the core. So, I should be pissed at Pelosi, Hoyer, Murtha, Emanuel, and the rest of the dem house leaders. Well, I should be pissed. But, I am not.
The reason is the dems have shown me two things. First, they managed to break the business as usual over rubber stamp funding operations for the Iraq Civil War. Second, Pelosi impressed me by getting enough dems to vote for this measure - even though the conservative and liberal wings of the party was dead-set against the bill (for different reasons). Pelosi has shown her mettle under fire.
For just this one time I am willing to overlook spinach subsidies and the emergency spending because the import of the vote transcends all the things I so dislike in the bill. Many reeps are going to regret their vote - and their rhetoric - because it frankly doesn't look like the surge is working.
Just this week, An Iraqi deputy prime minister got blown up by his own guard (he lived but was seriously hurt), the new UN secretary-general was visibly shaken when an RPG exploded not far from where he was standing during a surprise visit to Baghdad, and the bloodletting continues with suicide bombers running amok around the country. Iraq looks to be more of the same - more mayhem, more chaos, more death, more misery.
Dubya and his band of NeoCon idiots will continue to crow about how we are winning, or must win, or whatever. They will never change course.
I just wanted a congress that was going to stand up to the administration and their pathetic and incompetent running of the war. The dems delivered. I'm holding my nose, but saying, 'bravo!'
(Related note: See the linked You Tube of young Congressman Murphy of Pennsylvania, a 33 year old Iraq War vet giving the final house speech; it is really impressive.)