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January 07, 2007

Pelosi: You're cut off, Dubya

Watch the video.

SCHIEFFER: So, you've told him what you don't want to do, and that is to expand the size of the force in Iraq even on a short-term basis. But what if he decides to do that? What will be your action then?

PELOSI: If the president chooses to escalate the war, in his budget request we want to see a distinction between what is there to support the troops who are there now. The American people and the Congress support those troops. We will not abandon them.

But if the president wants to add to this mission, he is going to have to justify it. And this is new for him because up until now the Republican Congress has given him a blank check with no oversight, no standards, no conditions. And we've gone into this situation, which is a war without end, which the American people have rejected.

Finally, someone who's not afraid to stand up to the president. The Democrats will support the troops who are already in Iraq, but they won't give the president the money to escalate the futile war in Iraq. From now on, he's going to have to justify his requests. 

Welcome, Speaker Pelosi. We've been waiting for you.

[HT: Steve Gilliard]


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i'll believe it when i see it. i'm not so sure that this not so tough talk is gonna get all that much done (is our country still so dumb that she really needs to spit out that "we support our troops" tripe?). bush (or someone near him) is very good at framing terrible decisions in ways that make opposition seem immoral. until democrats demand that the troops come home by the end of the year, they leave themselves open to such manipulation and dishonesty. this "surge" will happen because pelosi and her ilk are still too affraid to say outright that the war should end right now.

Someone should tell Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party leadership that increasing our military by 30,000 more soldiers will do nothing "to protect the American people" so long as the Bush-Cheney administration is power. We only need to reduce the number of Bush Republicans in high office by 20 or 30 or so to stop their wars for oil.

The American people and the rest of the world's population would best be protected by impeaching Bush, Cheney, Rice, Hadley, Negroponte, and the rest of their cabal as soon as possible.

?! Are we morons or is Pelosi? So long as she supports the troops' right to exist as hostages to the military industrial complex, she is explicitly supporting Bush in much the same words as Bush was. Bush has not properly budgeted a single thing in his junta -- the reason Turkey didn't let us use them as a way into Iraq was because they proved Bush had not set aside any way of paying for the bribe he'd promised. All of the funding for all of his crimes and misleadings has come from what might be call tumble-down economics, the way his family used to clean up his messes after him. We are very curious about what president Pelosi thinks this dire threat of requesting a budgetary conference is aimed at, because Bush's MO is to not give a damn. But even if he weren't a subhuman thing, it is perfectly reasonable that in his mind, the current force and the rumored escalated force are the same entity, so Pelosi from his point of view is threatening to not support the troops. As she should be, because that's the only thing that can help and possibly the only thing Democrats are willing to consider. But then she did tell us about that, didn't she?

we are fools: "in much the same words as the Republicans" it should say.

Pelosi's pledge to hold the line on escalation is the most important thing for now. The point is to remind the president that there's this separate but equal branch of government that actually controls the funding for his imperialist adventures. The first step is to block the surge. Then we can argue about how fast to pull troops out of Iraq.

If Pelosi wins this staredown with Bush, the troops will have to come home quickly. The current situation is untenable. An escalation is just window dressing, as we all know, but at least it would give the president an excuse to stay. (Give the war a chance!) If Congress won't let Bush go big, we'll have to go home.

Like Utica I also greet Speaker Pelosi's statements with a certain degree of skepticism. The Decider-In-Chief will simply authorize some sort of fancy bookkeeping to have his way. I sincerely believe that this war will only end before Jan. 20, 2009 by impeachment of the President and possibly the Vice-President too. Cheney might be persuaded to bring our troops home if Bush loses his job because of it, if for no other reason than to save his own ass.

Pelosi made the first step in the right direction with this plan to withhold funding for a "surge", but the Dems need to be prepared to follow up with harsher measures if the President attempts to circumvent Congress to accomplish his planned escalation. And that is where my skepticism lies, i.e., I doubt the Democrats as a whole have the political will to impeach the motherfucker.

I hope to God I'm wrong about all of this and that Pelosi's maneuver brings about eventual troop withdrawals sometime this year, but I'm not very optimistic about this. I think most of you here agree with me at some level about this. Only time will tell if I'm right or wrong. I have no ego invested in my prognosticative skills, so feel free to mock my predictions if they prove wrong. I can live with that, unlike some conservative political leaders and commentators who refuse to face the fact that they were completely wrong about how to handle Iraq, despite the overwhelming evidence that they were and still are complete and absolute fuckups. George Bush's vanity alone is enough to destroy the principles upon which our republic was founded. If America no longer exists in fifty years or so, I think most historians will know where to trace the beginning of the end to.

The question is not whether Pelosi is articulating the best possible Iraq strategy. The question is whether she's positioning herself as well as possible for the battle ahead.

The president won't bring the troops home because the American people want him to. We already know that. He certainly won't relent because Nancy Pelosi orders him to. In his tiny mind, listening to reason is humiliating. The only way to get him to give up this craziness is more protracted personal frustration. Let Congress smack him down, and smack him down again, and again. He's not a fighter. He's not a true believer. He'll give up when his pride gets hurt enough.


I have to agree. Pelosi has already made it clear that she's not going to back down from her plans to challenge the president. She took a lot of lumps for her efforts to back Jack Murtha and to challenge Jane Harman. She won't back off just because just because she runs into some criticism.

And you're also right about Bush. Every time he's run into a lot of opposition, he's caved. And he's already making noises about backing away from his "surge" plan.

This won't play out as a case of congress voting down an appropriations request. Bush will back off before it comes to that. But he won't be getting the 30,000 troop, 24 month surge tht McCain is pushing, or even the 20,000 troops that he floated as a trial balloon. At most, he'll get a temporary bump of 10,000 or so.

lindsay: "The question is not whether Pelosi is articulating the best possible Iraq strategy. The question is whether she's positioning herself as well as possible for the battle ahead."
these kinds of triangulations are exactly our problem. everyone on the left already knows that the ONLY option remaining is to get our troops out. there really isn't a single viable alternative to withdrawal. regardless of that, pelosi's "position" seems to be that she'll fund existing troop levels as long as she's asked to, but she won't support escalation, nor will she even call for a drawdown. (does anyone else see the republican trick working? jesus christ, we're fighting for the status quo without even realizing it!)
"the battle ahead" is the same battle we're fighting now, the same one we'll be fighting in two years: we say the war has to end, they say "go to hell". it is clear that they won't budge, so why are we so willing to?
the wisest POLITICAL stance the democrats could take is an HONEST one. for once, the country actually agrees with us. there is no need for further positioning, everything is already in place.

What frightens me is: President McCain, swept into power on his "we couldawouldashoulda won Iraq if only the Democrat Party hadn't blocked my surge" platform.

(Not that I want to see the surge go ahead just to sink St John the Panderer! I think he's also sunk if we have substantial troop withdrawal in the next year, and I'm sure he's toast if we're out of Iraq come 2008.)

Oh my god listen to what she's actually saying! Nowhere does she say anything about opposing escalation. She is simply saying that Bush will have to "justify" it. All that means is that Democrats will hold a hearing where a general says we need more troops in order to stabilize, secure, fight the terrorists etc. and the Democrats will hand over the money. OK, so some Bush factotum will have to attend a hearing which he didn't have to do before. BIG FUCKING DEAL!!

I think I am reading it the same as Bill: No Change, just rhetoric.

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