The Washington Times reports on the House Democrats' efforts to undermine President Bush at the expense of the troops. The Democrats are walking the fine line between their "support the troops" rhetoric and the reality of their actions. Here's the point:
. . . the Democrats are trying to cut the legs out from under Gen. Petraeus. Rep. John Murtha, the Pelosi confidant who chairs the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, wants to attach conditions to funding for the war in Iraq that would effectively make it impossible for the U.S. military to do its job. "Murtha's plan, backed by Pelosi, is to deprive Republicans of the argument that Democrats are choking off funds, while taking binding action against the war couched as protecting the troops," a "senior Democratic leadership aide" told The Washington Post yesterday.
This is politically stupid for the Democrats and shows both an incredible arrogance by Pelosi and an amazing level of dishonesty. There is no way that such funding measures would pass the House/Senate committee reconciliation process. Once the measures become stalled, the President can begin lambasting the Democrats in Congress. When it comes to the military and the troops, the public will follow the President, not the Speaker or the Senate. And the WaTimes is correct in its conclusions:
All the pious declarations from Democratic lawmakers -- veterans and nonveterans -- about their concern for the troops being paramount, are a sham. In other words, the Democrats have concluded that we cannot win in Iraq and they are using the welfare of the troops to conceal the fact that they are prepared to abandon Iraq to insurgent terrorists and militias, even as they pretend to support Gen. Petraeus and the troops.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer who said last week that Republicans would be permitted to offer an alternative to the resolution opposing the president, reversed himself under pressure from Mrs. Pelosi. Democrats were apparently worried that an amendment opposing a cutoff in funds, proposed by Rep. Sam Johnson, Texas Republican, would attract too much support from conservative Democrats. So, the Democratic leadership effectively gagged Mr. Johnson, a Vietnam veteran who spent nearly seven years in a POW camp, barring him from offering his alternative proposal on the floor. House Republicans need to drive home the point that the supporters of the House resolution are determined to cut off funds for the troops but are too intellectually dishonest to say so publicly right now.