House Democrats Fall All Over Themselves to Act Foolish About Iraq

So the news has been full of the hawkish, decorated, ex-Marine, Vietnam Vet, Democratic House Member John Murtha calling for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. (Followed quickly by San Francisco’s representative, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, saying “Mr. Murtha speaks for himself.”)

Murtha introduced (as the sole sponsor) a House Resolution to support his call, which (after all of the usual throat-clearing “whereas”es) reads:

He apparently didn’t care to sign on to House Concurrent Resolution 35, which has a mere 34 co-sponsors so far, and which puts it this way (after the usual throat-clearing “whereas”es):

…or H.R. 4232, the “End the War in Iraq Act,” which has even fewer cosponsors, and puts things sans whereases:

While war-ending resolutions like these have attracted few sponsors, many Democratic members of the House have been trying to compete rhetorically for the love and votes of the increasingly anti-war, withdrawal-happy public. So the Republicans decided to call their bluff today by introducing and rushing to the floor their own resolution which reads:

Couldn’t be simpler, right? (Well, except that Sense of the House is legislative language which offers the opinion of the House, but does not make law which kind of makes the whole exercise even stupider — what could it mean for a legislative body to go on the record as being officially in favor of a course of action that it is simultaneously failing to legislate?)

The roll call vote should create a helpful list for The Nation to refer to when deciding which candidates to endorse . For as they said in their recent editorial:

We will not support any candidate for national office who does not make a speedy end to the war in Iraq a major issue of his or her campaign. We urge all voters to join us in adopting this position…

Courageously standing up to this stern threat from The Nation, Rep. Pelosi urged Democrats in the House to vote against the resolution, and 93% of them did (the total vote in the House was a lopsided 403 to 3).

Many Democrats have hit on a nuanced position that rejects the rash, cut-and-run language of the Republican-introduced measure, (which establishes that the opinion of the House is that “the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately”) in favor of the far more reasonable language in Murtha’s resolution (which says that “The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated”). Oh yes, if only they would allow us to bring up the Murtha resolution for a vote… but this sham Republican amendment is far too reckless to consider!

Update: According to the Associated Press, on Pelosi stopped distancing herself from Murtha’s position. “We should follow the lead of Congressman John Murtha, who has put forth a plan to make American safer, to make our military stronger and to make Iraq more stable,” she said.

afternoon, an IRS attorney spent a couple of hours browsing through various pages on The Picket Line after doing a Google search for “"david gross" and tax”. I wouldn’t have noticed, except that she clicked on the “email” link in the sidebar and then hit send instead of abort. Oops.

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