For the record, I’m with John Edwards, who is unequivocal about the need to keep sending the President bills requiring him to get the troops out of Iraq until his veto pen runs dry!
In fact, any candidate who backs down to Bush’s latest bluster will not get my vote in the primary (and that means you, Senator Obama!)
Bush was trying to channel a young Clint Eastwood yesterday, with this remark:
If the Congress wants to test my will as to whether or not I'll accept a timetable for withdrawal, I won't accept one.And a young village idiot with this one:
I'm just envisioning what it would be like to be a young soldier in the middle of Iraq and realizing that politicians have all of the sudden made military determinations.Um, you’ve got a point there. Just wish you could have envisioned it four years ago! He continued with his other big rationale for his veto of the current bill:
The idea of putting all kinds of extraneous spending on a bill, the purpose of which is to fund our troops, I just don't accept that. So if they want to try again, that which I have said was unacceptable, then of course I'll veto it.After hearing everything the President has to say about his intention to veto any bill that doesn’t give him exactly what he wants, I can’t help but think back to his speech on April 10, when he claimed to give us his bottom line:
The bottom line is this: Congress's failure to fund our troops will mean that some of our military families could wait longer for their loved ones to return from the front lines. Others could see their loved ones headed back to war sooner than anticipated. This is unacceptable. It's unacceptable to me, it's unacceptable to our veterans, it's unacceptable to our military families, and it's unacceptable to many in this country.Another good point. It's unacceptable! That’s why I think Congress should respond to his veto by immediately passing another funding bill that is stripped of everything but the funding for another six to eight months in Iraq, along with a binding resolution to have the troops returned home to their loved ones within that time frame. End of story!
If Bush is going to veto a funding bill because it forces him to bring the troops home to their families, he should have to come out and say so. Clearly, he has no intention of trying to reunite our military families. In fact, he seems willing to use the troops as hostages in order to get what he wants! Earlier, in the same speech, he trotted out this quote from a member of his war cabinet:
In a letter to Congress, the Army Chief of Staff, Pete Shoemaker, recently warned, "Without approval of the supplemental funds in April, we will be forced to take increasingly draconian measures, which will impact Army readiness and impose hardships on our soldiers and their families."It all sounds pretty clear. Failure to give Bush everything he wants is a “failure to support the troops” because if Congress doesn’t give him everything he wants, he is going to punish the troops with “increasingly draconian measures!” Sounds like blackmail to me! So who, exactly, are the terrorists again?
So far, his other main
But complaining about “artificial timetables” is like whining about an artificial limit on the amount of money in your checking account! No, Mr. President, it’s a real timetable, and nearly 70% of the American people want you to follow it!
Many of today’s conservatives like to talk tough about how early withdrawal would be accepting defeat and behaving like a loser, but they might as well be saying that a decision to stop beating our heads against a brick wall is a defeatist admission that we can’t knock the wall down! If only you would use your own head, Mr. Bush, we might give the argument a bit more time, but by now your war has given us nothing but a raging headache and we want you to stop!
As others have noted, the President’s current aversion to timetables is at odds with another famous statement he made in 2003:
Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict, commenced at a time of our choosing.At this point, Congress should tell the President that he can have the necessary funding but that he must get the troops out of Iraq within 6 to 8 months, or his refusal to do so will result in impeachment and removal from office, commenced at the time of their choosing.
Yeah, I can dream!