Nancy and cutting off Iraq funding

Jonathan's shmooze with Nancy drew suggestions that she should have cut off Iraq funding, countered by a suggestion that she didn't have 218 votes to swing it.

It's counterfactual - grotesquely so, one might say - but I can't resist:

Suppose Nancy had said, No FY07 Iraq supplemental. Could a coalition of Blue Dogs and GOP have forced her hand?

The discharge petition would have been available: if 218 reps had signed up, they could have got a funding bill to the floor (strictly speaking, they'd have been discharging the rule related to the funding bill which, we assume, Pelosi has had deep-sixed in committee).

What if the rule discharged had been a closed rule - the doer done! - that would mean that Pelosi and her henchmen couldn't introduce any sneaky poison pills or the like into it.

If the bill had passed, I'm thinking, it would (politically speaking) have been over Pelosi's dead body: how could she possibly have carried on as Speaker if thus thwarted? (Step forward Speaker Steny!)

Point is, if the Dem House leadership had had the cojones to tell Bush no more Iraq funding, it would probably have been up to holding the party together against a funding bill rebellion.

Since said leadership is - not exactly caponized, but certainly careful - neither course of action was ever on the cards.

Tags: Blue Dogs, Conservative Coalition, Defunding Iraq, Iraq Defunding Evaded by Discharge Petition, Pelosi and Defunding Iraq (all tags)



Re: Nancy and cutting off Iraq funding

Yes, but the big question we all ignore is "could the Democrats weather a strong-armed cessation of funding?"

Democrats would suffer tremendously as the MSM and every component of the Right launched a full-scale attack on the "cut-and-run", "hates the troops", "comforting the terrorists" Democrats. It would be brutal, and it wouldn't go away for a long time. It would be the topic du jour all the way through the '08 election.

Of course we all know that ending this war is more important than any electoral defeat - or is it? What if "bomb Iran" McCain won because the Democrats had spoiled their reputation for a generation by "abandoning the troops"? And what if we ended up in a much larger, more deadly war with  Iran? Would it have been worth it then for the Democrats to risk their reputation (at the height of their popularity!) to force the President's hand and end the war in Iraq? I'm not so sure.

by LandStander 2007-06-21 05:31PM | 0 recs
Memo to self:

Write less obscure kickers.

You make the bull point rather more clearly than I did - the reason why the Dem leaderships don't move to cut off Iraq funding is they are not made that way: in a million years, they won't bet the farm on coming ahead with Sixpack!

(If I were them, I reckon I'd most likely take the same line.)

It's mental exercise and a bit of fun to speculate on strategy assuming  counterfactually that they are up for a death-or-glory charge. But that's all.

by skeptic06 2007-06-22 02:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Nancy and cutting off Iraq funding

I really think the Democrats did not know if Americans would stand them cutting off the funds but after they bowed to Bush on it and the polls showed American confidence in Congress had fallen sharply, they now know Americans support as drastic a step as they have to do to end this war as soon as possible and they won't be making that mistake again.

by reasonwarrior 2007-06-22 04:30AM | 0 recs
No way, Jose!

It may seem to the lefty sphere that it's clear as crystal that Congressional favs at Bush levels means Sixpack is sick of Dem pussyfooting on Iraq and wants a power-of-the-purse showdown - but I'd be staggered if the Dem leaderships agree!

These folks are the poster children for risk averseness: just walk through the Pelosi and Reid pressers and talk show appearances, speeches and whatever that would come with such a showdown. Imagine the Churchillian-ness of the rhetoric, the calm assurance in the voice.

You can't. It boggles the imagination.

The last time that the Congress took on the presidency in as momentous a way is - never! (So far as I can remember, at least.) We're talking something like the Glorious Revolution in England in 1688, or (coming a bit more up to date) the coup in France that brought de Gaulle to power in 1958.

The three qualities you need in the promoters of such a coup are risk-seekingness, motivation and capacity for action. The Dem leaderships strike out on each one.

Boy, I hope I'm wrong. That, cometh the hour, cometh the man.

But - which man might that be? (Or woman. Or alien...)

by skeptic06 2007-06-22 05:00AM | 0 recs


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