Balkinization  

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Senator Kennedy's Bill to Prohibit Escalation of U.S. Forces in the Iraq Military Conflict

Marty Lederman

Senator Kennedy is today introducing this legislation, the operative provision of which reads:
Prohibition.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no Federal funds may be obligated or expended by the United States government to increase the number of United States forces in Iraq above the number for such forces which existed as of January 9, 2007, without a specific authorization from Congress by law for such an increase.

Comments:

It's good to see that someone in government is standing up to our failed Iraq policy. Too bad it's taken all this time and all these lives in order for it to become politically acceptable.

My visual take on the Bush "surge"
 

Has anyone else spotted the irony of a Democrat party, which campaigned against the President "staying the course" in Iraq, now offering proposals to compel the President to...stay the course in Iraq?

You gotta love politics...
 

The criteria for "Standing up to our failed Iraq policy" isn't particularly discerning if all it entails is blocking Bush's proposals (weak though they are) instead of coming up with something better. From what's been leaked of Bush's new policy, it looks like more of the same disastrous half-measures...but Kennedy hasn't done anything particularly leaderly or selfless by voting against it. His agenda is still just as pointless as ever.
 

You know, Mr. DePalm, I'm not familiar with this "Democrat" party of which you speak. Are you referring to the "Democratic" party?

By the way, Mr. DePalm, your comment is stupid. The Democrats are going to force Bush out of his little dream world, which is the opposite of staying the course. Thirty seconds of cogitation would make this clear to you.
 

BD: Has anyone else spotted the irony of a Democrat party, which campaigned against the President "staying the course" in Iraq, now offering proposals to compel the President to...stay the course in Iraq?


I get your point, although it's kind of meaningless in the face of the "despicable" letter sent by Pelosi et al. asking Bush to withdrawal troops from Iraq (you recall our discussion about how the GOP leadership did the same thing during the Somalia intervention). I agree that if the Democratic leadership had only decided to take this one action, it would indeed be ironic.

However, it should be clear that it's a one-two punch.
 

spaghetti / pms:

There is a fundamental difference between words arguing for a change in direction such as a withdrawal of troops from Iraq and actual actions like the Kennedy bill which would merely maintain the status quo.

spaghetti, no one's "dream world" is going to be disrupted by the Kennedy status quo bill.

pms, Pelousi and Reed talk the talk, but until I see legislation compelling a withdrawal, they have yet to walk the walk. The only walk to date is the Kennedy bill calling for staying the course. Thus, the irony.
 

"spaghetti happens"

You know, Mr. DePalm, I'm not familiar with this "Democrat" party of which you speak. Are you referring to the "Democratic" party?

"Bart" gets his marching orders from RNC Central. They said a while back that loyal Republican Team Leaders are to refer to the Democratic Party as the "Democrat Party" (IIRC, it was Newtie that came up with this brain-spasm of gratuitous disrespectfulness).

Of course, it could be that "Bart" is just careless and/or pig-ignerrent and came up with this slur on his own. Just a coinkydence? I don't think so, but you can make up your own mind.

Just so you know where "Bart" is coming from.

Cheers,
 

bart: The only walk to date is the Kennedy bill calling for staying the course. Thus, the irony.

For your words above to make any sense you must mean that W himself has finally been man enough to give up on staying the course, as evidenced by his desire to escalate rather than staying the course with the troops on hand, or staying the course by following the advice of his generals, or staying the course by doing what Daddy's hand-picked bag of advisers advised.

Is that what you mean? Of course not. You use words, humpty-dumpty wise, as you see fit, happily inverting their meanings, switching from denotative to connotative thrusts as pleases your vandal urges. It is sophists like you who give lawyers, and conservatives, such a bad name. "Stay the course" is and remains Rovespeak for "never admit our illegal and immoral invasion and occupation of our former ally has been and is a total failure." Kennedy's bill says, "Time to admit it." Of course you and yours, on up the the top of the Cheney junta itself, will never accept the course correction called for here and will instead spend all your efforts on sending a few thousand more of our children to die for an ignoble cause. For shame.
 

"Bart" DePalma:

Has anyone else spotted the irony of a Democrat party, which campaigned against the President "staying the course" in Iraq, now offering proposals to compel the President to...stay the course in Iraq?

Well, those people that work on an amoeba's level of scienter might find the Democratic desire -- to not make a bad situation any worse -- out to be an affirmative policy of "stay the course". But perhaps "Bart" has been fallng behind on his RNC "talking points memos": The preznit's policy has never been "stay the course", so even were the Democrats to suggest such a course as the best course, they'd hardly be going along with the Doofus-In-Chief.

I'm afraid that we'll have to look elsewhere for any "irony" ... or for any honest discourse from "Bart".

Cheers,
 

spaghetti / pms:

There is a fundamental difference between words arguing for a change in direction such as a withdrawal of troops from Iraq and actual actions like the Kennedy bill which would merely maintain the status quo.

spaghetti, no one's "dream world" is going to be disrupted by the Kennedy status quo bill.

pms, Pelousi and Reed talk the talk, but until I see legislation compelling a withdrawal, they have yet to walk the walk. The only walk to date is the Kennedy bill calling for staying the course. Thus, the irony.
 

Bart, I'll delete this post when you delete your dupe. And I'll assume it is an error, blogger *has* been a bit flaky today.

RL:
For your words above to make any sense you must mean that W himself has finally been man enough to give up on staying the course, as evidenced by his desire to escalate rather than staying the course with the troops on hand, or staying the course by following the advice of his generals, or staying the course by doing what Daddy's hand-picked bag of advisers advised.

Is that what you mean? Of course not. You use words, humpty-dumpty wise, as you see fit, happily inverting their meanings, switching from denotative to connotative thrusts as pleases your vandal urges. It is sophists like you who give lawyers, and conservatives, such a bad name. "Stay the course" is and remains Rovespeak for "never admit our illegal and immoral invasion and occupation of our former ally has been and is a total failure." Kennedy's bill says, "Time to admit it." Of course you and yours, on up the the top of the Cheney junta itself, will never accept the course correction called for here and will instead spend all your efforts on sending a few thousand more of our children to die for an ignoble cause. For shame.

 

The "surge" is nothing more than staying the course on steroids. If those are our options, I'll do without the steroids.
 

Bart:

"Pelousi" sounds like snarkiness to me and we all know how you don't like snarkiness.
 

You know, I started to respond to Mr. DePalma's stupid equivocation, and then thought better of it.

If we all thought better of such things, he would go post somewhere else.

You may say I'm a dreamer, etc.
 

spaghetti / pms:

There is a fundamental difference between words arguing for a change in direction such as a withdrawal of troops from Iraq and actual actions like the Kennedy bill which would merely maintain the status quo.

spaghetti, no one's "dream world" is going to be disrupted by the Kennedy status quo bill.

pms, Pelousi and Reed talk the talk, but until I see legislation compelling a withdrawal, they have yet to walk the walk. The only walk to date is the Kennedy bill calling for "staying the course." Thus, the irony.

All political gotchya's aside, Mr. Bush's suggested "surge" will not even bring the troops up to the highest previous level, so I do not see what the hooplah on either side is about. We have already drawn down about 25% to this point and this "surge" will only reinforce Bagdad.

What is important is that Iraq is matching our reinforcement by bringing in 3 brigades of its own from the peaceful 80% of the country. This is something we have been trying to get them to do for months. Perhaps, our "surge" is the act that broke that stalemate.

Even more important, we seem to have gone back on the offensive in Iraq. During the spring and summer of 2005, the Army and Marines cleared much of Anbar province in a series of offensives the press generally ignored. As a result, enemy attacks and our casualties plunged between Fall 2005 and Spring 2006. However, we went passive before our elections and the enemy attacked Baghdad to influence our elections. There is no reason to bring in more troops unless we plan to continue offensive operations to clear Baghdad like the kind we started yesterday.
 

Bart:There is a fundamental difference between words arguing for a change in direction such as a withdrawal of troops from Iraq and actual actions like the Kennedy bill which would merely maintain the status quo.

If I read what was written correctly, you are saying that the Kennedy bill is an action to maintain the 'status quo'. Strictly at the face of it, its just a bill to prevent funding a surge. I don't think there's much else they can do really. Its not at though congress can pass a bill directing the military to adopt a strategy of securing neighborhoods during night hours or anything like that. So, strictly speaking, congress can do little legislatively to 'change the course'. About all they really can do is not fund something they think won't work. So the statement that the bill is a 'maintain the status quo' bill seems misleading at best.

However, we went passive before our elections and the enemy attacked Baghdad to influence our elections.

Do you have any kind of reference to us 'going passive' at a certain time? Just curious.
 

bitswapper:

I'm sorry, I did not save a link to the summaries of the 2005 Anbar offensives to which I have posted in the past. I am on the road again and don't have the time to do the research again.

However, if you are interested, you might want to visit the DoD site and, better yet, the dozens of miliblogs written by active and retired soldiers who provide outstanding coverage of the actual operations on the ground.

Once you have found the data on the offensives, you can compare them to casualties at icasualties.com and the correlation will become clear.

Sorry I could not be more helpful. I have not posted on this for a about a year.
 

Perhaps Bart could enlighten us as to how a bill which would prohibit the expenditure of federal funds on increasing troop levels without Congressional approval maintains the status quo. As I see it, it would actually change the status quo by forcing the President to seek explicit Congressional approval of new war funding rather than using blanket emergency appropriations with hardly any oversight.

Perhaps Bart's status quo comment is some sort of legal Freudian slip? The status quo is a situation in which Congress and the President share a role in the funding and management of the armed forces during wartime. President Bush has strayed from that status quo; Senator Kennedy's bill will return us to it.
 

"Squid Vicious":

Perhaps Bart's status quo comment is some sort of legal Freudian slip?

No. I've detailed "Bart"'s motivations and objectives above. He seeks to derail the conversation; to "reframe" the issues and pass off his faux "reframing" as the proper context for discussion (not to mention toss in a few derogatory barbs himself, while pretending to be walking the high road, as noted by myself and another above). This is his "MO". His only "MO".

Cheers,
 

"Bart" DePalma says:

There is a fundamental difference between words arguing for a change in direction such as a withdrawal of troops from Iraq and actual actions like the Kennedy bill which would merely maintain the status quo.

TTBOMK, the Kennedy bill doesn't prevent any reduction of troops. To claim (or infer) that it enforces the "status quo" is simply false.

Cheers,
 

@bart, do you have so little to say that you must repeat yourself three times? I thought you came here to avoid "mental masturbation" (your words of life on the rw blogs.) I don't see how this latest gaffe qualifies as aught else. And, no, you don't get any credit for burying the third iteration of "thus the irony" in a larger post. What's your problem?
 

I like that quote by Bart, though I'm sure I read it before: intellectual masturbation. Only problem... he's no intellectual.
 

pms, Pelousi and Reed talk the talk, but until I see legislation compelling a withdrawal, they have yet to walk the walk. The only walk to date is the Kennedy bill calling for staying the course. Thus, the irony.

It isn't technically irony, but I did appreciate the fact that the President's speech on Fox was followed by 'Til Death.
 

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