A few days ago, my dear friend, thereisnospoon, wrote a most excellent diary declaring, “The big loser today? Senate Republicans”. Now, as much as I love his writing, I must say that he got this one a teensy bit off.
Don’t be mistaken. Spoon is pretty much right. The big loser that day was the Senate republicans. But they somehow turned this misfortune into a big ole’ “Fuck you” to Dear Leader – in the process, making themselves only the 2nd biggest loser in the Iraq supplemental bill that has been debated and voted on in both the House and the Senate over the past 7 days.
The Senate republicans may be a lot of things. But they are not overly stupid - especially now that Cat Killer, MD George Allen and Rick Santorum (warning: gross) are out of the Senate. And Mitch McConnell may be a grade a douchebag, but if he was Majority Leader instead of “Fristie”, then the republicans would never have lost the Senate.
They know that this occupation is an unmitigated disaster. They know that we all know it too. Some of them don’t agree at all (so, for argument’s sake, fuck ‘em – they don’t matter). Some of them kind of agree, but either don’t think their base agrees or they still think that “victory” is achievable. Some of them think that “enough is enough already, and, you know what else, Bush is a real stubborn motherfucker who doesn’t know what he is doing and is going to take down our party for a generation.”
And there are enough of those on the republican side in the Senate, and they decided to toss their miserable bag of shit called “Iraq” back in Bush’s hands and run away, screaming “no backsies”. Bush, being “The Decider™” that he is, said that he will veto anything that has a withdrawal timeline. The very same withdrawal timeline that more than 70% of our own troops favored A FULL YEAR AGO. The very same withdrawal timeline that the Iraqis are in favor of. The very same withdrawal timeline that most of We the People are in favor of.
Not to mention, by the way, that this supplemental bill needs to PASS in order for Bush and the republicans to not be branded as troop haters and defeatists. Knowing that Bush would show his hand real early on with his most charming trait – chest thumping, all of the heat was off the Senate republicans. They didn’t have to be put on the hotseat – even if they voted against the bill. Remember, if Kerry “voted to fund the war before he voted against it”, then surely, a republican that votes for withdrawal might as well be a flip flopping, terrorist loving, God-hating faggot.
The republicans could have made a huge deal about this. Hell, they make a huge deal about everything – even when they were able to do everything without any consequences or anyone else even knowing. They could have fought this bill and stomped up and down and tried to make the Democrats blink. They could have made a big stink about “not wanting to tell the terrorists when they can come out and kill again”.
But they didn’t.
They hung Bush – “dear leader” - their leader out to dry. Twisting in the wind. Basically, by not giving him cover here, the message is, in no uncertain terms, “you can’t keep fucking us over like this anymore. If you want your funding, then you gotta figure a way out.”
Maybe the US attorney scandal was the last straw. Maybe it was the Libby verdict. Maybe it was the incompetence around Hurricane Katrina. Maybe it was not firing Rumsfeld before the election. Maybe it is for any of a large number of other reasons that I could rattle off if I had more time.
Frankly, I don’t really care what the last straw was. Bush is isolated more and more. This is the beginning of the end of the Iraq occupation. It won’t be a pretty exit, but it wouldn’t be much different if it happened in 6 months, 12 months or 60 months from now. It isn’t as soon as we want.
But, here is the most important thing – certainly in the long term and even in the mid term: in two short months since Congress convened, there is a bill regarding Iraq that has passed BOTH the House and Senate that calls for major redeployment and withdrawal within a year or so. There will be more funding for veteran’s benefits.
It couldn’t have happened without We the People.
It couldn’t have happened without Speaker Pelosi.
It couldn’t have happened without John Murtha, Lynne Woolsley, Jim Webb and hundreds of other Democrats in Congress.
But it also couldn’t have happened without some Senate republicans. Which is very bad news for Bush’s plans for Iraq domination. And very good for the rest of us.
It’s your move, Mr. Decider.