Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Will the Republican congress vote to save our troops in time?

I think that we have all heard the bad news that the Democratically led congress is unable to appeal to the conscience of the Republican congress to overcome the president's veto.

Congressional Democrats relented today on their insistence that a war spending measure sought by President Bush also set a date for withdrawing troops from Iraq. The decision to back down, described by senior lawmakers and aides, was a wrenching reversal for some Democrats, who saw their election triumph as a call to force an end to the war.

"We don't have a veto-proof Congress," said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader. New York Times, via Think Progress

Speaker Pelosi is still talking tough, but I can see that she is beginning to see that there is little more that she can do to sway the other side of the aisle to see reason.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) confirmed at a press conference late this afternoon that she does not intend to vote for the Iraq deal reached today by the White House and Congress. "I'm not likely to vote for something that doesn't have a timetable or a goal," she said, while still praising the deal as "a recognition by the administration that a new direction was called for by the American people."

Later, House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-WI) insisted that "we intend to continue that fight" for an Iraq timeline "on every vehicle available to us," adding that the "first two vehicles that we expect to join the issue on are the defense appropriations bill in July and the defense supplemental appropriations bill in September." Think Progress

You can watch it on video over at Think Progress.

Nancy Pelosi

You can already hear the crybabies on the internet, "The Democrats are as bad As the Republicans!" "the Democrats are still cowering in the corner in a fetal position!" "The Deomcrats just caved in!" Yikes! Maybe things look bad for the moment, but do you really want abandon your only hope because they lost the first round?

If they can't get enough votes to beat the veto, then they just can't get enough votes to beat the veto. It is not "caving in," it is a loss. It is just time for a new tactic. Read Sun Tsu.

The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom. Sun Tsu

The hardest thing for a soldier to do is to retreat, but sometime they have to. Sometimes it is the only logical tactic.

To a certain degree I can understand the despair that the bloggers are feeling, it feels kind of like somebody just killed Santa Clause - but I am not deterred, nor have I lost faith in Speaker Pelosi or the Democrats in Congress. They can only do as much as they have to work with. If they can't get enough Republicans to figure out the writing on the wall, then they will just have to redouble their efforts.

I play chess with my sister, and I would love to be able to just say "I will take your Queen and get your King, and win the game!" I know from experience that for me to do that, I must take out a couple of her Rooks and Bishops. Meanwhile, she is taking my Rooks and Bishops. Ack! This is hard work! It is never as easy as just saying what you want - you have to actually figure out how to do it, and you have to lose a few pieces just to stay in the game sometimes.

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At Wed May 23, 11:42:00 AM, Blogger angry ballerina said...

"Of all those in the army close to the commander none is more intimate than the secret agent; of all rewards none more liberal than those given to secret agents; of all matters none is more confidential than those relating to secret operations."

Oh, and I think it's Sun Tzu, with a "z"

At Wed May 23, 12:07:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Aha! So you are secretly April Dancer, The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.! You are in cahoots with Moose and Squirrel! You are here to steal my secret for Upsidaisium!

Are you saying that you suspect that a spy is behind the problems in congress?

Actually, I believe that both spellings are correct, "Tsu" and "Tzu." I think that you're right, "Tzu" is more common. Western spelling of Oriental words varies greatly. For example, "Toyota" used to be spelled "Toyoda." The Chinese classic the "I Ching" is spelled all sorts of ways in English. ("I Jing," "Yi Ching," "Yi King," or "Yi Jing.") There is also more than one system to translate Chinese and Japanes into English. Of course, to the Chinese and Japanese it is irrelevant. They use a different alphabet entirely, and their phonetic sounds for words don't necessarily correspond with ours.

At Wed May 23, 12:55:00 PM, Blogger Liberality said...

Thanks for the pep talk. I have been depressed of late and I need some of those "impeachine" pills you are hawking in another post.

At Wed May 23, 12:59:00 PM, Blogger Liberality said...

BTW, the bashing of the democrats has already started up on lots of blogs. seen some scary stuff and Crooks and Liars for example.

At Wed May 23, 01:51:00 PM, Blogger Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Thanks for putting it into perspective for all of us Doc.

At Wed May 23, 02:33:00 PM, Anonymous Tengrain said...

Dr. Z -

There is always the Kobiachi Maru: no funding at all, and it is within the reach of the congress to do that.



At Thu May 24, 12:10:00 AM, Blogger Karen said...

I like your thinking, your perspective, and your good attitude. Thanks!

At Thu May 24, 04:51:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Liberality: Yes, the bashing of the democrats has indeed already begun. I think it is all just a bunch of loose talk. I can understand people's frustration, but what is the Democratic Congress supposed to do when they don't have enough votes to override the veto? Hold their breath until the country turns blue? Time for a new tactic.

Dr. Monkerstein: Well, it's only my opinion. Thanks for the vote of approval, though!

Tengrain: Well, they have decided not to go that route. That is not really a very good option. Whether or not that is the correct decision may be difficult to turn into a black and white answer. I am just saying that we are painting the Democrats as monsters, when in fact their options are limited. What little traction they have gained in congress could very quickly erode if public sentiment became "The Democrats are hurting the troops! The Democrats are losing the war we almost won!" I am not saying that I am right, only that I can see more than one side to. The republicans failed to impeach Clinton in the Senate after a huge brouhaha and many weeks of effort wasted. If they had taken the time to gain more support, they might have been successful. "Push and shove" doesn't always work. Perhaps the Democrats are practicing the Kobayashi Maru as we speak.

Karen: Thanks! I don't know what say. :o)

At Sat May 26, 06:25:00 PM, Anonymous Phoenix Woman said...

Thanks, Dr. Z. It's been really frustrating to watch folks who are normally sane do things like attack Democrats who voted against (not for but against) the bill, even though they wanted them to vote against the bill. I've been trying to stem the rage firestorm, but I feel like one tiny thimble of water in the midst of Dresden.

At Sun May 27, 03:22:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Phoenix Woman: I feel exactly the same way. Why are we firebombing our own people? This is just silly. The white House is the enemy, not Harry Reid.


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