Dems to vote to fund war

The Democrats in the House will foolishly vote tomorrow to continue funding the war in Iraq, to the tune of $125 billion.

You can read all of the impassioned pleas and convoluted explanations from "anti-war liberals" on how voting to fund the war is really, magically and cunningly, an anti-war move. All the big-hitters have lined up on the side of funding the war: for example, Atrios, Kos (who thinks that the "particulars of the bill matter little") and the patronizing David Sirota, who would like to lecture us about how it's "radical" and "progressive" to fund wars of aggression, cave in to pressure, and ignore the voices from the "Professional Protest Industry".

The whole rationale behind supporting this monstrous bullshit is that Bush, the boy emperor, is sure to veto the bill because it supposedly places restraints on him (the whole provision for troop readiness) and it includes a deadline for beginning the redeployment of US soliders from Iraq. A veto would look good politically for the Dems (a huge concern for Kos - as if the Dems "looking good" will help the Iraqis and US soldiers who will be dying over the next year-and-a-half, thanks to this money). And even if he doesn't veto it, we are further informed, then we have a deadline for the first time that is "The Law".

But what if Bush doesn't? What if he takes the money and runs? In view of Bush's record with signing statements, the Democrats' reasoning is incredibly foolish and their strategy is flawed. If the bill, giving the president $125 billion to spend any way he sees fit, arrives at the Oval Office desk even with provisions attached, what is to prevent Bush from signing it, with statements attached to the effect that the guidelines and deadlines are merely "advisory" - as he has done before?

Dec. 23, 2004: Forbids US troops in Colombia from participating in any combat against rebels, except in cases of self-defense. Caps the number of US troops allowed in Colombia at 800.

Bush's signing statement: Only the president, as commander in chief, can place restrictions on the use of US armed forces, so the executive branch will construe the law ''as advisory in nature."

How smart will the Democrats look then, having just decided to continue funding a war they supposedly oppose?

In fact, constitutionally, Bush - as the commander-in-chief, will have a leg to stand on if he ignores Congressional attempts to dictate the deployment or redeployment of military forces or assess their "readiness". No, Congress' power is the purse - they could have chosen not to fund the war, but cravenly they decided against this option. Congress also could have retained war-making powers to itself - but, as we all know, it felt like giving these to the executive was the best thing to do. Once you give away power - and money, I might add - there's no telling when you'll see them again.

Congress will continue funding the war - thanks entirely to "anti-war" Democrats, and Bush will sign their bill and simply ignore the parts he doesn't like - kind of like how Democrats seem to ignore history.

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