Dems Caucus on Iraq

February 10, 2005

The Hill reports that Nancy Pelosi convened an “Iraqi working group,” yesterday “soliciting an array of views in formulating Democrats’ responses to the successful election in Iraq and the expected supplemental spending bill for the war.”

Does that strike you as a bit strange? Here we are in the middle of a war and the Democrats, instead of figuring out how they can contribute constructively to the effort, are focused on how they should couch their partisan positions.

Can you believe they are talking about formulating responses to the Iraqi elections? Am I missing something here or is this just another way of saying, “Hey, we have egg on our faces as a result of our carping for two years on Iraq, considering that the election was a resounding success. We have to figure out some opposition position that will make us look good in light of our obstructionism and pessimism.” Not a word there in my paraphrase about their concern for aiding the war effort. There’s more.

The 20-member group talked about whether troop levels should be reduced, and since they couldn’t reach a consensus on that, agreed that they would harass the Bush administration over how our funds are spent, both on the war and reconstruction efforts. Ok, those weren’t the words in the article. It said:

Reflecting its divided membership, the group did not arrive at a consensus on whether troop levels should be reduced or if the caucus should support administration requests for additional money. But members of the group said that they were unanimous in demanding greater accountability for how funds — both American and Iraqi– are disbursed, especially in regards to reconstruction money, according to lawmakers who attended the meeting.

And, the armchair quarterbacks went further:

There was also no consensus that Democrats should press the Bush administration to clarify its strategy for success and to accelerate the training of Iraqi forces. The disagreement on troop withdrawal touched on both the political pitfalls of “cutting and running” as well as the policy implications for the Middle East and the war on terrorism.

Can you imagine sitting in this juvenile meeting talking about whether they –the naysayers — as a group should demand that the president “clarify” his success strategy — as if they haven’t been doing this for over a year already. And they have the audacity to talk about whether they should demand that Iraqi troops be trained faster. Talk about micromanagement. These people amaze me. Can anybody please give me one reason that President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld or our generals would want to retard the training of Iraqi troops? This isn’t a policy matter. This is a matter of implementation. I’m sure we are training them as fast as we can train them. But instead of standing shoulder to shoulder with the troops on this they slam our efforts to bring the Iraqi security forces up to speed.

If you read the article you’ll see the Dems were split over whether they should demand a specific withdrawal schedule and other such things. Wouldn’t you love to have been a little birdie in the room — or better yet, to have the room bugged with Watergate-style equipment (only the more high tech versions that are available today)– and monitor the discussions. How much do you want to bet that the thrust of the discussions had nothing to do with what would be best for America, but what would be best for their party — and worse for the administration — politically? Sad, sad. I could go on, but I’ll stop here and let you get a breath. Check out the article.