Sen. Clinton Thinks Senators Should Play by Kids’ Rules
By Mark I Posted in Liberals | Spotlight Blogs — Comments (25) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
Remember when you were a kid and a disagreement erupted during a game? Remember how the sides would argue and argue until one side won? Remember how sometimes, the argument could not be settled and someone would suggest that there be a do over? The Do Over was the savior of many a kids game. It allowed both sides to end the disagreement satisfied that their argument prevailed, and it allowed each side a second chance at whatever caused the controversy in the first place. Usually, the Do Over result vindicated one side of the argument by convincing everyone that this is the way the controversy should have been settled all along.
With that as background, here comes America’s Ex-Wife™, Sen. Hillary!™ Clinton with a proposal designed to bring an end to the Iraq War. She and Sen. Robert Byrd are proposing a Do Over for the entire Iraq enterprise.
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton proposed Thursday that Congress repeal the authority it gave President Bush in 2002 to invade Iraq,…” It is time to reverse the failed policies of President Bush and to end this war as soon as possible,” Mrs. Clinton said as she joined Senator Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, in calling for a vote to end the authority as of Oct. 11, the fifth anniversary of the original vote.
And with one magic cry of, “Do Over!” Sen. Clinton seeks to paper over her original vote for the authorization for the use of military force in Iraq.
The political calculation in Sen. Clinton’s plea for a second chance is so patently obvious that even the linked New York Times doesn’t bother treating the proposal as serious.
Even if Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Byrd succeed in their effort, it is not clear whether President Bush would have to withdraw troops, or if he could resist by claiming that Congress cannot withdraw its earlier authorization but instead has to deny money for the war to achieve that result. […]
Mostly, Mrs. Clinton appeared to be trying to claim a new leadership position among the Democratic presidential candidates against the war in Iraq.
Sen. Clinton’s original vote for the authorization has dogged her throughout her presidential campaign. Her two closest rivals, Sen. Obama and former Sen. Edwards, do not carry the baggage that she does on the Iraq war among the radically left wing base of the Democratic Party. Obama campaigns on his opposition to the war from the beginning. Sen. Edwards repudiated his vote for the war long ago. Sen. Clinton until now had been looking for a way to stand by her vote while at the same time criticizing the Administration for the conduct of the war. But, with Obama and Edwards pushing her from the left, and Obama actually overtaking her in a recent poll, Hillary!™ seems to have made the strategic choice to repudiate her original vote in a most Clintonian way, by making it disappear.
Now, her advisers say, a vote to withdraw authorization would make plain to antiwar and liberal Democrats that she was repudiating her 2002 vote. The hope among her aides was that demands by antiwar voters for her to apologize for her vote would be rendered moot.
She made her announcement in a speech on the Senate floor and in a series of supposedly clarifying statements by aides. If her intent was to lay out a coherent position on the war, she failed miserably. Try to follow the bouncing ball in this passage of the Times article.
Mrs. Clinton said her push for a new vote on the war authority did not mean she would oppose whatever new spending measure might emerge from negotiations between Congress and the White House. But she said she was joining Mr. Byrd in trying to force a new examination of the war in its entirety, rather than simply joust over specific elements of the spending measure.
Talking to reporters after her floor speech in a mostly empty Senate chamber, Mrs. Clinton indicated that her view was that rescinding the original vote would mean that troops would be out as of October. “They have no authority to continue,” she said. “That is the point.”
Later, however, her aides said Mrs. Clinton was not seeking a total withdrawal of troops from Iraq, or a quick pullout that could put troops at risk. They said she had called for a phased pullout that would leave a reduced American force to pursue terrorist cells in Iraq, support the Kurds and conduct other missions — a position she continued to support, her aides said.
So, from the earlier quote, Sen. Clinton wants to end the war as soon as possible, but she may still support funding for the war to continue. She wants the troops out by October but she doesn’t want a total withdrawal or a quick pullout. The one thing that is clear in this message is that the only thing Sen. Clinton is truly against is any more discussion of her original war authorization vote.
Sen. Clinton doesn’t have the courage to stand up to the base of her party and defend her vote, or to call for an immediate end to the war. She would rather play children’s games and try to avoid any responsibility for anything. She would do just as well to cover her ears and yell, “Nah-nah-nah-nah-boo-boo! I can’t hear you!” every time she is challenged by the anti-war left. Too bad for the Senator that in the adult world, presidents have to make decisions based on the best information available at the time, and Senators have to live with the consequences of their votes.