ON THE SUPPLEMENTAL. Some folks have asked, why the silence on TAPPED (and TAP Online) regarding the grim endgame to the Iraq supplemental fight in Congress? Fair enough! It's been a travel week for a lot of us and I, for one, am trying to catch up; we do have a piece going up hopefully as early as this afternoon about the problems with the bill; etc. etc. But enough with the explanations and onto some shrillness:
I think Matt Stoller's exactly right here. If you don't have the votes for a withdrawal timeline you don't have the votes, but the lipstick-on-a-pig rationalizations we're hearing from some Democrats (see the excerpts from Stoller) are truly crazy. To be blunt, even if the political calculations offered in defense of voting for the bill were correct (and that's dubious), it's not even an election year. Democrats are discussing all the mean things Republicans might say about them "during the upcoming recess week" as if voters go to the polls on Memorial Day -- and as if the GOP and the president were in the shape they were in, say, five years ago. The instinctiveness of the crouched, defensive posture you see from some of these folks is just sorry (and a contrast with the real sense of momentum that had been notable this year up until now).
At any rate, it's certainly a fundamental problem that the debate over war policy, given our political structure and system, plays out as a fight over troop funding. That being said, Democrats put themselves on the record for the position that funding for this war must be predicated on the implementation of a withdrawal process that a majority of Americans support. With that stipulation removed, it doesn't make any sense to vote for the bill. Let Republicans be the ones to continue funding the president's fiasco.