Monday, April 02, 2007

Mr. President, Ram It Down Their Throats!




Mr. President, Ram It Down Their Throats!
By Frank Antenori
April 2, 2007

Before the election of ’06 we heard the Democrats bemoaning the Republican spending largesse and the practice of earmarks. They proclaimed they would bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington. My, my, how much of a difference three months and $25 Billion in PORK barrel earmarks can make.

When Democrats were challenged by Republican opponents who said if Democrats are elected, they will cut off funding for our troops in harms way, the Democrats cried foul and with a loud retort responded that they would do no such thing to our troops. Our very own Congressional District Eight Representative reiterated this just a few weeks ago. When asked by a reporter “If the Democratic leadership brings up a bill before the House to cut off the funding for the troops already in the country would you vote for it?” Giffords quickly proclaimed it will not have her support. Her exact words were, “I will never vote for it.”

Just two weeks after the November election when she was asked if Dems will cut off funding for the War, Nancy Pelosi made the comment: “Let me remove all doubt in anyone’s mind; as long as our troops are in harm’s way, Democrats will be there to support them.”

There’s a reason Giffords and Nancy said that. While polling does show that most Americans want the troops to come home, almost two thirds of Americans oppose cutting off funding for the troops in harms way. The Dems are painfully aware of this. Again, it’s amazing what three months in power will do to a closet liberal just yearning to be free.

So I wasn’t the least bit surprised today when I hear Harry Reid raise the level of rhetoric another notch by loudly announcing that if President Bush were to Veto the supplemental funding bill, that he would immediately submit legislation in the Senate to immediately cut off funding for the War in Iraq. What I am surprised about is that it took them this long to even mention cutting off our troops.

To back up Harry’s bold statement and to try to intimidate the President, the Dem spin machine commissioned a new poll to come out just in time to back up Harry’s threat. The poll touted by the Dems as evidence that Americans want funding cut off and our troops withdrawn immediately, was conducted by the Pew Research Center. The Pew poll showed 58% in favor of cutting off funding with only 33% opposed.

Unfortunately for the Dems, seasoned political scientists quickly pointed out that the poll was severely flawed. First it simply polled “1,503 Adults” not registered voters, second it under sampled Republicans by 11%, when you add in Independents, liberals were over represented in the sample by almost 2 to 1 over conservatives, and demographically, the South and Midwest (Home to Blue Dog Democrats) were "mysteriously" under sampled.

This morning, Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia, Center for Politics, remarked polling he’s seen recently as last week clearly shows the Dems on the losing side of this one. He points out the USA Today/Gallup poll of registered and “likely voters” from March 23rd to 25th. The poll asked: "Would you favor or oppose Congress denying the funding needed to send any additional U.S. troops to Iraq." 36% said they favor cutting off funding, 61% say they oppose cutting off funding and 3% didn’t know. That’s almost 2-1 against cutting off funding. The exact opposite of the Pew poll.

Congressional approval ratings are now dropping lower than when Republicans were in control (from 37% in Dec ’06 to 28% in Mar ’07), support for the Surge has risen 10% in the past two weeks (from 30 to 40%) and it is continuing to trend upwards, Pelosi’s numbers are dropping (from 44% down to 37%). Polling also shows all three front running "Pro-War" GOP Presidential hopefuls beating their "Anti-War" Democrat challengers.

Mr. President, enough is enough, it’s time to ram this down their throats and make them choke on it. The Democrats are playing a dangerous game of poker, using our troops as bargaining chips and they’re bluffing through their teeth to appease their far left fringe. Cut off funding for our troops? They will do no such thing. They know it, you know it, and the American people know it.

The Democrats are under the false impression that if they send the President a supplemental funding bill full of PORK and a timeline for surrender and he Vetoes it that some how they’ll be able to pin “cutting off funding” on the President, they couldn’t be more wrong.

Everyone in the country knows who wants to cut off funding and turn tail and who wants to give our troops all the resources they need so they can continue the fight against our enemies.

Even the Democrats know it. A few shifts of Democratic votes in either chamber could make a difference — and there were reports in the D.C. media this week that some conservative Democrats in the House were reluctant to toe the party line on anything stronger than what was passed. Could one of those be our very own Gabby Giffords? Support for a bill that maintains the timeline but eliminates the pork will also fail. The very reason Pelosi loaded it up with $25 Billion in earmarks in the first place.

Funding for the Iraq War ends on April 15 and this supplemental funding bill must pass before then. The President should veto the bill “With Extreme Prejudice” (if only there was such a thing) and send it back to the House and Senate with the stipulation that the Dems fix it. Make the Dens remove the PORK and the timetable for surrender and get it back to him for signature before April 15th.

This will do two things. It will make the Dems return from their Easter recess, which will show who wears the pants in DC, and second, if the Dems fail to meet the April 15th deadline, it will clearly show that the Democrats cared more about their vacation and that it is they that are responsible for cutting off funding for our troops. Oh yeah, it will also drive another nail in Giffords’s ’08 re-election coffin when she has to continue to pay homage to the Dem leadership for those choice committee assignments.

So Mr. President, I ask you to do it. Veto that bill now and ram it down their throat. Do it for the troops! But most of all, do it to show those 535 Arm Chair Generals in Congress who the real Commander in Chief is.

12 comments:

sirocco said...

Government agencies have pointed out there is sufficient funding already available for our forces in Iraq untl July (at least), so the April 15 date Frank mentions is pure BS.

It should be pointed out the administration doesn't particularly care one way or the other about the earmarks on the bill (and I agree there are far too many). When the bill gets vetoed, it will be solely because of the Iraq deadlines. Without those, the spending bill would be accepted.

With them, the administration will work against the clear will of the people and continue to insist on endless war in Iraq.

When he does veto the bill, I don't think Dem's should move for any form of cutting funding for troops, but rather simply send essentially the same bill back to him, with the same deadlines in place.

sirocco said...

A few other comments, as an addenda ...

Last year, with Republicans in control of both houses, the President didn't sign a supplemental spending bill until mid-July (if I recall correctly). Surprisingly, there was no mention then of "cutting off funding for troops" or other dire scenarios.

Further, if the administration provided appropriate funding amounts in its annual budget requests, there wouldn't be a need for continuous "emergany" funding bills. What, no one could have predicted we would have troops in Iraq (and Afghanistan) through the entire year? Really? It didn't occur to a single one of those bright guys in office?

Kralmajales said...

What Antenori points out is the pickle that Republicans have gotten us in and Democrats are falling for it unfortunately.

They know that most people hate this war and what it has done to our soldiers and our nation. They also know that Congress has few powers to stop the President and the 30% minority of people that back him. They propose more spending even though there has been over $500 Billions spent already on this failed war. They dare Democrats to cut funds or use their powers because they can then call them unsupportive of the troops or favoring defeat.

It is disgusting sloganeering. It has nothing to do with winning a war and has everything to do with them keeping their grubby, corrupt hands on the switch of power.

The Democrats, unfortunately, are falling for it or they simply cede this fact to the administration and let them hang themselves.

Boy politics is great, but I tell you what, this is about the lives of our soldiers and ever day that goes by an average of 2 dies and countless more innocent Iraqis die.

The Democrats need to get some guts on this one, but I suspect they will run out the clock and let the Republicans continue to hang themselves with surges or by getting us into another war with Iran.

Bruce P. Murchison said...

Bravo!

Bruce P. Murchison said...

Oops. I suppose I should clarify that the "Bravo" was for Frank, not the other comments.

sirocco said...

Bruce ... hehe, we knew. :)

Michael Bryan said...

Hey Frank,

You never got a chance to take me up on my invitation to Drinking Liberally at the Shanty on Thursdays at 6pm during the campaign. How about you come on down and we have a discussion about Iraq? We haven't a guest speaker for the next two meetings, so you would have the floor to yourself.

Kralmajales said...

Darn it! That would have been my first official Bravo from Bruce

(disappointed)

Best to you Bruce!

Framer said...

Just for the record, Sirocco, I think that if you strip the pork out of the bill, it does not pass with the withdrawl date. There was a reason why the pork was loaded in the first place; to bribe wayward Democrats into voting for the withdrawl date, which is disgusting whether you are for or against the war.

Democrats won't even get Harry Mitchell back on board if they don't fix the pork AND arbitrary withdrawl date. I would suspect there are plenty others right there with him.

The vote was just too close to choose a second veto battle with the president on. Democrats would definately come out on the wrong end as Mitchell rightly realizes.

Just sibmit the bill for veto already, and stop playing games. The battle was ultimately lost when the pork was inserted. You lost whatever high ground that you thought to occupy. It will be really hard to argue the earnestness of the Democratic position with that crap in there.

But by all means, feel free to try to prove me wrong.

Michael Bryan said...

Like the waiting period for ex-Congress members to become lobbyists, I think there should be a decent interval between Republicans lading their own bills with pork in order to pass them and their criticizing Democrats for doing some (though to a much lesser extent) of the same to advance a sincere but politically difficult proposition that the majority of Americans agree on: that there should be a definitive end to the occupation of Iraq. Hypocrisy isn't pretty, Framer, but you don't get to call others on it until we are done paying the interest on your party's logrolling.

We won't even go into breaking House rules to hold open votes for hours at a time in order to browbeat members into changing their votes - at least Democrats haven't sunk that low. When we start blackmailing our members with promises of seats to members' children, pressuring donors into cutting off those who don't vote with the caucus, and yanking committee assignments at the whim of the leadership to enforce discipline, then you can tell me that Democrats are bad as the Republicans.

Every day our troops are in the quagmire of the Iraqi occupation, more soldiers will surely die or be maimed. It is thus incumbent upon those of us who recognize that there is no military solution in Iraq to advance the time-table for withdrawal any way we can. How much is one of our troops' lives worth? Is there a price tag you are willing to place on their heads? The American people gave Democrats a mandate to get our troops out of Iraq, and I for one, do not begrudge spending whatever it takes to make that happen and thereby save as many American soldiers as possible from death or permanent disability in a foolish and clearly lost cause.

Framer said...

The difference, Mr. Bryan, is that Republicans actually DO care when our representatives become Porkers. Does the name Ted Stevens ring a bell, Bridge to Nowhere? The fact that many Republicans became pork loving sycophants led heavily to Democratic gains last election, and not only due to Democratic voting.

We also try to get rid of crooks as well. How's the honorable William Jefferson doing?

If your tossing about the term hypocrite makes you feel better, then by all means. . . I suspect that tomorrow I will be a misogynistic racist Jesus freak.

I, however, am not making the argument that "If a billion dollar spinach subsidy saves even one soldier, then it was well worth it!" Honestly, take a step back and look at that.

Democrats haven't made the case that immediate withdrawal is for the best interests of our country. Instead they have relied upon emotional appeal, bribery, and deceptive legislation. Make the case, convince us, and be sure to take into account what happens in the years after withdrawal. I haven't yet seen that covered.

Hell, I'd settle for convincing us that you were sincere. Loading up the War Funding bill with pork certainly doesn't show this. Limp- wristed non-binding resolutions don't show this. Pull the funding.

But you don't have the votes for that. If you don't have the votes, you don't have a mandate.

And thanking you for posting at our site.

Kralmajales said...
This comment has been removed by the author.