May 6, 2007

The "No Legislation" Option to End the Iraq War

Will the Democrats actually try to repeal the Iraq war authorization? I'm not surprised that Senator Byrd of West Virginia has made this move. But now it appears that Hillary Clinton's Wall Street handlers have given her the nod to support the move. Probably because it is just theater.

In a symbolic gesture, the authorization would end on October 11, 2007, exactly five years after the original authorization. Imagine if, as a symbolic gesture, they proposed revoking authority a week earlier, and saved a week's worth of American lives. I suppose that would be cutting too close to the symbolic bone (why not a month earlier then?)

I suspect the Democrats are creating a negotiating chip. It's refreshing to see them on the offensive. But, as my cynical tone reveals, I can hardly believe this is for real.

So, what's the hitch? Do they have the votes? Does the President have to sign the legislation that would revoke authorization? What happens on October 11, 2007? Are preparations for withdrawal to be made before October 11, 2007?

Senator Christopher J. Dodd gives us a hint. According to Sarah Wheaton on the NY Times Political Caucus blog:

While I applaud this effort, sadly, it will not change the President’s course in Iraq. There is only one binding and responsible way to end this war.

"He reiterated his support for the Feingold-Reid legislation, which would not only set a withdrawal timeline but also ultimately cut off war funds." I do wonder, however, if Feingold's redeployment option is just a form of Republican lite.

The best option I've heard is the "no legislation" option. Congress can simply take no action on funding and tell Bush he has to remove the troops from harms way with the resources he has, period. No vote. No veto. No override vote.

The argument made against this is, "Remember what happened to the Newt Gingrich and the Republicans when they shut down the government by refusing to vote for funding." Well, this case is different. Newt was a radical conservative seeking to cut popular programs supported by the public. In the present case, the moderate liberals are seeking to cut an unpopular war that is not supported by the public.


Raw Story report, May 3, 2007, "Senators Clinton, Byrd call to sunset the authorization for the war in Iraq," Josh Catone.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Bush, I suspect, will use his Presidential war powers to over-ride all opposition. This is surely the worrying flaw in the lukewarm Democrat's tactic.