Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cheech and Chong politics...........

Reading the political news this weekend reminds me of a Cheech and Chong routine I heard when I was teenager:

Chong is up late, smoking a joint, watching an old war movie...........

Japanese Admiral: "You will get in your aircraft. You will take off, find the American aircraft carrier. You will then, dive straight into it, killing yourself and every one on board. Any questions? Yes?"

Sailor Sato: "Are you out of your fucking mind?"

That is the question the rank and file members of both the House and Senate should be asking the Democratic leadership today. As I have noted here and here, Madame Speaker seems hell bent to pick a fight she has no way to win-and in the process will shatter what little credibility she has-just to act out an understandable petulance against George Bush. She does not have the numbers or the political strength to pull off what she says she wants to do. Trying to pass a resolution to undo the war authorization is the legislative equivalent of closing the barn door after the horse has escaped. It's pointless. Furthermore, in the end it will make her and her compatriots an accomplice to the crime.

George Will wrote a good summary of this a few days ago:
Indiscriminate criticism of President George W. Bush is an infectious disease. Some conservatives seem to have caught it, but congressional Democrats might be crippled by it.......

Regarding Iraq, the Democratic-controlled Congress could do what Democrats say a Democratic president would do: withdraw U.S. forces. A president could simply order that; Congress could defund military operations in Iraq. Congressional Democrats are, however, afraid to do that because they lack the courage of their (professed) conviction that Iraq would be made tranquil by withdrawal of U.S. forces.

So they aim to hamstring the president with restrictions on the use of the military. The restrictions ostensibly are concerned with preparedness but actually are designed to prevent deployments to Iraq.


There are huge problems with this course of action, however. Besides the fact that it risks alienating the same voters who gave them a majority in Congress-a group of voters Nixon called 30 years ago "The Silent Majority"-it runs the risk of ending progress in any other areas. The silent majority are real Americans who care about the country, want to earn a good living, and worry about the increasing stridency of both political parties. They are also very concerned about the current trends of globalization and what it means for them and their livelihood. They sense, deep down, that the Iraq war is draining the nation of resources it needs to prosper in gloomy new era that is the 21'st Century. They want to win there, but they wonder how that can be done with a population that either can't, or won't, move beyond tribalism and the petty quarrels of a failed and apostate religion to advance their society. They are befuddled that, when given an immense gift from the United States, the Iraqis choose to wallow in blood feuds instead of seizing a great opportunity.

They did not, however, elect a Democratic majority to create a constitutional crisis however:

Last Saturday, Senate Republicans blocked a vote on a resolution disapproving the president's policy because Democrats would not permit a vote on a resolution stating that the Senate will not cut off funds for troops in the field. That resolution would have committed the Senate to not taking the path that many Democrats already are tiptoeing down.

Suppose Democrats write their restrictions on the use of forces into legislation that funds the war. And suppose the president signs the legislation but ignores the restrictions, calling them unconstitutional usurpation's of his powers as commander in chief. What could Democrats do? Cross First Street NE and ask the Supreme Court to compel the president to acquiesce in congressional micromanagement of a war? The court probably would refuse to get involved on the grounds that this is a "political
question."

The court has held that some constitutional controversies should be settled by the government's political -- meaning elected -- branches. In 1962, the court said that a case involves a political question when there is:

" . . . textually demonstrable constitutional commitment of the issue to a coordinate political department; or a lack of judicially discoverable and manageable standards for resolving it; or the impossibility of deciding without an initial policy determination of a kind clearly for nonjudicial discretion; or the impossibility of a court's undertaking independent resolution without expressing lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government; or an unusual need for unquestioning adherence to a political decision already made; or the potentiality of embarrassment from multifarious pronouncements by various departments on one question."

In that welter of criteria there are reasons that the court will not rescue congressional Democrats from facing the logic of their posturing. They lack the will to exercise their clearly constitutional power to defund the war. And they lack the power to achieve that end by usurping the commander in chief's powers to conduct a war.


That's the party of Fags and Feminists these days, however. Given a golden opportunity-they blow it every time. In the process, the strengthen the Republican slime machine and leave the majority-the Silent Majority-left out in the cold. And it still leaves 140,000+ American troops stuck in a hell hole named Iraq.

As the good Mr Will said, "They can spend this year fecklessly and cynically enacting restrictions that do not restrict. Or they can legislate decisive failure of the Iraq operation -- withdrawal -- thereby acquiring conspicuous complicity in a defeat that might be inevitable anyway. A Hobson's choice? No, Nancy Pelosi's and Harry Reid's."

A pox on both parties!

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