Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Out of Iraq . . . Someday?

Topic A tonight is the leaked John Boener memo recommending that the Republicans run on Iraq. You can find Ohio blog reaction here and here. The GOPer message appears to be: “We promise to continue making the same mistakes in Iraq, but the Democrats might make all new ones.” Which frankly is a message that worked in ’04, so Democrats need to do more than just make fun of it, enjoyable as that may be.

The problem is that even among people who agree about the fundamental problems with the Administration’s policy can’t reach consensus about what to do. Christ, there isn’t a consensus in my head, for that matter. If we stay, I fear another Vietnam. If we go, I fear another Mogadishu.

All of which makes votes like the recent emergency funding bill interesting for progressive Democrats. Interesting, but I have no idea what this Open post about the latest such vote is getting at. It has a couple of interesting paragraphs, but if they’ve been assembled to reach an actual point, it eludes me.

While voting against funding for the troops is perilous for anyone outside a complete lock of a district, Dems do have an issue to run on. Both the House and Senate versions of the bill included language stating that the money appropriated could not be used to establish permanent bases in Iraq. That’s all it did. The language was sufficiently innocuous to actually pass both houses. Then when the Conference Committee met to reconcile the bills, they reconciled the "No Permanent Bases" provision the hell out of there.

At the SCPD meeting Tuesday Night (h/t for the info, btw) our point person on the issue said that DeWine sat on that conference committee. I’m surprised Sherrod Brown hasn’t made a bigger deal of it. After all, this isn’t about leaving on a timetable or leaving after milestones are reached, it’s about leaving sometime. Given news reports that BushCo. plans a long-term garrison of 50,000, a no permanent bases pledge makes sense. Even to a fence-sitter like me.