How Should House Democrats Vote on the $93 Billion Supplemental for Iraq?

Support Pelosi/Bluedog Version with Vague 1-Year Deadline and No Enforcement (which may get 218 Democratic votes to pass)
5% (10 votes)
Oppose Pelosi Version Without Barbara Lee's Amendment for a "Fully Funded Withdrawal" (which will fail and doom Pelosi bill)
95% (201 votes)
Total votes: 211


When did standing on principle become strategically inconvenient

  • thepen's picture
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Despite the defeatist framing of the "opposition" option, we have no choice. The way to shift the equation is to fight for what we believe without fear of failure. When did the other side ever shy away from a battle on an issue of principle because the odds were not in their favor? They go down fighting, if that is what they have to do. And so must we. For truly, the ONLY reason anybody would use a word like "doom" is that still not enough of us are speaking out yet.

If 15 progressive Members vote against Pelosi's bill

  • Bob Fertik's picture
    Bob Fertik
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it will lose because Pelosi controls the House by only 30 votes.

Pelosi is using that argument as a club to beat up on progressive Democrats.

So what happens if Pelosi's bill is defeated?

Pelosi says she will have to substitute the version that George Bush requested - a version with absolutely no strings.

The question we must ask is: so what?

If 218 of the 233 Democrats vote against Bush's version, Bush will have no money to continue his war, and he will have to choose between bringing our troops home or stealing money from other programs to keep them there.

Of course, stealing money from other programs is an impeachable offense.

So why won't Democrats Just Say No to Bush?

Because they are afraid of being blamed by Bush for stabbing our troops in the back and handing Iraq over to "the terrorists."

But there are other scenarios that could follow a defeat of the Supplemental: 

  1. Bush could accept his defeat and apologize to the soldiers for lying to them and getting them killed, and then bring them home
  2. Bush could go on national TV and truthfully explain the disastrous situation in Iraq and offer to resign after Congress replaces Dick Cheney with Al Gore

Of course those scenarios are unlikely, but so too is an end to the Iraqi Civil War which we created and now are dying in the crossfire.

What can't Congressional Democrats demand that George Bush face the facts, tell the truth, take responsibility, and resign

Democrats in Congress need a backbone

  • margalo's picture
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Like many others this past weekend and yesterday, I spent hours at a rally & march and a vigil. Was the purpose to get GWB to pay attention to us? Of course not. The purpose, like the many who voted for Democrats last November, was to get the Democrats to vote against this war.

Their over-cautious rationale for their despicable behavior in taking the No War In Iran Without Congressional Vote provision out of the appropriations bill and in pushing for the Pelosi option flies in the face of the many voters who gave them a majority in Congress. It certainly generated a lot of fury in the people on the march with me.

The problem is that the Democrats are in thrall to the Democratic consultants, who claim to have a virtual crystal ball showing them how the voters will respond to any action. These consultants by habit are always trying to do the last election better. They are always backward-looking and have not a smidgen of the "vision thing." Consequently, they consistently hobble candidates who want to stand on principle. They are able to do this by withholding party funding and other support, if they are not obeyed. When it comes to Pelosi and the "leadership," they already are believers in the myths of the consultants and beholden to their campaign support. Fear is, of course, always a potent way to control people, and the consultants do not hesitate to use it.

Many of the consultants are DLC people, who are at best Republican lite and at worst a Fifth Column in the Democratic Party. The Republicans seem to be in charge of their consultants, but the Democrats let their consultants run the party. If the incumbent Democrats do not end the war, they should be replaced. But the reality is that it will be very, very difficult to get a progressive Democrat into a primary against an incumbent and to win.

And please do not think that ballot fraud only occurs in general elections! (I belong to an organization which has investigated such fraud.) If Hillary wins the primaries, we should have the courage to investigate any possible fraud.

Not An Adequate Standard of Conduct

  • Chip's picture
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>What can't Congressional Democrats demand that George Bush face the facts, tell the truth, take responsibility, and resign?

Could be he's waiting for his father, Poppy, to save him. And Poppy tried, by sending in James Baker, affectionately known as the Bush Crime Family's "Plumber." But Junior, still acting like an adolescent challenging the elder's wisdom, couldn't bring himself to implement the thoughtfully constructed comprehensive plan.

Bush can't resign because he has less integrity than Nixon. Who among the Republicans is going to go up to the White House and tell him: "Mr. President, You have to resign. There is no other way. We are preparing to impeach you." It happened before...

"...Republican Senator Edward W. Brooke told Nixon what he had previously said publicly. "I have reluctantly come to the conclusion, Mr. President, as painful as it is to me, that you should resign."

"...Oregon's Republican Senator Bob Packwood, told Nixon: "For too long this Administration has given the public the impression that its standard of conduct was not that it must be above suspicion, but that it must merely be above criminal guilt. Mr. President, that is not an adequate standard of conduct for those who have been accorded the privilege of governing this country.""

Congressional Democrats will have to be lead by "We, the People." They need to be told that they can do the people's business and do investigations and if warranted, impeachment, just like folks can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Matter of fact, their accomplishments will be all the more notable for the dual tasks.

Reply to "Not an Adequate Standard of Conduct.

  • alicemeyer@'s picture
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I lived through the Nixon debacle. I agree with you. We have a better chance of getting out of the latest Bush debacle if Republicans put our country ahead of their party and confront the shrub in the white house. Maybe if they realized it is their only chance to win in 08, one or more would be smart and strong enough to at least try to get an appointment with the prez.
My only consolation - the antiwar and impeachment movements are flourishing again despite Move On's advice. Unless they come to their senses soon, I will cancel my support. Too bad, they were long one of the best sources for information and action.
Impeachment is gathering support here in Maine as the antiwar movement continues strong.

Impeachment is the only way to stop George Bush

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Why is George Bush allowed to continue making a mockery of this Country by sending our
men to get killed for fighting a war that should never happened?Why isn't he charged
with War Crimes against Humanity?What he has done and continues to do is a sin.When and
how will he be stopped?I hope and pray that somebody will stop this man before its too late.

Why are we so afraid...

  • jet's picture
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To speak out for what we believe? Want to stop the war? Then stop it. Not introduce vague deadlines with no enforcement clause. This president needs to be impeached for crimes against his own people. Get gim under oath & watch him lie. What is he the teflon president?

End the Occupation NOW!!!

  • DavidHP's picture
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Once against the moderates are destroying priciples. Four years too much, no more funds for any continuation of this illegal, immoral Bush and Democrat war. End it now. Can I be more clear. Once against I feel totally betrayed by the Democrats. It's time to register in the Labor Party.

Stop The War Now

  • jbell94521's picture
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It is never too soon to pull the funding for an illegal, immoral war that was initiated on a pile of lies for cynical political and economic reasons. There is no more important issue. Innocent people, as well as our troops are being killed as we wait for the right time to respectfully ask the administration to please draft plans to begin getting our troops home. How can this delay be justified? History will not be kind to us, nor should it.

Once we have the funding stopped, and I mean really stopped so that the Pentagon is FORCED to bring the troops home right away, the next issue is to push for impeachment of all the principals of this administration. That may be the only hope there is to begin undoing the drastic damage done to this republic and to begin the long daunting efforts to restore democracy.

Enough already with "political expediency"! It is time to have the courage of our convictions. I can think of nothing more important in our world today than these two initiatives.

Oppose Pelosi

  • kachcan's picture
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I suggest that the argument to support the Pelosi position is disingenuous at best.

If there are enough representatives in the Congress that will vote for the Bush version after they vote a genuine "get out of Iraq" bill down, then we need to know who they are and where they stand. This is not the last vote ever in the Congress, we have a lot of other remedies once we know where the individual members stands. We changed things in the last election because we identified who needed to be voted out. At this stage, I argue that is more important to know where people really stand, not what they say, but what they do.

We need to prepare for the long run - the process of cleaning up politics one election at a time, if need be. These are the first steps.

"stealing money from other programs is an impeachable offense"

  • mlevans's picture
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Bob, do you truly think that would give them even a moment's pause? Considering all their other impeachable offenses, stealing money from other programs seems relatively innocuous to me. Then again it might be just the ticket. I mean, it's not like oral sex, but at least everybody can understand stealing.


MoveOn a disappointment

  • Pippilin's picture
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I just broke my long connection with MoveOn. It feels good. I hate that so many people were duped into voting 'yea' on its Pelosi supplemental poll. And this is not the first time that MO has acted deceitfully-- remember when Eli refused to take a stand on not attacking Iran? He did say 'no nukes', but never would say 'no attack'.
We need MORE dishonesty in an already super-saturated political environment?


  • NancyLou's picture
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When I received the poll, I voted against the Bluedog bill and added that I support HR508 as do many people that I know, and the list grow larger every day.

Where are our heroes?

  • Nyetian's picture
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Et tu MoveOn

Shame on Pelosi, MoveOn et. al.

  • mariem's picture
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Why does everyone go soft, wimpy and irrelevant in their geriatric years?

On cyber-time, MoveOn on has become "geriatric" in a mere 9 years. I know because I'm a charter member of what was called "Censure & MoveOn" from 1998, then in California.

MoveOn was built from grassroots fire and disgust with the RightWingNuts. I did keep kicking founders Joan Blades and Wes in the arse over succeeding years ... cuz they seemed to be wimping out on the really progressive stuff.

All under cover of "pleasing the membership" and being "non-partisan." snort. Partisan rancor from the NeoCons and right-wing-nuts who took over the US was PRECISELY THE PROBLEMA!!

Now we see the supposedly top-shelf progressive cybergroup MoveOn acting like toadies for middle-of-the-road mush mouth. (Guess Joan and Wes are out to lunch now.)

And our hard-fought and hard-won Ms. Speaker of the House is tapdancing like my senator -- and faux presidential candidate -- Hillary tap-tap-tap Clinton tap-tap-tap.

Go Kucinich. The day Dennis goes mushmouth is the day the world ends.

Standing on Principal

  • oldprof80's picture
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For me the essential principal is PEACE.
There is no winner in War. The innocents die on both sides and the power brokers take their money to the bank.
I am now 81 years old and to my great dismay I cannot remember a day of peace since I was 10 years old. As Bennett put it " The more things change the more they remain the same."
Bush may think that his legacy is the 'great war on terror', but I think we should join Kucinich and agaitate for his impeachment and for the condemnation of his whole currupt administration. No Guns hust political power!