It’s high time that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi started accessorizing her Armani suits appropriately. She needs to take that toity scarf off her neck, tie it around her head and crank the protest music because the Defeatocrats are jiving full-on with the crusty flower children who brought them into power.
The only problem is hippies make lousy dance partners. Just ask Rep. David Obey (D.-Wis.). He had a testy exchange with anti-war “occupiers” who infiltrated Capitol Hill last week. When two grassroots anti-war protesters unexpectedly approached him to lobby him to vote against the upcoming war spending bill, he became unglued.
The two activists were members of a civil disobedience project sponsored by Voices for Creative Nonviolence which stages “occupations” in the offices of representatives and senators who will not commit to voting against any additional war funding.
As House Appropriations chairman and anti-war advocate himself, Obey has been working overtime to defuse the backlash that came when his friend Rep. John Murtha (D.-Pa.) chairman of the appropriations subcommittee on defense, said he would abort the Iraq mission by implementing unattainable military readiness standards.
Obey tried to explain to the protesters he was going to vote for the bill, but as House Appropriations chairman had engineered it so that it would remove troops from Iraq.
“We’re trying to use the supplemental to end the war,” he told them. “But you can’t end the war if you vote against the supplemental. It’s time these idiot liberals understand that.”
He ranted, “I’m the sponsor the bill that’s going to be on the floor. And that bill ends the war. If that’s not good enough for you you’re smoking something illegal….We do have the votes if you guys quit screwing it up.”
Unfortunately, the two people he was speaking with were exactly the type of idiot liberals he had in mind. They posted a video of the confrontation online and completely blew his cover.
A day before this unfortunate exchange, Obey held a press conference with Pelosi and Murtha to outline this covert plan to micromanage the war. Pelosi explained their new Iraq legislation would provide two rolling withdrawal dates and explicit funding conditions.
She said, “We’re saying that, unless there is progress made in meeting these benchmarks….by July 2007, if progress is not demonstrated, if the President cannot certify that progress is made we begin the redeployment of our troops out of a combat role in Iraq.”
The benchmarks she spoke of are based on military, economic and political benchmarks President Bush discussed in his 2007 State of the Union speech.
What if, to the Pelosi’s embarrassment, our troops do meet those benchmarks? In that case, she has another deadline on stand-by. She said, “If by October — say some progress is made in July — if by October progress has not been completed, we begin the redeployment of our troops out of Iraq. And then, by the following year, if all the benchmarks are met, our troops are out no later than August of 2008.”
Sadly, for Obey and Pelosi many of the anti-war “idiots” that can’t keep their mouths shut have full-time jobs in the House of Representatives. They’ve also formed a bothersome 73-member union called the “Out of Iraq Caucus” that is opposing the Obey-Pelosi spending bill.
Caucus Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D.-Calif.) has taken up protest occupier’s pledge to not support any more war funding. She’s insisting that “any money in the supplemental [bill] be used in order to help with a safe and secure exit strategy.”
Last week she circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter that said a free and democratic Iraq was a hopeless cause. “The fact is,” the letter said, “that you cannot ‘win an occupation, just as there is no way for the United States to ‘win’ an Iraqi civil war…. In terms of policy, fully funding the safe withdrawal of U.S. troops makes strategic sense.”
Later, she told the press, “Many members of our caucus — the new members — ran on a platform of getting out of Iraq. And so we come here today consistent in our advocacy to get out of Iraq. We don’t support any plan that would give this President the opportunity do anything but that which we say we would like him to do.”
In other words, the new Congress cares more about defeating Bush than winning in Iraq. She’s demanding, as the old saying goes, that Democrats dance with those who brought them the majority.
But, judging from Obey’s eruption at his “idiot” constituency, doing so poses the biggest threat to the defeatist cause. And in that case, I sincerely hope Cindy Sheehan is calling on Congress hard to score dates to her victory dance over Bush.