Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

So Why’d They Do It?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 25, 2007

So why did so many Democrats — particularly those in Southern states with lots of military bases — vote for the supplemental?

The biggest reason, as has been discussed recently, is apparently this: Because while most polls show that around 70% of us want this war to end, a considerably smaller percentage — around half or less — want it done via “cutting off funds” as was done in Vietnam. (The latest CNN poll states that 60% of Americans oppose cutting off funds to end the Iraq War. Yes, yes, we know that the previous bills the Democrats proposed didn’t “cut off funds” but instead funded a safe withdrawal. But we all know how the GOP/Media spun that, don’t we?)

Worse yet, a legend has grown up that the Democrats were made to pay at the ballot box over ending the Vietnam War, even though the Democrats did well in 1974 and 1976, and Carter’s loss in 1980 had more to do with the rotten economy (which he’d inherited from Nixon and Ford), the hostage situation in Iran (which the evidence shows was likely artificially prolonged by Iran at the Republicans’ behest), and the press’ personal dislike of him than anything else.

That’s the reasoning. You can like it, you can argue with it (and I hope that I’ve shown that I am at best dubious of much if not most of it). But for Heaven’s sake please don’t let your brains melt irrevocably because of it.

9 Responses to “So Why’d They Do It?”

  1. Bill said

    Please define cutting off funds. If congress had sent the same bill back it could argue we have approved funds, it is the 16 year old who is “cutting off funds”. Let the media spin it, imho, the American public has caught onto this ploy, it’s just the dem’s who have not. We are taling about life and death of innocent people and our fighting men and women ….. how can we keep compromising our morales but coming up with trendy politcal explanations for everything?

  2. Charles said

    There was a lack of will on the part of the Dems, Bill. They apparently did not even have the votes to send the same bill back.

  3. Bill: Don’r tell that to me, tell that to the 60% in the CNN poll.

    And the CNN’s poll’s not the worst one; over in the FDL comments thread from whence you came, a recent NYT poll showed that only 13% of Americans backed cutting off funds to end the Iraq war — and unfortunately, the original Democratic bills were seen as doing just that.

    If you can think of a way to solve that problem, let me know. Better yet, let Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid know.

  4. Bill said


  5. Explain, please. How does this get the American public, which is strongly against defunding the war as was done in Vietnam, to back bills that are perceived as doing just that?

    As this New York Times poll shows, while troops are still in Iraq, Americans overwhelmingly support continuing to finance the war, though most want to do so with conditions. Only thirteen percent want Congress to block all money for the war.

    Got a way around that? That doesn’t involve armed overthrow of the government?

  6. Charles said

    PW, although I don’t condemn the Dems, I have to say: leadership is being in front of the polls. It means taking positions not because they’re popular now, but because you can see into the future and understand the future consequences of actions.

    Republicans use “Russian-style negotiation” which, ironically, they invented. Start off from an insane position, demanding 500% of what you really want, in hopes of forcing the eventual compromise to be 110% of what you really want. I don’t know what an effective response to “Russian-style negotiation” is, but I am pretty sure it’s not what the Dems did.

  7. Oh no! Charles is trying to have the last word! We can’t have that! Eeep!

    Seriously, though: In addition to what you mention, Charles, Republicans also have the advantage of FOX News (which is still the cable news ratings leader), AM drive-time talk radio, and the broadcast evening newscasts which were shaped by Jack Welch and Roger Ailes, among others. (Yes, Ailes ran NBC News before FOX hired him.) Their control of the noise machine is so firm that even now, as Media Matters has shown, the guest lists for such things as the Sunday talks are still heavily weighted towards conservatives and Republicans.

    If the Democrats had done as you suggest, they would have been hit with a media barrage that would have made the slanders against Nancy Pelosi and her (bi-partisan) visit to Syria look positively benign. (Then again, Pelosi’s ratings actually stayed steady or went up in some cases after the weeks of nonstop nonsense spewed about her, so that’s actually an argument for and not against blowing off what the press will say.)

  8. Charles said

    Thanks for arguing my case to a successful conclusion in the final parenthesis, PW. As you say, the public is not so easily fooled. So, by implication, if Democrats are intimidated by what the press might say, they will be paralyzed into doing the things that show the people that they are worthy of trust.

    If that’s your last word, you win the debate! :-)

  9. Bill said

    The support for ending the war has been consistent in many polls. I believe everyone wants to treat the men and women fighting fairly also. Not sure I can put an equal sign with the 13% with voting with the R’s on the supplemental. The reality is that the fighters would not be left without bullets or water ….. that is what the D’s would have to make sure everyone understood. Amazing how we can always come up with billions and billions for this put nothing for social security, better VA care, education grants, FDA, EPA, etc.
    Another thing that occurs to me is now that all our freshman legislators abaondoned the effort to establish a new direction it will be impossible for org’s like Blue American and ActBlue to get another penny from me …. not sure how that will play with others but why should I contribute, as I have, to candidates who I thought would make a difference when they really don’t. R’s can lie to me too.

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