Sunday, December 16, 2007

Over The Hill

On last Saturday morning's blockbuster (because I had a full phone signal, mostly) edition of Hard Starboard Radio, I alluded to the pre-meditated spin the Democrats would put on their latest surrender to the Bush White House on appropriating full funding for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Basically, Senate Donks would make a big to-do of zeroing out the funding from the Defense authorization bill in retaliation for the Administration refusing to fold to their incessant, irrational, obsolete demands for American retreat, and then their House counterparts would add it back in "under protest" of the inevitable, un-overrideable Bush veto. The Senate would then meekly go along, and that would be that.

Looks like dhimmism's Fifth Column's "organized withdrawal" is right on schedule:
The Democratic-led Congress authorized more Iraq war spending on Friday, sending President Bush a defense bill requiring no change in strategy after failing again to impose a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawals.

The defense policy bill, approved 90-3 by the Senate, also expanded the size of the U.S. Army and set conditions on the Bush Administration’s plan to build a missile defense system in Europe.

The measure already had passed the House and now goes to Bush, who is expected to sign it into law. It authorizes Pentagon programs expected to cost $506.9 billion during fiscal 2008, which began in October.
Now you must remember, of course, that while the war funding has been authorized, it hasn't yet been actually appropriated. The Pentagon can keep operations going - just as soon as they actually get the money. And that means another week of this tiresome, futile quisling Kabuki dance before the Dems cave again, go home for Christmas and New Year's, and then come back to keep the same maturbatory defeat fetish rolling desultorily on.

The Dems' problem coming into this Congress was the same as the Republicans encountered when they took over in 1995: they had small majorities and the White House was still in the opposition's hands. Thus, whatever they could accomplish - first and foremost, forcing the abandonment of Iraq and Afghanistan to Iran and al Qaeda - hinged hugely on whether that president was obligingly weak and accommodationist or opted to be inconveniently and defiantly "relevant." And, just as Bill Clinton blew Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole out of the water over the government shutdowns a dozen years ago, so George W. Bush has slapped back hard the 110th Congress's Bonnie and Clyde, Speakerette "Crazy Nancy" Pelosi and Senate Majority Chisler "Dirty Harry" Reid, both on the Donks' rampant overspending and even moreso on the war.

That frustration has started to boil over. Not that the legislative Gloria Swanson was ever all that strong on self-control and public decorum in any case, but this week she really started living up to her nickname:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lashed out at Republicans on Thursday, saying they want the Iraq war to drag on and are ignoring the public's priorities.

"They like this war. They want this war to continue," Pelosi, D-CA., told reporters. She expressed frustration over Republicans' ability to force majority Democrats to yield ground on taxes, spending, energy, war spending and other matters.

"We thought that they shared the view of so many people in our country that we needed a new direction in Iraq," Pelosi said at her weekly news conference in the Capitol. "But the Republicans have made it very clear that this is not just George Bush's war. This is the war of the Republicans in Congress."
No, Madame Speakeress, this is America's war. America was attacked on 9/11, not just Republicans. If the heroic passengers of Flight 93 hadn't taken down the terrorists in the field in Pennsylvania, you and the vast majority of your colleagues might not even be alive today. That makes it your war as well. That you can be so incensed at that inarguable truth that you redundantly slander your domestic political opponents speaks volumes about who and what you and your ilk really are.

That pegging would include being singularly obtuse, as the President did, indeed, give us a new direction in Iraq - the Surge and accompanying Petraeus counterinsurgency strategy, which has been so successful that it has rendered your party's stubborn, insipient treason irrelevant. Annnnnnd for which, never EVER let it be forgotten, your Senate comrades voted eleven months ago. Too flipping bad it worked, huh?

Evidently, according to the Admiral, this Pelosi outburst caused even like minded journalists to say "Whoa, dudette":
When pressed by stunned reporters, Pelosi realized she'd made a mistake. She retracted the statement, saying that she meant that Republicans supported the current strategy in Iraq and supported George Bush's continuance of the effort. Pelosi then expressed surprise that the Republicans would not accede to public polls on the matter.

In other words, she can't understand why Republicans and George Bush don't sacrifice national security for political gain.
Maybe it's just me, but her "retraction" and "clarification" don't look all that different from her original vomit. And why wouldn't we ALL support the current strategy in Iraq and the President's continuance of it? It's working, after all. Which, of course, is what is so sorely vexing to the Marin County bag lady.

That's why I can't quite square Ed's reference to Republicans and Bush gaining politically if they would only sacrifice national security. It looks clear a year later that the public's dissatisfaction with Iraq was that we weren't doing everything possible to win, not that we weren't getting out fast enough. That's the message Dubya took away from the 2006 midterms, and it certainly appears that he read the electoral tea leaves a lot more incisively than the Democrats did.

What's that old saying? Success has a thousand fathers, but failure is always an orphan.

Maybe that's why the aforementioned Dem frustration is turning them openly fratricidal:
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY) accuses Senate Democratic leaders of developing "Stockholm syndrome," showing sympathy to their Republican captors by caving in on legislation ...

And the Senate:

Reid, in turn, has taken to the Senate floor to criticize what he called the speaker's "iron hand" style of governance.

And the House:

Asked about his decision on government funding, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey (D-Wis.) groused to the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call: "I'll tell you how soon I will make a decision when I know how soon the Senate sells us out."

And the Senate:

"I understand the frustration; we're frustrated, too," Bayh said. "But holding a bunch of Kabuki theater doesn't get anything done."

And the House:

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA) called it a "hold and fold" strategy: Senate Republicans put a "hold" on Democratic bills, and Senate Democratic leaders promptly fold their tents.

Hell, I could do this all day.
Hard not to chuckle at the Donks' fate, seeing as how they're now having done to them what they spent the previous twelve years doing to the GOP. The true wonder is that the Republicans are actually retaliating.

Maybe that helps explain the results of two special House elections for GOP-held seats, one of them in allegedly "blue-izing" Ohio:
Republicans retained two House seats in special elections Tuesday, including a hotly contested Ohio race that the two parties spent nearly $700,000 trying to win. ...

State legislator Bob Latta decisively defeated Democrat Robin Weirauch in Ohio’s 5th District, leading by 56% to 43% with 90% of the vote in. The special election was held to replace the late Representative Paul Gillmor (R).

In Virginia’s 1st District, GOP state Delegate Rob Wittman won a landslide victory over Iraq war veteran Phil Forgit (D) in the race to succeed the late Representative Jo Ann Davis (R).

With 100% of precincts reporting, Wittman had 61% of the vote, while Forgit had only tallied 37%.

The story of the evening was Latta’s victory, however, given signs in recent weeks that the reliably Republican district, based in Bowling Green, was in danger of falling into Democratic hands.
These were considered two seats ripe for Dem pickups, particularly in Ohio, which was believed to be trending heavily to the left.

Turns out that reports of the GOP's death in the Buckeye State may have been a wee bit premature. Mr. Morrissey elaborates:
The issue involved more than just the 5th CD in Ohio. Democrats won the governorship in Ohio last year, and they had hoped that the special election would show that they have the momentum in the Buckeye State. The state Republicans took a beating over scandals involving the previous governor and other state officials, and Democrats believe that they can win the state in the next presidential election - which could provide the key to winning back the White House.

In order to make that case, the Democrats poured money and effort into OH-05. Governor Ted Strickland campaigned personally in the district. Labor sent its activists to bolster Weirauch's ground game. The national DCCC spent almost a quarter-million dollars attempting to tie Latta to the past scandals of state GOP officials.

In the end, it availed them nothing. Despite all of the attention, Latta won the seat by the same margin as the late Dan Gillmore did in 2006 with the advantage of incumbency. It strongly suggests that Ohio remains solidly Republican even after the 2006 spanking it took over Bob Taft and Tom Noe. That puts a big crimp in the Democrats' national plans for the presidential race, and could mean that they will have to forego a big push in Ohio and look for better ground elsewhere.
Maybe 2006 wasn't the Noahaic deluge watershed election that the Dems claimed it was and the Enemy Media sold it as. Maybe the tapioca that filled voters' brains last November has been crowded out by fresh grey matter. Maybe the Republicans are manufacturing their own comeback, and the Democrats are blindly helping them do it by believing their own press clippings and openly championing extremism that perhaps isn't as popular as we've been told it was over the past year.

Then again, all it would take is another 9/11, or the Islamist takeover of Pakistan, or another "stock market crash" to fill the Left's PR sails with fresh flatulence. And we ARE about to nominate as our 2008 presidential standardbearer a not-ready-for-prime-time man who gives every indication of believing he's running for national viccar.

But why not enjoy the friendly trade winds while they're blowing out way for a change? After all, the GOP CAN use all the forward momentum it can get.