RUSH: Let’s take a look at the latest in the escapades of the Democrats and what they want to get done with the war in Iraq. AP story. ?Democrats are considering cutting President Bush’s budget $142 billion request for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan next year by $20 billion, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad said Thursday. ? Conrad said a final decision has not been made whether to impose the $20 billion cut.? It was just a few hours later another story crossed the wires: “Democrats nix idea of military budget cuts — Just hours after floating the idea of cutting $20 billion from President Bush’s $142 billion request for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. ?It’s nothing that any of us are considering,? Senate majority leader Harry Reid.?
Now, here it’s less than three months since they won the election, and they?re out there — like I said yesterday — they claim that that election gave them a mandate to get us out of Iraq. Cut the funding! The American people want to bring ’em home! Obviously that’s not the data. Folks, this came up at dinner last night, too. This discussion — and I can’t tell you how many people at the dinner table think that the vast majority of the American people want us out of Iraq. The polling data on this cannot possibly be accurate. It can’t possibly be true, otherwise the Democrats and Republicans, as feeble as they are, would have been joining with them to get them out of there and cut the funding. The Democrats don’t even have the guts to do it themselves even though they claim a mandate from last year’s election. See, the bottom line is that the American people don’t want us to lose. They don’t want soldiers de-funded in the middle of battle. They don’t want soldiers denied reinforcements, and they certainly don’t want soldiers told that there will not be updates in equipment. This is the Murtha “slow bleed.”
The Democrats are just flailing away here. They can’t get anything done on this. You would think that it would be a snap, crackle and pop, if the polling data about the attitudes of the American people on this were accurate. The Wall Street Journal headline: ?House Democrats set to retreat from effort to cap troop levels.? If I were writing headlines today, the headline would read: ?House Democrats cut-and-run from Murtha.? Murtha’s the guy that can’t get anybody to go along with his idea. The New York Post also talks about the Democrats “blocking” a $20 billion war cut. That’s the headline. What they don’t say in the headline is that the $20 billion cut in funds was proposed
These people are sitting ducks. There are bodies all over the place in the Senate. They make a proposal, and other Democrats shoot it down. ?Senate Democrats somewhat defensive about their internal divisions, which have left them open to criticism, but unlike the House, they have yet to weigh in with a strong vote on the war even though public dissatisfaction contributed to their election gains in November.? I continue to just refute that. That is not what last year’s election meant, and if it did, none of this would be happening. A little common sense here, folks, is all you need to apply. Patty Murray, senator from Washington, said, “We’ve only been in the majority for six weeks. Cut us some slack.? They’re getting a little testy here when their inabilities to pass anything comes up. So the Democrat quagmire continues.
And get this. ?A senior Democratic adviser said yesterday he is disappointed and dismayed by the efforts of House and Senate Democrats to change administration policies in Iraq, predicting they would lead to further division and stalemate in Congress on the war. ‘If you stand back, the whole debate has been pretty frustrating. The bigger problem is that [Democratic leaders’] proposals are not going anywhere, such as some revised authority for the war.’? You know who said this? Panetta! Leon Panetta, former Clinton chief of staff sitting out there in California at the Panetta Institute in Carmel, which is a gorgeous place. If I had an institute outside the EIB building, I’d go there, too. But he can’t believe the ineffectiveness of the Democrats and they’re in the majority. The problem in the Senate, as I have told you, is that the Democrats are pretty much powerless. It’s Mitch McConnell (R-KY) that runs that place. In the House, the Republicans have no power whatsoever. It’s just the way the House is structured. There’s nothing uncommon about it.
When you lose the majority, you have no power there. The Senate, though, you need 60 votes and if all you’ve got is 50, plus Lieberman teetering, you got zilch, zero, nada. The Republicans can stop anything the Democrats do, but McConnell hasn’t even had to step in on this. Conrad got shot down by Reid. (Laughing.) Anyway, Panetta said,
?These efforts are doomed. Either they are going to be blocked in Congress or vetoed by the president, or both. The end result is that it will make us more divided and impotent on war policy.? I don’t know if he’s talking about the Democrats — I suspect he is — or just the country at large. But he’s just frustrated that their proposals aren’t going anywhere. It will be impotent, and they promised their left-wing kook fringe base! They promised, “We’re going to get ’em out of Iraq. We’re going to get ’em out. We heard you,” and they can’t even agree amongst themselves on how to do it.
A Democrat advisor at the Brookings Institute, Mike O’Hanlon, a senior foreign policy analyst there who advises Democrats on national security issues, said, ?A lot of [the Democrats’] efforts have been pointless.? (Laughing.) Just as I predicted. I told you they were not going to be able to get anything done. The American people are not behind them on this, despite what they say the 2006 election returns meant.