There is a lot of moaning and gnashing of teeth on the lefty blogs about the Iraq funding vote in Congress yesterday. I understand their frustration, but I don’t think it is very realistic. I was going to write a post saying why, but Ezra Klein at Tapped beat me to it:
What More Could Be Done?
Like most of us who oppose the war, I’m disappointed with how the vote turned out yesterday. But I’m not exactly sure what more folks would have had the Democrats do. The political invulnerability of President Bush is, I think, a reality that hasn’t quite penetrated the punditocracy. Bush is never running for office ever again. He has no political heir to protect, and is clearly uninterested in the future fortunes of the Republican Party. He is massively unpopular, and his agenda is utterly stymied in the Democratic Congress. He can literally veto the spending bills forever — Congress has absolutely no leverage against him. And the American people, at least as I read the polls, will not support the defunding of the troops. Maybe Congress could have forced a second veto, but the idea that they could continually force Bush’s veto and that would result in an eventual win seems wrong.
The more wild-eyed at the lefty blogs usually start shouting “Impeach Bush! Impeach Cheney!” at this point. But impeachment is a political process, not a legal one, and going down that road would a) not work and b) suck all the political air out of the room and kill the Democrats agenda entirely. Unfortunately, even though the Dems are in the majority, they can’t grab the wheel away from the delusional President behind it. They can keep showing the American people the corruption and criminality of the Bush Administration, and that will pay off in electoral gains down the road. But there’s no good way to force Bush to get the hell out of Iraq until and unless his support in his own party completely collapses. That may happen, but it hasn’t happened yet, and Republicans have shown an amazing, shameful, and slavish propensity to back Bush no matter what. I think we’re stuck in Iraq until Bush is out of office. In the meantime, accept the defeat, pick yourselves up, and keep fighting Bush and his criminal gang wherever you can.