Saturday, September 22, 2007

Dodd, Slip Sliding Away

You won’t find this little ditty on the front page of the Hartford Courant – where it belongs: “Dodd's Surprise Vote On Iraq,” by David Lightman, the Courant’s chief Washington reporter, who previously has not had difficulty getting his stories on Chris Dodd featured on the front page.

This one appeared in a little visited section of the paper called “Caucus Politics,” an ashcan section of the Courant devoted to throw-away though piquant items.

The second paragraph is the bone crusher: “The Connecticut Democrat was one of only three Democratic senators to oppose a measure intended to bring most U.S. troops home from Iraq within nine months. The proposal failed on a 47-47 vote, 13 shy of what was needed to cut off debate.”

Dodd has continually been featured in the paper as opposing the Bush regime’s posture in the Middle East, and he has made appearances in all the usual anti-war watering holes: DailyKos, MoveOn.org, the Huffington Post.

His newly acquired anti-war friends in Connecticut, assuming they see the carefully concealed piece in the state’s newspaper of record, will not be pleased.

According to another brief but potentially incendiary piece in the Courant, also tucked away in nowheresville, Dodd has lately been sending smiley faces to his once and future friend Joe Lieberman, the arch fiend of the anti-war movement.

What the’hey is going on?

This is what Dodd told Lightman: “But, Dodd said, continuing bloodshed in Iraq and the Sept. 11 testimony of Gen. David H. Petraeus, when the general could not say whether the war has made the United States safer, have convinced the senator that stronger action is needed.”

The bill, Dodd is saying, accomplishes what Dodd has proposed in most of his speeches, as well as the statement he has make on anti-war blogs, but it is not perfect.

"’This bill will not stop this president from continuing to wage this war,’ Dodd said. ‘While a firm deadline is necessary, it is not sufficient without it also being enforceable through the power of the purse,’ Dodd said. And, he figured, ‘given this president's loyalty to his own failed policy, it is clear to me that anything short of a firm, enforceable deadline that forces his hand will only serve to perpetuate our involvement in this civil war.’

“As a result, Dodd said, ‘I will only vote to fully fund the complete redeployment of our troops out of Iraq.’”

The bill he voted down, Dodd is saying, is not perfect enough. Readers of the Courant will be waiting in vain for any one of their liberal commentators to say that Dodd here has, in the words of Courant columnist Bill Curry, made the good the enemy of the perfect.

Lightman apparently did not have the presence of mind to point out to Dodd that any bill that falls short of defunding the troops at war in Iraq will be similarly imperfect.

Dodd is playing a shameless game, but none in his worshipful audience have the courage to call him on it. Any bill that does not defund military enterprises is a sham bill. Congress in general – and Dodd in particular, as has often been said in this blog, can constitutionally end the war in Iraq tomorrow – by definancing it. But Dodd, who is simply and shamelessly playing politics with the war, hasn’t the stomach to do what is honorable and constitutionally proper.

All these bill are paper airplanes launched in the direction of an embattled president who has no intention of withdrawing troops from a hot war with terrorists.

There is only one way to end this war. Dodd can do it in a moment by presenting a bill that definances military operations in Iraq. He has not done it; he will not do it – because he is a cheap political hack. The Democrats who say they want to end the war do not want their fingerprints on a lost war. They want Bush to slit his own throat. It won't happen.
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