S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tony Snows on Congress

White House Press Secretary Tony Snow has been all over the airwaves in the past few days attempting to minimize the damaging effects of the recent House and Senate votes on the war in Iraq. His patronizing tactics are irritating. Telling our elected representatives to "calm down" is intended to portray them as (at least) emotional, or (at most) hysterical. It is the same thing that insecure men often do in the midst of a fight with a female "significant other," when the other is winning the intellectual argument. They try to cast the disagreement as emotional, rather than on the merits.

Reality in dispute - Here is the story From CNN - February 19, 2007: Press Secretary at the "White House disputes Iraq as 'worst mistake'. " To quote,
Story Highlights:
• White House spokesman says war was needed to oust Saddam Hussein
• Tony Snow notes majority of senators authorized Bush to take action
• Senate majority leader calls Iraq war a worse mistake than Vietnam war
Harry Reid says U.S. in "very deep hole" and needs to get out of it

"This war is a serious situation," Reid said Saturday. "It involves the worst foreign policy mistake in the history of this country. ... We find ourselves in a very deep hole. We need to find a way to dig out of it." Snow disagreed.
"The war is tough, but the solution is not to get out. It is to provide the kinds of resources and reinforcements our forces need to get the job done, and at the same time say to the Iraqis `You guys got to step up,"' Snow responded.
He said the president understands the importance of debate about the war on Capitol Hill and understands lawmakers' anxiety about the war.
"What I would say to members of Congress is: Calm down and take a look at what's going on, and ask yourself a simple question: If you support the troops, would you deny them the reinforcements they think are necessary to complete the mission?"'
Tony Snow is acting out of the administration's power-down position. He knows how low his boss has sunk in the eyes of much of the American public. His reaction is the classic one of someone who has lost part of the argument and resorts to such a transparent approach.
Congress has unfortunately done nothing so far that can legally make any difference in the Bush war policy. I do not believe the House will have the votes to pass a veto-proof cut-off of funds for the war in Iraq. And the Senate will probably not bring up the House non-binding resolution again. They have an idea, however, that might make a legal difference. That would depend, of course, on the final vote margin upon passage of this measure:
Senate might go back to 2002 and start again - This is the headline: "Some Democrats want to modify 2002 Iraq war authorization
February 19, 2007." To quote from the CNN story:

Story Highlights:
• Aides: Senate Democratic leaders tentatively agree to modify 2002 authorization
• Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, advocates a "much more limited mission"
• Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Arizona, says such a move would be the "worst of all worlds"

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The 2002 authorization for use of force in Iraq is among the arguments the war's supporters use to condemn congressional critics of the conflict.
If Democrats have their way, it may be replaced. Democratic senators are talking Monday about revising the authorization Congress passed more than four years ago. They would do so by working to pass a new resolution putting additional restrictions on military action in Iraq.
Many Senators are very good lawyers, including the moderate Republican critics. This idea may have merit and seems to be a smarter tactic than trying to tease our the interwoven "surge" monies from the Defense Authorization Supplemental bill that will come up next.
Falling snow tries to cover what is underneath. One thing is clear. Mr. Snow will be forced to storm on Congress again and again, as the Democratic majorities in both houses continue to maintain the best interests of the of the war fighters as they deliberate. Figuring out how to extricate the U.S. from Iraq, uncover administration ineptitude, and return to the policy of engagement with Al Qaeda, will surely blow up many more storms from administration spokespersons.
For more background see the following MyWay (AP) Congress Headlines:

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My "creative post" today at Southwest Blogger is about books and reading.


RoseCovered Glasses said...
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Vigilante said...

No need to modify the authorization of Oct-2002: Bush-Cheney have exceeded the terms of that authorization ever since they prolonged their occupation of Iraq past the date of Saddam's capture in December of 2003. Just declare that authorization violated and cut off the funding.