The hat tip goes to the Weekly Standard for pointing this out. Harry Reid ultimately caved and went down in a stunning defeat the last time he tried to play chicken with the President. In the spring he tried to stare down the President in a battle of wills over troop funding. We all now know that he and Nancy Pelosi ultimately caved in and gave the President a clean appropriations bill with no troop withdrawal. Well, here is what he is saying now.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that Democrats won't approve more money for the Iraq war this year unless President Bush agrees to begin
bringing troops home.
By the end of the week, the House and Senate planned to vote on a $50 billion measure for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill would require Bush to initiate troop withdrawals immediately with the goal of ending combat by December 2008.
If Bush vetoes the bill, "then the president won't get his $50 billion," Reid, D-Nev., told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference.
This is a lot of posturing because as WS explains the Pentagon has funds to last several more months. Given the events on the ground, it is highly unlikely he will have the political power to actually accomplish this.
When I was a senior, my frat brothers got into a verbal joust with the fraternity across the street from ours. The joust led to more words and ultimately people started throwing things across the street. The incident came to a head when the other fraternity used a sling shot to throw a beer bottle across the street. That beer bottle broke one of our windows. Despite a lot of bluster, we ultimately backed down and did absolutely nothing about the beer bottle thrown through our window. It was the most I was ashamed of my fraternity.
I bring up the story because just like Harry Reid we started a fight we had no plans on finishing. The people that started the verbal joust had no intentions of seeing any confrontation through if it became physical. While they had no problem talking tough, they had no intention of backing up their words ultimately with actions. The same, I believe, goes for Harry Reid.
While he is trying to play up his far left credentials with tough talk, he has, in my opinion, no intention of seeing this through. While the war continues to be unpopular, it is far more popular now then it was then. Here is one poll that tracks opinion for the last ten months. It is beyond polls though. Combat deaths have gone from over ninety in August, just over sixty in September, and just over thirty in October. Civilian deaths have gone from just under two thousand in August, to nine hundred plus in September, to seven hundred plus in October. There is no doubt that things are getting better.
If Harry Reid couldn't pull off cutting off funds when it didn't look like we could win, what makes him think he can do it now? He is acting no different than the hooligans from my frat. They started a fight they had no intention of finishing, and so is he. I lost all respect for those guys and the same for Harry Reid.