It was only a couple of weeks prior to graduation and given that Champaign, Illinois is cold throughout much of the school year, many of my fraternity mates went to the roof of the house to enjoy their alcohol. Alcohol did what it does, and soon enough, some of them started jawing with the members of the fraternity across the street. This jawing continued to escalate until one member of my fraternity through a bottle across the street onto their roof. They one upped us and used a sling shot to hurl a bottle across the street. This one didn't just fall harmlessly but rather crashed through the window in the back of the roof. This turned into a full confrontation, and it was a confrontation that my fraternity eventually backed off from. We allowed our window to get broken with absolutely no response.
It was the most I was ashamed of my fraternity brothers. I won't pretend that it had anything to do with the drinking or machismo. I was ashamed because clearly members of my fraternity started a confrontation that deep down they had no intention of finishing. I said as much to all the members in my senior speech. I said that if you are going to start a confrontation you d#$n well better be ready to finish it.
The reason that I bring up this peculiar story is because I believe that most of the Democratic leadership is acting much like the "tough guys" of my fraternity vis a vis Iraq war funding.
Stories are currently all over the place about the Democrats looking to tie war funding to some sort of a troop withdrawal date. Don't believe the hype. The Democrats are no different than any of the members of my fraternity. They are starting a confrontation they have no business finishing. I know this because they backed down in this same confrontation months ago.
Back in May, after passing funding only with troop withdrawal dates which the President promptly vetoed, the Democrats relented and passed a "clean funding bill". Maybe they didn't have the stomach to handle the political fallout of cutting off funds while troops were still in the field. Maybe, they weren't really sure the war was lost. Who knows?
Either way at the time, the war was written off by almost everyone. There were three digits of American military deaths monthly. Two to three thousand Iraqi civilian deaths monthly. Anbar was still in the beginning of its renaissance, and people were tired and angry about the war. Since then, our military deaths have dropped precipitously. Civilian deaths have fallen with them. The remarkable turnaround in Anbar has been chronicled by Michael Yon , Michael Totten , and many others. It has turned cities like Ramadi and Baquobah from some of the most violent anywhere into two of the safest in Iraq. The bottom line is that the situation has seen a remarkable improvement since the last time the Democrats have tried this.
The Democrats gave themselves away with this stunt when they began pushing it months before the military actually needs funds. They are clearly playing to their lunatic niche. It won't work with them and it won't work with the rest of the public. The far left won't accept the old college try, and no one else will accept cutting off funds especially now. The Democrats have started a confrontation they have no intention of finishing and they will end this one the way my fraternity ended ours, in shame.
Their base wants nothing short of all out withdrawal. They aren't going to deliver that. If they didn't deliver when the war was hopeless, what do they expect to do now that we are doing well. (for an excellent analysis of what is currently going on check out this piece by Christopher Hitchens) The rest of the country isn't going to be impressed with these shenanigans meant only to appease the fringe that everyone else frankly hates. There aren't going to be many moderates impressed with the Dems when they see them speak with a bunch of bluster only to back down, AGAIN. Our fraternity was the laughingstock of the Greek System (the largest in the country) in the immediate aftermath of that failed confrontation, and the Dems will look no less foolish once they back down from this ridiculous confrontation that they have started and have no plans of finishing.