Fish Wrapper Praises Congress For Violating Constitution

On and on the liberal cowardice goes at the Fish Wrapper, and so does the selective listening. Today's example of this is an editorial by the Fish Wrapper about Congress's cowardice in the passing of the emergency spending bills with stipulations on a timetable for pulling troops out of Iraq as well as $21 billion in pork spending. But that's conveniently not the point. The point is that Congress is putting it's (pork) foot down.

The Senate joins the House in putting limits on the war, and the president can't bluster past them

The morning after the Senate joined the House in putting limits on the length of the U.S. war in Iraq, President Bush imperviously declared, "If Congress fails to pass a bill to fund our troops on the front lines, the American people will know who to hold responsible."

Actually, on the war in Iraq, the American people already know whom to hold responsible.

That's why the Democrats now control both houses of Congress.

Riiiiight. I just love the DFW's tendency towards historical revisionism. The Democrats didn't win control by a landslide. How many 2006 races were barely won by razor thin margins? Take a look at elections history and see how many other times the President's party lost control in midterm elections of their second term? Charles Krauthammer explains:

What to say about such a victory? Substantial, yes. Historic, no. Before proclaiming a landslide, one has to ask Henny Youngman's question: "Compared to what?" (His answer to: "How's your wife?") Since the end of World War II, the average loss for a second-term presidency in its sixth year has been 29 House seats and six Senate seats. If you go back to Franklin Roosevelt's second term, the House loss average jumps to 35. Thus a 25/6 House and Senate loss would be about (and slightly below) the historical average.

Here's some more numbers from the Washington Times (from January, 2006)

To be sure, midterm elections have not been kind to presidents or their parties. For example, since 1862, there have been 36 midterm elections held during the first or second terms of an administration. In 33 of those 36 elections, the opposition party gained strength in the House. That's the bad news for the Bush administration and the Republican Party. The good news is that the three anomalous midterm elections in which the president's party gained strength in the House included the last two midterm campaigns. (The third occasion was the 1934 election held during Franklin Roosevelt's first term.)

The 20th century was particularly unkind to presidents and their party's House members in the midterm elections occurring during the second term of an administration -- what Congressional Quarterly has aptly dubbed "The Sixth Year Swoon." During the first 90 years of the 20th century, for example, there were nine midterm elections held during an administration's second term. Each time, the president's party lost House seats. Those losses averaged 33 seats (or more than double the number of seats Democrats must win to gain control). Major second-midterm blowouts for the party occupying the White House included 71 seats lost in 1938 during Franklin Roosevelt's second term, 47 in 1958 during Dwight Eisenhower's second term, 47 in 1966 in the second term of the Kennedy-Johnson administration and 43 seats in 1974 during the Nixon-Ford era.

But if you've been reading this site very long, you know the Fish Wrapper editors don't like to let the facts get in the way of their opinion.

It's also why congressmen and senators dubious about the prospects of the war are now in position to put time limits in the current supplemental appropriations bills. Tuesday's Senate vote and last week's House vote were driven by last year's election, and by polls showing increasing support for a timeline for leaving Iraq.

That rising pressure was reflected in the Senate roll call. Two senators who had opposed the limits only days before switched to support them, and the limits are now backed by some longtime war supporters, such as Gordon Smith, R-Ore. Several Republicans who stuck with the president insisted that they weren't supporting an open-ended commitment.

Now this is really great. I have watched the Fish Wrapper jump all over the story when spineless Senator Smith first spoke out against the war in his now-famous speech on the Senate floor almost four months ago. And now they portray him as just recently having turned against the war? Man, it must be nice to have the power to re-write history like that...

Often, when the president talks of the situation in Iraq, observers wonder what Iraq he's talking about. When he now threatens war critics with the wrath of the American people, some may wonder what American people he has in mind.

It would help if we defined terms. To the Fish Wrapper editors, "observers" means them, and "American people" are those people that actually agree with the Fish Wrapper. Here's something to think about; next time you read about a poll quoted by the editors (granted, it's hard to do since they area always so vague), read the actual poll questions and results. As I've shown more than once, the Fish Wrapper editors like to twist poll numbers to suit their point of view.

The approach built into the two appropriations bills is not ideal. Conducting a war through a budget bill is a rigid and clumsy strategy.

That's the understament of the century.

The situation could be handled better if the president recognized that his Iraq policy has not worked -- and that the American people want it changed -- and would work with Congress to find a new direction.

So in other words, it's all the President's fault that the Democrats are hypocrites (for condeming the Republicans for pork spending but then taking part in in themselves), and gutless cowards? Talk about passing the buck...

But as long as President Bush refuses to see that, the congressional power of the purse -- and of reflecting the views of the voters -- has a legitimate role in this debate.

Which voters? Only those that agree with the Democrats from that huge landslide victory in November?

Speaking to the president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says, "There is a new Congress in town. We respect your constitutional role. We want you to respect ours."

Translation: "We have no respect for that part of the Consitution that says that the responsbility for waging war resides with the President, not Congress."

Her reasoning is clear: "The American people have lost faith in the president's conduct of the war. Let's see how we can work together."

And just how are they supposed to work together when the cut and run Democrats care nothing about actually getting the job done? The only way two sides can work together is if they both are willing to work. The Democrat cowards aren't willing to do that. They just want to get out and cross their fingers and hope that everything turns out okay for the Iraqis.

Let's take a look back at the war that everybody likes to talk about, Vietnam. What happened after we pulled out and abandoned the South Vietnamese? Remember the Boat People?

The UN High Commissioner on Refugees estimated that 929,600 reached asylum and 250,000 boat people died at sea - drowned or killed by dehydration or Thai pirates. Those are the ones known about, probably a fraction of those who made it to Thailand, Korea, Japan, etc.

In addition,

The North Vietnamese army incarcerated anyone who was either suspected of cooperating with the U.S. or who, following the fall of Saigon and the occupation of the south by the north, did not cooperate fully with the North Vietnamese Army. The Viet Cong placed an estimated one million Vietnamese in forced labor camps, where they were "re-educated" in communist doctrine under extremely cruel conditions. Many tens of thousands died of disease or starvation or beatings.

So what makes us think that if we were to pull out of Iraq that the results would be any less horrific? That's the irony of the liberals; they like to talk about helping others, but only up until the point where sacrifice - real sacrifice - is required.

 

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