Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I am having a difficult time finding a term for those representatives of the House Democratic caucus who went along with the latest elaborate fiscal charade to pretend that the costs of fighting two land wars in Asia aren't really, like, y'know, real money an' all.

Wasn't one of the things that the Democrats swore to end these shameful and craven supplementals? Why are we still doing this? Do they think they're fooling anyone?

And, although Glenn Greenwald says it all, let's bang this particular drum a little harder:
" for a bill with which they disagree out of "loyalty" to the President -- a desire "to support my president" -- is a total abdication of their primary duty. If they're going to obey the President even when they disagree with him, they should abolish themselves and transfer all of their Article I authority to Rahm Emanuel and Obama."
I have said this before to the point where I suspect that you are very tired of hearing it, but it is harder and harder to pretend that our federal political process is anything more than the elaborate rhetorical kabuki the Roman Senate indulged themselves in under the Caesars.

The vicious irony is that the insane Republicans, handed pretty much everything they got under their former leader Bush, stampeded across the aisle over some meaningless verbiage about the IMF; while the Democrats have lost their way, the GOP has simply lost its mind.

The situation inside the Beltway has truly become a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
"Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to this conference report on the War Supplemental Appropriations. I wonder what happened to all of my colleagues who said they were opposed to the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I wonder what happened to my colleagues who voted with me as I opposed every war supplemental request under the previous administration. It seems, with very few exceptions, they have changed their position on the war now that the White House has changed hands. I find this troubling. As I have said while opposing previous war funding requests, a vote to fund the war is a vote in favor of the war. Congress exercises its constitutional prerogatives through the power of the purse. . . .Mr. Speaker, I continue to believe that the best way to support our troops is to bring them home from Iraq and Afghanistan. . . . Our continued presence in Iraq and Afghanistan does not make us safer at home, but in fact it undermines our national security. I urge my colleagues to defeat this reckless conference report."
When Ron Paul is your voice of reason?

You're in trouble.

(H/T to Glenn Greenwald for the firebell in the night.)


  1. This reminds me of the comments that Prof. Andrew Bacevich made at the recent CNAS powwow in DC.

    What exactly the good Mr Exum meant by "the political reality facing this administration" is left to our collective imagination, but I suspect it pretty much cuts to the chase . . . in other words we continue the war because we started it.

  2. While I agree with the sentiment, I'm not sure how it's practicle to eliminate supplementals since it's not possible to know exactly what is needed more than a year in advance.

  3. Andy: While the far end of the cost range may be hazy, we've been at this longer than we were fighting WW1, WW2 or Korea. Those Congresses managed to figure it out without even a Commodore or Atari between them.

    The honest way to do this would be to fund the 98% of the war costs in the annual and, if by some chance the Mahdi Rebellion broke out in May you could do a supplemental to cover the costs for that.

    If this was a one-time thing I'd understand but its not. Its the under-the-table way the Bushies funded this from the get go, and I will insist on calling shame on the Dems for not stopping it.

  4. FDChief... thanks for this:
    it is harder and harder to pretend that our federal political process is anything more than the elaborate rhetorical kabuki the Roman Senate indulged themselves in under the Caesars.

    Now that is some fine prose! And so, so true.

    Inside the Beltway Dome (TM), they have absolutely NO CLUE about the steady burn raging in fly-over land. Fires are burning on the left and right, yet the dancers in DC remain steadfastly committed to themselves alone. Not unlike the gather court in Medieval Versailles.

    I attribute it to the generations long, conservative led stupification of our young (e.g. intelligent design). Of course, it could simply be plain ol' greed, selfishness and arrogance of the (so-called) People's Servants. Either way, its unhealthy for our Republic to continue on the path they are taking.


    (PS - thanks for this new group blog. Newly added to my daily blogosphere rounds!)