Many Democrats are running around today believing they actually stood up to the GOP last night and won a battle. Am I missing something? Perhaps I'm just too myopic to see and enjoy the spoils of this 'victory.' I guess I have a whole different take on what went down in the House last night.
The Republican-sponsored non-binding resolution was defeated 403-3 (just three Democrats voted for it). The measure was crafted as a means of proving that there's little support for Rep. John Murtha's (D-PA) call Thursday to quickly bring the troops home and end the war in Iraq. This is a huge Republican win.
Granted, the precise wording of the Republicans' bill was different than the exact plan Murtha outlined this week, but that's secondary to the main point. Is there really a difference in true government time between "immediately" and "six months?" And besides, the typical American will not read the fine print of either proposal. To them, it's simply an issue of ending the war or perpetuating it. Sadly, they'll see ours as a vote for the latter.
The real bravery, the real excitement, would've been with each and every Democrat taking the podium and giving a spirited, impassioned plea to their colleagues across the aisle to join them in a yes vote and heed the request of the American majority that now wants us out of this quagmire. They could've voted yes on this non-binding measure and demanded that Republicans work out the subsequent details with them. Put the pressure on the Republicans. Force them to respond to America. The Democrats could've used this unbelievable opportunity in the national spotlight to stress how it was more important for them last night to vote with America than to play political games with the GOP. It would've been a major public-relations coup for the left and a major embarrassment for the right had only Democrats voted for a Republican-sponsored bill. The Dem's would've shown character, integrity and resolve, while the Republicans would've looked like manipulating partisan thugs playing political games with the lives of America's sons and daughters. Instead, we took a seat at the game table. And the attack machine will use our votes against us in the future in the most underhanded way as always. And the war goes on. And that's my point.