January 9, 2007
-- by Dave Johnson
Well said: Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall,
The need for Congress to assert itself in such a case transcends the particulars of Iraq policy. It's important to confirm the democratic character of the state itself. The president is not a king.Senator Kennedy writes, Escalation: It's Not Up To Him,
Some have claimed that the president has the authority to escalate this war without the consent of House and Senate. They dismiss the possibility that Congress has a role to play stopping this president from leading us further into the quicksand in Iraq.
That may have been true when Republicans were in charge, but people elected Democrats to show some backbone. Congress is the voice of the American people, and it’s time those voices are heard in this debate.
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I just listened to Senator Kennedy's statesmanlike speech. I had to go to C-SPAN to hear it; it was not carried on national TV. He's exactly correct in what he's saying. What Bush (with Rove plotting the strategy, of course) is primarily intended as a ploy to get the Democrats on the defensive and let the American public know that we are powerless. What Kennedy proposes is that Bush be held accountable for his actions and justify what he proposes to Congress and the American people before being allowed to escalate the war. This was a brilliant speech and makes perfect sense to me. There's no reason why there shouldn't be an open debate about this.
My guess is that no one in the Dems wants a showdown, especially in an election year. The mostlikely outcome may be to start low on th totem pole with hearings, supeana docs and testimony from staff who will then be ordered to demur, hold them in contemp, the white house will counter, and the issues will move to the court - precisely whyh the white house has been so diligently stacking the court with jurists who favor strong executives (and we thought it was all about abortion).
The latest polls show about 49% of Americans would go along with an escalation in Iraq, given some conditions, so the WH is not completely out on a limb. the Dems know that and figure the people won't stand for an impeachment b y a party that promised to end the washington warfare.
Posted by: dr o at January 9, 2007 5:07 PM
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