Opposing the Surge

OPPOSING THE SURGE….It appears that at least some Democrats are getting serious about opposing the surge with more than just a nonbinding resolution:

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) announced legislation today capping the number of troops in Iraq at roughly 130,000, saying that lawmakers should take an up-or-down vote on President Bush’s plan to send additional troops to the country and not settle for the non-binding resolution several Senate leaders prefer.

….Dodd released his legislation on a day when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), in a series of interviews on morning television, endorsed troop limits and a possible cutoff of funds to the Iraqi government if it fails to meet security benchmarks.

….Clinton, in her television interviews, said she wanted to cap the number of troops and also cut funding to the Iraqi government — “for the training of their military, for the protection of the leaders, for economic reconstruction assistance” — unless it makes progress on rebuilding its security forces and policing the country.

“I am opposed to this escalation,” Clinton said on CBS News’s “The Early Show.”

I’m opposed to the escalation too, but these moves by Dodd and Clinton actually strike me as the worst of all possible worlds. Legislation to get us out of Iraq would be a fine idea. Legislation to reinstitute the draft and send 200,000 more troops to Iraq would be a horrible idea, but would at least have some internal consistency. But legislation that essentially locks in place the status quo? That really makes no sense at all. If there’s anything we can be absolutely sure of, it’s the fact that the status quo isn’t working.

Democrats should either go the political route and pass a nonbinding resolution, or they should pull up their socks and support legislation that defunds the war and sets a timetable for withdrawal. There’s really no way to triangulate out of this.