ENDING THE WAR….There’s no question that congressional opposition to the war is muddled. Cutting off funding would be the best bet to get us out of Iraq, but the votes aren’t there for that, and the current compromise (benchmarks and timelines) is murky and unsatisfying. Still, in a remarkable bit of bottom dredging, the LA Times managed this morning to find the worst possible reason for opposing the compromise bill:
Congress should not hinder Bush’s ability to seek the best possible endgame to this very bad war. The president needs the leeway to threaten, or negotiate with, Sunnis and Shiites and Kurds, Syrians and Iranians and Turks. Congress can find many ways to express its view that U.S. involvement, certainly at this level, must not go on indefinitely, but it must not limit the president’s ability to maneuver at this critical juncture.
As I recall, this was precisely the reason that a lot of liberals gave for supporting the original war resolution in 2002. In fact, I’ll bet the LA Times itself made that argument (and if I weren’t locked out of Nexis right now I’d check and see). [UPDATE: I bet wrong. They opposed the resolution.]
There are certain times and certain presidents for whom this might be a compelling argument. Pretty clearly, Iraq and George Bush aren’t among them. Surely by now we all realize that giving Bush the “ability to maneuver” is, in fact, just another name for staying in Iraq indefinitely?