Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Democrat leaders get testy when called to account for their failure`

Professor Reynolds picked it up this morning from TNR's The Plank, and Allah posted the video. Needless to say, the lone, unnamed reporter who asked a most-pointed question doesn't get a real answer from them. But it's funny to watch Nancy and Harry spin. Transcript is posted below, with my comments included (in parenthesis). Go to Hot Air if you want to watch this. A note to readers about the video, it was slow to load for me.

REPORTER: Let me just ask, when you were swept into power in November, there were 130,000 troops there. There was then a surge, and now, what will take us up to prior to the next election, there will be 130,000 troops there ...

PELOSI: Maybe, maybe ...

REPORTER: So, to follow up on the question of 'do you have enough votes to do anything about that?' how do you view your stewardship in Congress as anything but a failure to make the president change course?

PELOSI: What a lovely, objective question on the part of of the press. (laughter) But, in any event, not asking your affiliation, the fact is this -- the press (Not sure about that word; it was difficult to make out) of the American people did not elect a new President of the United States. We don't have the signature pen. But what I will take credit for is that the Democratic majority in the Congress has changed the debate on Iraq in this country. And we will hold the administration accountable time and time again for their conduct in this war. We're as disappointed as the public is. But the president has a tin ear to their opinion on this war. But you cannot sustain a war of this level, for this length of time, for one year longer than World War II without the support of the public. And we will continue that fight.

(Just a history lesson here for Nancy. We entered World War II in December of 1941. For us, this is when the war began. The war ended in August of 1945. That's less than four years. We have been in Iraq a little over four years -- March 2003 to present -- and the "occupation" of Germany and Japan lasted until 1957 and 1952, respectively, according to history texts online. As for the support of the public, recent polls have shown an uptick in support of the mission on the heels of the surge report from General Petraeus and embeds that have spread that news. And in the idea that she changed the debate, she and her colleagues did no such thing. Rethinking the strategy for Iraq started prior to the election, and afterwords, the president spoke with his top military commanders about the use of counterinsurgency tactics to secure Baghdad and outlying areas.)

REID: Madam Speaker, I can't stand here without defending you. Us, this Democratic Congress has accomplished a great deal. For the first time since this war started we had hearings on Iraq. We were able to help unravel the scandal of how veterans are taken care of at Walter Reed. We passed the most sweeping ethics and lobbying reform in the country. Disaster relief, minimum wage, college loans, the most significant changes in higher education since the GI bill of rights. So, we apologize to no one. We're sorry we didn't have the support of Republicans. This war is the president's war. And the Republicans have bought this war hook, line, and sinker. We've had a few, uh, Republicans and I commend and applaud each one of them every chance I get, because once we got up to 57 votes, and we're going to try in our debate next week to pick up three more Republicans, and we're pleaing with them to come and join us and do the right thing for the country. No, we apologize to no one for trying. We've done our very best.

(The poor treatment of vets at Walter Reed has been known for years, and neither side really did much to change that. He can take credit for the minimum wage increase if he wants to, but it was the president that demanded disaster relief for Katrina, and the recent bridge collapse in Minnesota. The ethics and lobbying reform is a joke-and-a-half with regard to what it does. It has given those in Congress the cover to continue "business as usual," only without public scrutiny and behind closed doors. and it's crystal clear what Reid's intentions are. He wants those three votes to end the filibuster, but he forgets he needs 67 to override the president. 60 votes doesn't cut it Harry.)

Praise the reporter for asking the question, and shame the Democrat leaders by not answering it. The question was about their promise to withdraw troops from Iraq. It wasn't a request for a laundry list of legislation passed. The Democrats did vow to end the war, and in that regard, thankfully, they have failed miserably.

Publius II


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