Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The President won’t support the troops.

The President promises to veto the so-called “emergency” spending bill that will fund the continuing operations in Iraq. Four years into this war, how is it that we have an emergency lack of funds for the troops in harm’s way? Big Mitch remembers seeing a sign in a judge's chambers that said, “Poor planning on your part does not constitute an emergency.” But I digress.

King George has two gripes about the funding bill that is headed his way. First, there’s the pork that was added in to the bill to obtain passage. It is too easy for the mouthpieces of the Party of Bush to complain about subsidies for peanut farmers in a bill ostensibly to fund the war. They should remember that we have elected as many peanut farmers to the presidency as we have members of Congress in the last 30 years.

More directly to the point, the administration’s request for $100 billion contained only $50 billion for military operations. But I digress.

What people must realize is that without a little logrolling the bill to fund the war would not have passed. It is a reasonable interpretation of the last election – not to mention the polls – that people want the war to end, and that means now. In the face of that sentiment, which is fairly overwhelming in some blue districts, voting in favor of funds to perpetuate the war is a repudiation of what members were elected to do. Please pass the pork: a little lard greases the skids.

Vetoing the bill is a stupid thing to do and therefore, we should expect Dumb Dubya to do it. It’s time to ask the question that we should have asked before we toppled Saddam, viz, “What next?”

This Congress was elected to end the war, and the way to do it is to exercise the power of the purse. But King George and his loyal scriveners have a pretty good talking point in that the funds are necessary for the troops. Well, do you support the troops or don’t you?

It’s a phony argument, not that we are surprised to hear it from King George the Incompetent. It is he who is vetoing funding for the troops. In point of fact, the bill passed in the House of Representatives contains 53 billion for military operations, including Iraq, and the Senate bill contains $49 billion. The administration’s request was only for 50 billion for military operations, out of a total request of $100 billion.

All right, then. Let’s talk about how the cow ate the cabbage. [fn. 1]

Sadly, a lot of the troops are coming home with head injuries. What are we going to do about that? Traumatic brain injuries [TBI] are some of the most horrific non-fatal injuries of the war. They are intractable in the current state of medical knowledge and they rob the victims of their dignity and in some cases, their personality. There is no prosthesis for the brain.

At present, the best hope for finding a medical cure for TBI is in stem cell research. Let’s see a bill to fund the war, with a timeline, and instead of the pork that so offends the Chimp-in-Chief, let’s have funding for stem-cell research. Well, Dubya, do you support the troops, or don’t you?

When the president of the United States says that we must support the troops, it may be time to ask another famous question, which was first posed by Tonto, the Lone Ranger’s faithful companion when they found themselves surrounded by hostile Indians. The Lone Ranger looked at Tonto and said, “It looks like we are done for, old friend.” To which the noble Tonto replied, “What you mean ‘we,’ White Man?”

Who is the “we” that must support the troops? Is it the richest Americans who saw their share of the tax burden go down during this war? Why not send a bill to the President repealing some of the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans and use the funds to support the troops? Well, do they support the troops, or don’t they?

As Finley Peter Dunne observed, “Politics ain’t beanbag.” The Democrats have a tough row to hoe if they want to stop the war. But that’s why they were elected, and that’s why they get to pass out the big bucks. If they want to fulfill their responsibility, they have to be able to stand up to the phony attack that they don’t support the troops, and knock it down. If the President wants to keep vetoing bills to support the troops, send him some more of them.

Americans support the troops, and want them to come home on a timeline. Dubya doesn’t agree, and that’s why his approval rating is less than Sanjaya Malakar’s. That’s also why there’s a Congress led by the Democratic Party. It is their duty to let the public know that His Royal Codpiece is standing in the way of funding the troops because he doesn't want to bring them home.

“… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”

[fn. 1] “An expression to indicate the speaker is laying it on the line, telling it like it is, getting down to brass tacks - with the connotation of telling someone what he or she needs to know but probably doesn't want to hear. The expression has its roots in a story about an elephant that escaped from the zoo and wandered into a woman’s cabbage patch. The woman observed the elephant pulling up her cabbages with its trunk and eating them. She called the police to report that there was a cow in her cabbage patch pulling up cabbages with its tail. When the surprised police officer inquired as to what the cow was doing with the cabbages, the woman replied, ‘You wouldn't believe me if I told you!’” Source.

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