Stand and deliver

“It is not our abilities that show us what we truly are, it is our choices.”
—Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban

Among Democrats, the apparent choice is to flip-flop more than a hooked salmon.

If you need proof of that, one need only look at all the twitching Democrats with attention deficit disorder who can’t decide whether they are (or were) for military action in Iraq—or not.

In 2002, they were for military action but “with reservations.” (Because, after all, they have to have a fallback position if things don’t go as planned.)

“See,” they claim, “we were for it, but that’s why we expressed reservations.”

Yet let’s recall that when William Jefferson Clinton occupied the White House, Democrats were all for it. (And you didn’t see Republicans carping that the president had lied about Iraq’s threat—despite the fact that Bill was looking for a distraction from all the attention he was getting for canoodling the hired help.)

As proof, note that the Iraq Liberation Act passed the House 360 to 38 and the Senate unanimously. (This is how Republicans act when they mean “bipartisan support.")

Now, many loud-mouthed Democrats who voted in favor of military action disclaim those votes because, as we all know, President Bush lied about the intelligence. (This is how Democrats act when they mean “bipartisan support.” Anyone see the difference?)

So, in what apparently passes for backbone among Democrats, out trots Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who, lo and behold, is a decorated Vietnam War veteran. Like many Democrats in Congress making the quantum leap from congressional representative to can-do-better-commander-in-chief, he concluded that “Iraq cannot be won militarily,” and then he introduced the following non-binding resolution, which reads in part:

“Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That:

Section 1. The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated, and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.

Section 2. A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S Marines shall be deployed in the region.

Section 3. The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.”

My first question is this: If our troops can no longer establish anything “militarily,” then why did the resolution call for an “over-the-horizon” military presence?

If it’s “just-in-case,” does that not suggest that it’s too early for troop withdrawals?

Although sensing that Democrats might actually “put up or shut up,” Republicans gave them the chance to stand and be counted for their convictions by advancing the following resolution of their own:

“Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.”

This was, of course, denounced as Republican trickery. The reason, you see, is that the redeployment of U.S. forces “at the earliest practicable date” is not “cut and run” and hence not the equivalent of “terminated immediately.” Or something to that effect.

And this would explain the reason it was voted down 460-3. Or perhaps not.

Just once, it would be nice to see the Democratic Party actually take a stand on something. Although that would require the development of something heretofore unheard among the coalition of the waffling: It’s called conviction.

Perhaps this would clarify the point: Does anyone question that, but for the terrorists (I mean insurgents), Democrats would be claiming the success in Iraq was due to their overwhelming bipartisan support?