Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The People Elected Democrats Because They Want Change. Is That OK With You Mr. President Sir?

Yes, you may have already had your day brightened by our whimsical portrayal of our hapless president, lost once again in a mess of his own making, posted below, but ever eager to please our reader (Hi Mom!) we come to you today from the Twofer Department here at IM Central, a wholly owned subsidy of the Boss Is Taking A Vacation Day Corporation.

Besides, the party that campaigned on saving America from the Bush administration has been put into power. You didn't think we could pass this up, did you?

Senior House Democrats, seeking to stick their noses further up the butts of members of their party from Republican-leaning districts, are pushing a plan that would place "restrictions" on president Bush's ability to wage the war in Iraq but would allow him to waive them if he says pretty please with sugar on top. "Look, we just got back into the big offices, you think we want to screw that up by actually doing something," asked one democratic senator who requested anonymity.

Under the proposal, Bush would be asked politely, and with all due respect to set a date to begin to talk about the date that troop withdrawals could be discussed in Congress if the Iraqi government fails to continually redefine benchmarks aimed at keeping American troops in Iraq until the second coming. "We can't get too aggressive about this," said one democratic congressional aide. "You don't know what it's like when the president sends Cheney over here."

The plan is an attempt to bridge the differences between Democrats who actually give a rip, led by John Murtha (D - Gonads) and Democrats wary of doing something that might be construed as actually corresponding to the major reason they were elected in the first place. "I signed a lease," said one newly elected democratic representative. "Plus, I don't want to screw up in my first term and not qualify for the pension."

The legislative hand wringing in the back rooms of Capitol Hill underscores the difficulties the Democrats face in confronting the issue that helped them regain control of Congress -- Iraq. "Come on, when we were all like 'end the war' before the election, we didn't mean you should take us seriously," said one aide to a democratic senator. "You say what you think will get you elected. That's how it works, right?"

Democrats hope the pretty please and "adjustable" benchmark proposals will keep the policymaking responsibilities on Bush. "Look, the guy's doing the best he can," said one democratic congressman from a republican district. "Give his surge a few years to work, that's what I say."

Anti war groups, such as the Service Employees International Union, MoveOn.org, Win Without War and the Iraq veterans group VoteVets -- insisted there would be more support for a straightforward approach to ending the war. "What do they know?" said a democratic senator who asked not to be named because "Cheney might read this. Those anti war people, they never had to run for election."

Democratic leaders are not likely to embrace a straightforward legislative timetable. But they hope the adoption of the "adjustable" benchmarks will win over antiwar groups. "Just give us five more years," said one democratic leader, "And then if it isn't working, we're out." When asked if he was proposing a withdrawal of troops in five years, he responded, "No. I mean I'll be vested in the health and pension plan by then, and then I'm out."

In the Senate, Democratic leaders are drafting a resolution that would drastically narrow the scope of the military mission in Iraq to that of a support role, with the emphasis on counterterrorism activities. "We'll be ready to go as soon as Cheney signs off on it," said one democratic senator on the committee.

Democrats intend to give Republicans broad latitude to offer their own Iraq-related measures. If Republicans go along, the result could be a remarkably meaningless and completely scripted "debate" -- but nothing of consequence is likely to pass. "What's your point?" asked one democratic representative.

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