House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is about to lead her party into a major showdown over Iraq funding by violating two Democratic campaign pledges in one fell swoop.
To the critics, whether anti-war activists or House Republicans, Pelosi has made her feelings clear: Get over it.
This week’s maneuvering over a $200 billion war spending bill has revealed Pelosi self-confidently playing what she believes — with increasing evidence — is a strong hand.
Strong enough that she is expected to break one promise — her 2006 pledge for a more open and inclusive committee process — by circumventing the powerful House Appropriations Committee on the Iraq bill.
And when the final Iraq bill reaches the president’s desk, any troop withdrawal conditions are likely to be gone from the legislation. That is another 2006 pledge that has fallen by the wayside.
Pelosi’s calculation, say political analysts, seems clear. Democrats are using the Iraq bill as leverage for billions of dollars in domestic spending priorities. As for anti-war activists, they seem to accept the speaker’s logic: More than 40 previous Iraq votes have left Democrats maxed out in terms of legislative efforts to dictate an end to the war over a veto-wielding President Bush.
Most of all, the early signs are that there will not be a backlash from voters. Democratic victories in recent special elections — Don Cazayoux in Louisiana and Bill Foster in Illinois — suggest that individual candidates are not suffering from the low public approval ratings that are afflicting the Democratic Congress.
House Republicans, protesting the bypassing of the Appropriations Committee, promise floor theatrics, with numerous floor votes when the Iraq bill comes for a House vote.
Captain Ed points out on Hot Air with the economy the number one issue this take Iraq off the schedule till after the election where a Dem congress and president would be able to dismantle the Iraq/Afghanistan war fronts(What? you think the Dems really care about Afghanistan?) If the GOP had halfway decent leadership they would move around to enchance this prospect to their favor, instead we have show votes as the answer. Another example of why new leadership is needed.