This weeks Iraq debate in the House has if nothing been highly illuminating. Republican after Republican came forward and proved without a shadow of a doubt - that they truly think the American public is fucking stupid.
Non-binding though it may be, this resolution - which ultimately passed 246 to 196 - forced both Democrats and Republicans to put their cards on the table, and the Repubs had nothing in their hand but empty rhetoric, outright lies and paranoid delusions.
But then again we've come to expect nothing less from the party of perpetual bullshit have we not?
This time, as they have so frequently in the past, they did not fail to disappoint our lowest possible expectations.
First off we have the hypocracy that this resolution, being non-binding is "meaningless" while at the same time it would send a "devastating message" to the troops and our enemies - demoralizing the former while emboldening the latter.
Sorry guys but both of these opinions can not be true at the same time.
And specifically when it comes to "Supporting the Troops" the Bill actually states the following.
(1) Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honorably in Iraq;
But it also says...
(2) Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.
During the debate we had Rep Don Young (R-AK) who insisted on using a quote from Lincoln condemning congressmen who criticize the war.
"Congressmen who willfully take action during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs, and should be arrested, exiled or hanged."
Too bad that Lincoln never said that. PNAC/Neo-con Frank Gaffney falsely attributed the quote to Lincoln in the Mooney Times and Young, so far, refuses to take it back because the Times has yet to admit Gaffney's fuck up.
Then we had Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-FL) who decided it would be a good idea to quote Larry the Cable Guy and say we need to "Get 'er Done" in Iraq. Well yes, Ginny we do - problem is sending 20,000 more troops into a Civil War meat grinder without first working out a diplomatic solution and without proper equipment is only going to Get THEM Done, not help Iraq or our troops.
And then of course we had Rep Virgil Goode (R-VA) who claimed...
supporting the anti-escalation resolution would "aid and assist the Islamic jihadists who want the crescent and star to wave over the Capitol of the United States and over the White House of this country." Moreover, he said, "I fear that radical Muslims who want to control the Middle East and ultimately the world would love to see ‘In God We Trust’ stricken from our money and replaced with ‘In Muhammad We Trust'
Ok, so not only is this guy a raging bigot - he's a nitwit too. Muhammad is not the equivelent for God in Islam - he's the equivelent for Jesus, whom Muslims also revere as a wise profit. The correct analogy would have been "In Allah We Trust" - but since Allah is merely the Islamic word for "God", and the God of Islam is actually the same God worshipped by both Jesus and Abraham it would really make no significant difference in meaning. It's would just be a translation, like saying it in Spanish or German.
And we all do remember that Virgil Goode is the Representative who also attacked the election of Muslim Rep Keith Ellison (D MN) to the House, right?
"I fear that in the next century we will have many more Muslims in the United States if we do not adopt the strict immigration policies that I believe are necessary to preserve the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America."
You mean "traditional" beliefs such as freedom of religion ala the 1st Amendment of the Constitution? Aparently not.
And it's not just the Republicans in the House who think the American public has an IQ lower than a puddle of phlem - it's also Michele Malkan who's "skeptical of anything that has Bill of Rights tacked on to it".
And Sean Hannity whose decided he's going to prove that Al Gore is a Big Fat Carbon Poluting Hypocrit - even if he has to make shit up to prove it.
But all of this is just a prelude to the real battle brewing just over the horizon. The fight over the so-called "Slow Bleed" strategy. At least according to the RNC.
The Democrat [sic] strategy on Iraq is finally clear.
We've known all along that they want to cut and run before the job is done. But they've been afraid to confront President Bush directly. [Yeah, right! They just did that yesterday!] Today, Democrat [sic] Rep. John Murtha let slip what he and Nancy Pelosi really intend to do, and it is genuinely frightening.
They call it their 'slow-bleed' plan. Instead of supporting the troops in Iraq, or simply bringing them home, the Democrats intend to gradually make it harder and harder for them to do their jobs.
'Slow-bleed' is exactly the right name for this incredibly irresponsible and dangerous strategy. Cutting and running is bad enough. But the Murtha-Pelosi 'slow-bleed' plan is far worse. It is a cynical and dangerous erosion of our ability to fight the terrorists while we still have men and women on the ground in Iraq. It will put their lives in far greater danger, as resources slowly dry up. How can our troops operate without bases? How can they fight without backup?
'Slow-bleed' cannot become law. Luckily, we have an opportunity to stop it. The Murtha plan depended on stealth. Now, however, the press has broken the story. And now we can act.
Contary to the RNC's bullcrap - Nancy Pelosi has signed on the John Murth'a binding resolution to require that our troops have the proper training, equipment and rest between tours that they need to do their jobs effectively and safely -- and that they shouldn't and can't be deployed without all the above.
Now, just who in their right mind would want our troops deployed without proper equipement for extended periods without proper rest or healthcare or...? Wait, hold on - I think I know the answer to that one and being in their "right mind" certainly has nothing to do with it.
At least five Republicans repeated this "Slow Bleed" smear on the House floor during the debate. Deborah Pryce (R-OH), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), and Adam Putnam (R-FL).
But when it comes to actually supporting the troop not with empty rhetoric but with actually useful items such as armor and healthcare Republicans have fallen shamefully short. The Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran for America (IAVA) ranks most Republicans very badly according to their voting records for helping provide the troops with what they need to do their jobs.
Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite has a "C" ranking.
Rep. Virgil Goode has a "C".
Rep. Don Young has a "C+".
And the smearers?
Deborah Pryce - C+
Roy Blunt - C
Thaddeus McCotter - C+
Jeb Hensarling - D+
Adam Putnam - C+
These guys are "Supporting the Troops?" Really? Too Bad The Troops don't seem to think so.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi has an "B+" and Rep. John Murtha has a "B" rating from IAVA.
But the real test is to look at the IAVA "F-Troop" which is all Republicans (including Patrick McHenry, and former FBI Director Jeff Sessions) compared to their "A Team" which - you guessed it - is nearly all Democrats (including Steny Hoyer, Chris Dodd, Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton).
Now we can see why Mitch McConnell was so desperate not to have this debate in the Senate.
The American People have stopped buying this snake-oil for some time now, but the Republicans - to their eternal detriment - continue to keep peddling it. Probably because, they simply haven't got anything better to offer but fear-mongering, hate, paranoia and lies.
Oh, and for the record - we're not stupid.