Thursday, May 24, 2007

No Surprise Dems had to compromise with Bush

While I'm sure there are those on the anti-war left who are furious right now -- Keith Olbermann's special comment on tonight's Countdown was nothing short of a temper tantrum that I'm sure is being repeated in lots of quarters tonight -- the fact of the matter is that this outcome, of the Democrats having to compromise with Bush on funding the Iraq war, was pre-determined on November 7, 2006 when Republican Bob Corker defeated Democrat Harold Ford Jr. in the race for the Tennessee U.S. Senate seat left open when Bill Frist retired; while Independent Joe Liebermann prevailed in retaining his Senate seat from Connecticut.

If either Ned Lamont or Ford were in the Senate right now, this compromise doesn't happen. Harry Reid doesn't have to worry that Liebermann might caucus with the Republicans if he, Reid, presses too hard to de-fund the war. If Ford is there, then Reid retains a majority even if Liebermann betrays the Democrats. If Lamont is there, then the Democrats have a true solid 51 seat majority instead of this 50 + Liebermann situation that is proving to be so unworkable. If both Lamont and Ford are there, then the Democrats have a 52-seat majority and can really raise some hell about Iraq.

So instead of venting his anger at Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, Keith Olbermann should instead vent at the voters in the states of Connecticut and Tennessee for creating the situation that allowed this to occur.

At the end of the day though, Olbermann should also place the blame on the more than 60 million Americans who voted for George W. Bush on November 2, 2004. Because in truth, what do we know now about George W. Bush and this war that we didn't know then? Nothing. If the American people didn't pick up on it fast enough, that's because they weren't paying attention to those of us who were trying to tell them to look beyond God, Gays and Guns and pay attention to an ill-advised and poorly executed war in Iraq, with our troops refereeing a Civil War that had no end in sight.

Elections have consequences. The American people, by putting the Democrats in the majority in Congress in 2006, attempted to have a "do-over" on the 2004 election. But it doesn't work that way. George W. Bush still has a veto pen and the bully pulpit of the Presidency and Karl Rove the spinmeister at his side because sixty million people voted to give them to him for four more years. The American people made their choice on November 2, 2004. Now they have to live with it until January 20, 2009. The best the Democratic majority can do, especially in the Senate where they do not have a true majority, is limit the damage that George W. Bush can do between now and then.

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