Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Pelosi Throws in The Towel

God I wish that title meant what I thought it did when I first read it - it would be the first strong positive Democratic step in recovering control of our country.  Anyway...
Forum posts I agree with...
This shouldn't be any surprise to anybody. Nancy (one of our California traitors) could have gone down as one of the most important women in history by impeaching Bush/Cheney when she took the Speaker position. Instead she took the coward's way out. She should be ashamed to call herself an American.
Why would the democrats impeach when they have a man in power who is ruining his party's name for them? This is the best thing that ever could have happened to them, no way are they going to ruin that!   ...
I agree. And that's pretty much why Pelosi is behaving the way that she is. She doesn't give a damn about ending the Iraq War, because she realizes that if it continues to be the miserable foreign policy blunder that it is, her party will pretty much own Congress in 2008. If you ask me, she's just as crooked as Bush.
Yeah, because, screwing up the country for the sake of your party is a good and noble thing to do.
BLITZER: Let's talk about the war in Iraq. When you became speaker, you said, "Bringing the war to an end is my highest priority as speaker."


BLITZER: You've been speaker now for nine months.

PELOSI: Right.

BLITZER: The war, if anything, is not only continuing, but it's expanding. There's more troops now in Iraq than there were when you became the speaker. What are you going to do about that?

PELOSI: Well, we did, when we took office, we took the majority here. We changed the debate on the war. We put a bill on the president's desk that said that we wanted the redeployment of troops out of Iraq to begin in a timely fashion and to end within a year. The president vetoed that bill.

He got quite a response to that veto, and the Republicans in the Senate then decided he was never going to get a bill on his desk again. So we have a barrier and it's important for the American people to know that while I can bring a bill to the floor in the House, it cannot be brought up in the Senate unless there's a 60 vote, now 60 votes.

BLITZER: But you could in the House of Representatives use your power of the purse, the money, to stop funding the war if you really wanted to.

PELOSI: I wish the speaker had all the power you just describe. I certainly could do that. That doesn't bar the minority from bringing up a funding resolution. They have their parliamentary prerogative as well.

So what we have done is to send bills that limit the mission, to limit the time there, to redeploy the troops. And last week, I believe, was a turning point in the congressional debate on Iraq. I think we changed it going in by putting a bill on the president's desk.

Since May until now, we haven't been able to put something on the president's desk.

BLITZER: Because of the Senate. That's what you're saying.

PELOSI: Because of the Senate. The 60 votes.

But last week we were really optimistic that the Senate would at least support the readiness of our troops. The Webb resolution, Webb amendment to the defense bill was a resolution that said the guidelines of the Defense Department, the same amount of time in war, you have the same amount of time at home to regroup, to retrain, to recover, to be with your family.

BLITZER: It didn't have enough votes.

PELOSI: When they rejected that -- it had enough votes to pass and in a bipartisan...

BLITZER: But not to beat a filibuster.

PELOSI: But it did not have enough votes to be heard, to be heard so that a majority, a bipartisan majority of the Senate could have sent this to the president's desk. We have been trying to reach out, as the American people want us to do, in a bipartisan way, to build a bipartisan consensus to redeploy the troops out of Iraq safely and soon.

BLITZER: You know your base is really frustrated. Really angry...

PELOSI: I'm frustrated myself.

BLITZER: ... that this war continues. And they say you should be doing more, and that's reflected in what former Senator John Edwards, the Democratic presidential candidate, repeatedly says.

He says this. He says, "Congress must stand up to President Bush and pass a funding bill with a timetable for withdrawal. If the president vetoes that bill, Congress must send it back again and again, as many times as it takes for the president to finally get the message that he can't defy the American people."

Why didn't you do that?

PELOSI: I completely concur. But I just said to you we did that, we sent it to the president, he vetoed it. Any further attempts to do that have been met by the 60-vote barrier in the United States Senate.

Now, I'll be the last person to give you a civics lesson about what that means. But what it does mean is that the Republicans in the Senate have now taken ownership of the war in Iraq. It was President Bush's war. And now it is the Republicans' in Congress war.

And that marks a big turning point for us because we had hoped to have bipartisanship in redeploying the troops out of Iraq, to do so in a timely fashion. Now we have a loss of life that continues, a loss of readiness to our military, which harms our ability to protect America wherever our interests are threatened. We have lost money...

BLITZER: So, are you telling your angry base out there in the Democratic Party that wants to see this war over with, wants to see the U.S. troops home, that you, as speaker, there's nothing you can do, you have to just throw your hands up and say...

PELOSI: No. I didn't say that at all.

BLITZER: ... given the legislative problems in the Senate and the president's stubborn refusal to back down, that there's nothing that you can do?

PELOSI: How could you have ever gotten that impression?

BLITZER: All right, well, tell us... PELOSI: What I have said, for those who pay attention, is that we will hold this administration accountable time and time again for the conduct of this war in Iraq. I have to discuss how we went in on a false premise. That's well-known to the American people. What we do have to do is to show them every step of the way how the president is taking us farther down a path in which it is going to be harder to redeploy out of Iraq, and so whether it is...

BLITZER: But holding the president accountable, I just want you to explain, what does that mean? Besides just complaining and holding hearings? Specifically, is there anything else you can do?

PELOSI: Well, holding hearings and the oversight that we have on the corruption in contracting in Iraq, the hearings that we're holding and the harm to the readiness of our troops that the president is causing with his obstinance in this war in Iraq.

The retired generals tell us about if we want to talk about stability in the region -- and that's what we're talking abut here. How do we bring -- how do we have a vision of stability in the region?

Democrats are saying our vision for stability in the region begins with the redeployment of troops out of Iraq, and the generals say you cannot have stability in the region until you deploy the troops out of Iraq.

And the generals say you cannot have stability in the region until you redeploy the troops out of Iraq.

So what we're saying is now, with what happened in the past two weeks with General Petraeus' presentation and what happened on the Webb resolution in the Senate, that the Republicans are committed to a 10-year war in Iraq with the highest level of troop presence there, with permanent bases.

The Democrats are proposing a redeployment out of Iraq, a greatly diminished mission there, out of the civil war, protect our diplomats and protect our troops who are there, fight the Al Qaida.

And if we have to train the troops -- if we have to continue to train the Iraqi security forces, we can do -- it doesn't have to be in country and it doesn't have to be all-American. That can be done out of country.

So we're talking about a greatly diminished force there and a redeployment that's safe and responsible within the next year. The president is talking about 10 years and then after that, a Korea-like presence in perpetuity. That's the choice.

BLITZER: And I just want to be precise. Impeachment -- that whole notion which some of the base clearly would like -- that's off the table.

PELOSI: I've always said that impeachment is off the table. This is President Bush's war. It's Vice President Cheney's war and now it's become the war of the Republicans in Congress.



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