Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Dick Morris enourages President Bush to play games with funding the troops

Dick Morris's analysis of the current showdown between Congress and the President is that the President holds all the cards. Congress won't actually defund the war, so all he has to do is wait it out and remain intractable, and eventually Pelosi will be put in the embarrassing position of begging her coalition to vote for a bill to fund the war and making peace with the Republicans.
But the consequences for Pelosi of a retreat will be serious: She'll leave behind her the party's left - who will never vote for funding without also mandating withdrawal. Pelosi will have to scramble and craft a majority with a combination of Republican votes and support from the center of her own party.

The speaker will probably wind up having to vote against the majority of her Democratic members. That spectacle won't be healthy for her future authority or control.

If the Republicans are smart, they will let Pelosi hang by her own rope and will force her to break her party apart by twisting arms for every last vote to pass a funding bill.
I am not sure I agree with Morris the political whore's political judgment in this case. One thing you always wonder about with Morris the political whore is who is paying for his services. By now though Morris has a sugar daddy in the Republican Party which is why his sharp political senses can be counted on to discover that the Democrats are both immoral and stupid.

In this case I think he discounts institutional rivalry. President Bush has been thumbing his nose at congress for six years and it might well catch up with him. I think he also underestimates the desire of the American people to see this war end; but that's common among Republicans these days.

Morris believes that if the President and his allies in congress refuse to sign a troop funding bill until they've sufficiently humiliated Speaker Pelosi that the American people will interpret that as being Pelosi's fault. Color me doubtful.

What I find amusing about this situation is that Republicans have, for weeks now, been complaining that the constitutional power that Congress has, the one that not even the President questions, is the power of the purse. They can stop funding the war at any time. Now that it looks like we are closer to that option, well, maybe they want to question it after all.

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