« Angelina Jolie | Main | Understanding Christopher Dodd »

Understanding Dick Durbin

Can someone help me understand Dick Durbin's response to the president last night? What it sounded like to me was "The president either needs to send much more than 21,500 troops to Iraq or none at all, but sending 21,500 troops is definitely the most wrong decision to make!"

Where do we find such men?


Perhaps it's because 20,000 troops isn't anywhere near enough to even have a chance at accomplishing what Bush wants to do? Even Robert Gates says that close to 100,000 troops are necessary, but the bottom line is that WE DO NOT HAVE THEM. So what are you going to do, send 20,000 troops over there to be sitting ducks?

More to the point is the thought that struck me as I saw this fatuous ass stride to the microphone last night:

Can somebody tell me who the GOP spokesman was to rebut FDR's fireside chats in the 1930s and 40s?

Oh, that's right, they didn't have one.

Nor did Bob Taft speak after Harry Truman's speeches about Korea.

Nor did anyone after an LBJ "This is your president speaking..." moment.

What the hell is going on here? Durbin is allowed to rebut the POTUS on a wartime decision?

I don't care what party you support, this is just wrong.

Personally, I favor authorizing and funding the additional troops. That said, there is a logic that says that an additional 20,000 troops could just be enough to keep the stalemate going but not enough to bring security. Slow escalations also foster a dependency on United States forces. So it might be better to put (if we had them) 100,000 more troops now to try to bring real security, to really push them back and then keep them back while we put the Iraqi forces in place so we then can pull out.

I hope I'm wrong, but I think 20,000 is just enough to kick the can down the road so it doesn't all collapse while Bush is in office.

Still, I am favor of authorizing it. I don't have any confidence in Bush, but he's the President we got.

Mal, the rebuttal is something new, but I believe it has been in place for both parties for some time now. I also think that the Constitution allows Congress to rebut the POTUS on wartime decisions. If you remember, during FDR's time, Congress actually declared war before engaging in hostilities and Truman led an investigation of corruption in the military industrial complex when he was a senator.

New traditions do get developed in our democracy. Gerald Ford was the first sitting President to engage his challenger in formal debates and ever since this has been a tradition.

Some of us like the free flow of ideas and want our Congress to scrutinize and question Presidential authority, especially in matters of war and peace.

PE, you missed the point I was making.

The GOP was the opposition party during WWII, Korea and the escalation of Vietnam.

They had the ability to make speeches against the president's moves but (with the exception of MacArthur's deserved canning), kept quiet.

The president is commander-in-chief.

Whether one agrees with him or not, he calls the shots.

Dick Durbin does not.

If he wishes to rise on the senate floor the next day and dispute the decision, that's fine. To demand equal time immediately makes it seem that the president's speech was a political one when it clearly was not.

Like I said, there were not rebuttals to the State of the Union during FDR's time, nor were there Presidential debates either.

Regardless, in the case of the escalation of an existing deployment, what the President is doing is asking Congress to approve additional revenue.

What Dick Durbin did in his response was nothing compared to what Jefferson and the Democrat Republicans did to undercut President Adams during the Quasi War. Adams was the commander-in-chief but he didn't entirely "call the shots" as his fellow founding fathers (Jefferson, Hamilton, even Washington) all had their say. Not exactly the high point in American history, I understand, but the battles between the signers of the Declaration back then says to me that, under our constitution, no one man "calls the shots."

Post a comment