Monday, April 02, 2007

Kos disses Obama

Kos hits Obama for telling USA Today that "nobody wants to play chicken with our troops on the ground." Possibly Kos has a point on the politics, but he is definitely wrong on the policy.

Here is Sen. Obama:
Given that Bush is determined to veto a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, Congress has little realistic choice but to approve money for the war, Obama said.

"I think that nobody wants to play chicken with our troops on the ground," said Obama. "I do think a majority of the Senate has now expressed the belief that we need to change course in Iraq.

"Obviously we're constrained by the fact that a commander in chief who also has veto power has the option of ignoring that position," Obama said.
Kos calls this "surrender[ing]" to Bush. Is it?

The reality is that Democrats don't have the strength in the Senate to force the president to withdraw troops from Iraq. Period. They don't have the votes to override Bush's veto of the war funding bill.

Because Kos thinks the political theater favors Democrats, he favors any and all kabuki confrontation. And there is political value in passing a popular bill and forcing the president to veto it, which Democrats have been doing. But at some point the important thing will become choosing the next president, who will be tasked with truly, finally bringing the war to an end. Obama isn't out of line to say that.

And in the same interview, Obama also said he wants to "ratchet up pressure" both on Bush and the senators who vote with him:
[T]he American people have to continue to put pressure on their representatives so that at some point we may be able to get a veto-proof majority for moving this war in a different direction.
Not very surrender-y! Like it or not, voting pro-war politicians out of office is finally the best weapon war opponents have.

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