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Matthew Hoy currently works as a metro page designer at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The opinions presented here do not represent those of the Union-Tribune and are solely those of the author.

If you have any opinions or comments, please e-mail the author at: hoystory -at- cox -dot- net.

Dec. 7, 2001
Christian Coalition Challenged
Hoystory interviews al Qaeda
Fisking Fritz
Politicizing Prescription Drugs

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Saturday, November 19, 2005
Who's playing politics with the Iraq war?: Answer: Democrats.

For the past several weeks the Democrats in Congress have been peddling the "Bush lied, people died" slander and calling for the immediate (and irresponsible) pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq.

The other day, Vietnam War vet and Democrat congressman John Murtha called for the "immediate" pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq. Murtha had previously described the war as "unwinnable." While much of the media described Murtha as a "hawk," he'd been at best wishy-washy on the war from the very beginning.

So, seeking to put the Democrats' rhetoric to the test, last night the Republicans in the House put the issue to a vote.

I didn't get to watch it, but from what I've read CSPAN made for good TV last night. Usually the TVs around the newsroom are tuned to either sports or cable news channels (and muted) on Friday night -- last night they were practically locked on CSPAN and occasional bursts of sound could be heard coming from speakers.

So, what happened? Well, the Democrats tried -- again -- to rewrite history by suggesting that Murtha wasn't suggesting an "immediate" withdrawl, but a "swift" one. (For an analysis of the "truth" of that claim, Discriminations has done some excellent reporting.)

In the end, the vote for an immediate withdrawl of troops from Iraq was 403-3 against. The three loony, but intellectually consistent, Democrats voting for were Jose Serrano (N.Y.), Robert Wexler (Fla.) and Cynthia McKinney (Ga.).

So, what is the bottom line? We're not to the point yet that Democrats feel they really can cut and run. The polls say the American people aren't happy with the way the war in Iraq is being run, but the public doesn't know how to fix it -- and neither do Democrats. The loony left base over at DUMB and DailyKos may support an immediate pullout, but that's not an acceptable answer -- even to the Democrats in Congress.

So, what do you call it when you hold press conference after press conference calling for something to be done, and then, when that very issue comes up for a vote, voting against it?

Playing politics.

With a war.

With American troops in the field.

Facing danger every day.

Democrats should be ashamed of themselves.

2:07 PM

The call for a vote by the Repubs was also a political ploy. If the only choices this nation has are to completely withdraw or continue the present course, then we are really in trouble. "Stay the course" isn't working and I suspect rapid withdrawal won't either. I wish this countries leaders could use their brain power and forget about getting re-elected or playing to their base. Try putting the country and our troops first.
So now its political to support both troops and their mission and to announce that support in the form of a vote, but its not playing politics to denounce their mission, their success thus far, state that they have failed and that the war that they are currently engaged in is not winnable. Its interesting, dims talk a good game, but to really vote on their beliefs, well, only McKinney will do that.
The GOP wasn't "putting the Dems' rhetoric to the test." They were playing politics, plain and simple. No one has a plan to get our service members out of Iraq in a timely fashion, but at least the Dems are doing what the minority party should be doing -- forcing a discussion on the issues where there otherwise wouldn't be one. It's fine to think we should all stand around and wait for W to come up with an exit strategy on his own, but he can't even come up with an exit strategy from a press conference!
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