Saturday, November 19, 2005

Down Goes The Murtha Proposal

The House defeated the Murtha proposal for the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq 403 to 3 last night.

This result is anything but surprising, but the debate that led up to the vote was of great importance. The debate revealed the incoherence of the Dems' rhetoric about the war in Iraq, and saw many Democratic representatives flustered, exhausted, and angry. It can be tiring defending an illogical stance on anything.

The debate was one of the fiercest the House has ever seen, as it should have been. It's quite exciting to see the GOP battling it out the way they should as the majority party. We can only hope that there's more where this came from.

A final thought on the vote: how do you think the anti-war/MoveOn.org crowd is feeling today? It has to be rough getting only three votes after all those anti-war rallies recently. I wonder if maybe they'll give up.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The Murtha Resolution

The House has planned a vote on Congressman Murtha's proposal to immediately withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.

This is a very savvy move by the Republicans in the House, and it is the kind of move they need to be making as the congressional majority. In forcing the issue of pulling out of Iraq to a vote, the GOP are putting a lot of pressure on the Dems. Rather than hiding behind a shield of rhetoric, the Dems will have to go public with their stance on the war.

If the Dems vote in favor of the Murtha resolution and immediate withdrawal, they are displaying their cut-and-run mentality for the public to see. The Dems who vote for the Murtha resolution will be admitting to the American public their defeatist position on Iraq. They will be exposed on record.

If the Dems vote against the Murtha resolution, they will no longer be able to lament about the administration's policy for Iraq. To vote against the Murtha resolution is to concede that the president and the Republican party are right about the fact that staying in Iraq is the best policy for winning the war.

Furthermore, the Dems who vote against the Murtha resolution will lose credibility with their big donators of the MoveOn.org/Howard Dean-loving left, as well as a decent portion of their base (if the AP polls about withdrawing from Iraq are correct). In any regard, this move by the GOP is a strong one that puts the Dems in a seemingly no-win situation.

No End But Victory is live-blogging the proceedings of the debate on the vote. Keep tracking to see who says what, and who votes how. This vote will be one of the most important points in the war.

Warm Fuzzies

Via The Washington Times:
Democrats said yesterday that Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s confirmation is not guaranteed as senators kept the focus on a 20-year-old document in which the Supreme Court nominee asserted that the Constitution "does not protect a right to an abortion."

"Even at this early stage, I have a number of significant concerns," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said yesterday.

Among the Nevada Democrat's concerns were that Democrats weren't consulted on the nomination, as well as Judge Alito's 20-year-old claim to be a conservative.
The fact that Harry Reid has some "significant concerns" about Judge Alito should give conservatives a lot to be happy about. Any nominee that doesn't sit well with Harry Reid is probably a good one for Republicans, and while the top Dems have begun to offer tough rhetoric about fighting Alito's confirmation, they only do it in order to satisfy their extreme left base.

Their is no reason for GOPers to be worried. As I noted when he was nominated, Alito should get confirmed regardless of what the left does.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Responses To The Senate Debacle

Although John McCain seems to suffer from a disease causing him to consistently get domestic issues wrong, he was right on the mark on Iraq in today's New York Post. In an editorial for the Post, McCain very correctly slammed the Senate's amendment on withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Key graphs:
Anyone reading the amendment gets the sense that the Senate's foremost objective is the draw-down of American troops. What it should have said is that America's first goal in Iraq is not to withdraw troops, but to win the war. All other policy decisions we make should support, and be subordinate to, the successful completion of our mission.

Morality, national security and the honor our fallen deserve all compel us to see our mission in Iraq through to victory.

A date is not an exit strategy. To suggest that it is only encourages our enemies, by indicating that the end to American intervention is near. It alienates our friends, who fear an insurgent victory, and tempts undecideds to join the anti-government ranks.

Think about this for a moment. Imagine Iraqis, working for the new government, considering whether to join the police force, or debating whether or not to take up arms. What will they think when they read that the Senate is pressing for steps toward draw-down?

Are they more or less likely to side with a government whose No. 1 partner hints at leaving?

The Senate has responded to the millions who braved bombs and threats to vote, who put their faith and trust in America and their government, by suggesting that our No. 1 priority is to bring our people home.

We have told insurgents that their violence does grind us down, that their horrific acts might be successful. But these are precisely the wrong messages. Our exit strategy in Iraq is not the withdrawal of our troops, it is victory.
The point made by McCain is a very good one. Since radical Islamic terrorists initiated their jihad against the America and the West, they have operated under the assumption that they will eventually wear us down and outlast us. The terrorists have been convinced that Americans cannot stomach the constant barrage of attacks against civilians for very long, so we will eventually give in. That is precisely the message that the Senate is sending with the resolution passed on Monday.

The Senate's resolution, along with its legislation giving enemy combatants the ability to appeal to U.S. federal courts, has given the insurgents in Iraq and al-Qaida operatives across the globe the incentive to fight for just that much longer, in the hopes that America's resilience will crack, leaving us defeated in the war on terror. With the Senate's resolution comes a slight glimmer of hope that America can be defeated, and any hope for our enemy is not good for American troops.

The Senate resolution is competely counter-productive to our efforts in the war, and it is striking to see that so many GOP Senators have failed to realize this. The resolution means prolonging the war on terror and our other enemies, it means more American soldiers will lose their lives, and it means that the Senate doesn't care that they are demoralizing our troops.

The longer these actions of the Senate stay on the books, the more detrimental they will be to the war effort. The Senate's resolution must be repealed, or at least replaced with a strong statement of support for the president, the war, and the troops. The sooner this happens, the better. But in the meantime, we must continue to express our dissatisfaction with those Senators who voted for this resolution, especially Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and Armed Services Chairman John Warner.

Tell them to get a backbone. Demand that they show some fortitude and take the right course of action. Order them to start acting like Republicans, and to do the job that the base put them their to do.

For starters, get behind Alito's nomination to the SCOTUS, and show support for conservative judicial nominees. Join President Bush and Vice President Cheney's push back at the Dems' and the MSM's false and irresponsible criticism of the administration on Iraq. Get the debate going on the need for tax cuts and start drafting legislation to make it happen. And don't cave to the Democrats when you are the majority in both houses.

You have a job to do as Senators of the GOP, so start doing it.

Fitzgerald To Drop The Charges?

Just One Minute wonders, in light of Woodward's admission, if Patrick Fitzgerald will now admit that he was wrong about indicting Scooter Libby.

I highly doubt that Fitzgerald will give in, especially since he has wrapped himself this deeply in the case. But that's the problem when you bring a charge against someone with partisan motives. Fitzgerald will refuse to give up just because he wants so badly to damage the reputation of someone tied to the administration, whether or not its Libby or Rove.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Cheney Joins The "Push Back"

"The President and I cannot prevent certain politicians from losing their memory, or their backbone – but we're not going to sit by and let them rewrite history."
This statement comes from the vice president's speech that picks up the theme of the Democrats' false and irresponsible criticism of the administration on Iraq. Read the text of the whole statement, it isn't long, but it continues to further the "push back" against the Dems' attempts to rewrite history.

As I noted in the post below about Ken Mehlman's email, the more that Republicans can put this message out to the American public, the less credibility the Dems have, and the more obvious it should be that they should not be given the responsibility of governing.

PorkBusters Update

Via Instapundit: According to Andrew Roth the budget alloted for funding Alaska's bridge to nowhere has been rescinded.

In case you've forgotten what PorkBusters is all about, here's all you need to know.

Also, NZ Bear has a comprehensive summary of the progress that's been made with PorkBusters.

Woodward Comes Clean

Bob Woodward apologized to the Washington Post for withholding knowledge of the CIA-leak involving Valerie Plame.
Bob Woodward apologized today to The Washington Post's executive editor for failing to tell him for more than two years that a senior Bush administration official had told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame, even as an investigation of those leaks mushroomed into a national scandal.

Woodward, an assistant managing editor and best-selling author, said he told Leonard Downie Jr. that he held back the information because he was worried about being subpoenaed by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special counsel in the case.

"I apologized because I should have told him about this much sooner," Woodward said in an interview. "I explained in detail that I was trying to protect my sources. That's Job No. 1 in a case like this...

"I hunkered down. I'm in the habit of keeping secrets. I didn't want anything out there that was going to get me subpoenaed."
Woodward's admission has a wide range of ramifications. One important thing that the admission does is make clear that the White House official who leaked Plame's name was not Libby, and it doesn't appear to be Karl Rove either. This greatly helps Libby's legal battles.

And if anything, the admission shows Woodward to be guilty of the same sort of cover-ups that the left is so paranoid about. While they come up with conspiracies about the administration, the radical left needn't look further than its own Bob Woodward.

This is a nightmare for the left. This sort of cover-up is exactly what they accuse the right of, but believe themselves to be completely above. And we now see this is certainly not the case.

Democrats: Dishonest On Iraq

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman sent out this email today:
Dear ________

It's time to set the record straight about Iraq. That's why we've released this new web video, "Democrats: Dishonest on Iraq."

Watch, and you'll see Senator Hillary Clinton talking tough when it came time to confront Saddam, saying "I can support the President, I can support an action against Saddam Hussein because I think it's in the long-term interests of our national security ..." Or Howard Dean calling Iraq an "international outlaw." Or House minority leader Nancy Pelosi stating unequivocally, "Saddam Hussein certainly has chemical and biological weapons. There's no question about that."

Watch Democrat after Democrat on tape, reaching the same conclusion the President reached about Iraq.

Now that the politics have changed, those Democrats are trying to rewrite history. We welcome a robust debate about the conduct of the war. But for these Democrats to make politics their bottom line, abandoning their long-held positions when times get tough, sends the wrong message to the Iraqi people and to the terrorists. Whatever the politics in Washington, our troops need to know that our will is strong, our nation is united, and we will defeat this enemy.

Be a part of setting the record straight by watching the video on Republicanvictoryteam.com, and sending it to your friends and family. You are where this Democrat dishonesty ends.

Sincerely,

Ken Mehlman
Chairman, Republican National Committe
The more the RNC and the president can do to get this case out to the American public, the better it is for the administration, as well as the Republican party. By hammering home the point of the Democrats' fickleness on the war in Iraq, the administration can ensure that the MSM does not misconstrue the truth of the situation.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

So Much For Loyalty

Senate Republicans caved in today, and there is no other way to put it.

GOP Senators helped to pass a resolution that calls for the administration to “explain to Congress and the American people its strategy for the successful completion of the mission in Iraq.” The resolution also requires the President to provide reports on U.S. foreign policy and military operations in Iraq every three months, until all U.S. combat troops have been withdrawn.

So much for loyalty. The president’s “allies” in the Senate have sold him out with this legislation.

It won’t be long before the left’s propaganda machine starts declaring the Senate GOP as converts who have “realized their error in judgment.” MSM journalists will surely write that with this “rebuking” of the administration by Frist and Warner and the rest of the Senate Republicans who voted for the resolution is a sign of diminishing support for the war.

John Kerry has already come out talking this way, telling his followers that Republican sponsorship of the Iraq war is crumbling.


This collapse by the GOP Senators is simply stunning, and it is definitely illogical. Consider Secretary Rumsfeld’s reactions to the Senate’s call for “reports” from the administration: (HT: Hugh Hewitt)
On the matter of keeping Congress informed, the secretary said that the "Department of Defense and the Department of State send literally dozens of Iraqi-related reports to Congress each year already" and that the Pentagon alone sends Congress "I don't know, it's something over 900 reports total every year" on an array of subjects.

"I hope someone reads them," Mr. Rumsfeld said.
The administration has to be wondering what exactly Frist and Warner and company are thinking, just as I am.

Captain Ed over at Captain’s Quarters does not share my concern,but instead offers a very hopeful interpretation of the situation. I can’t agree with his argument, however, because I feel it is just that: very hopeful.

Thus the recent bad behavior by the GOP in the Senate is severely upsetting. This legislation on the war is only the latest in a series of un-Republican moves by these GOP senators. Bryan Preston sums it up well:
All of this makes me wonder, how much worse would a Democrat senate majority really be? The GOPers spend too much, they killed ANWR drilling again, and they're making moves on the war that are at least head-scratchers and probably counterproductive to actually winning the war. This is libDem stuff, not bedrock conservatism or even common sense. The only thing the Democrats could do that would be worse would be to cut off funding of the war entirely. Which is what some Democrat senators want to do.

This legislation makes me wonder if many Republicans aren't far behind them.
In any case, Sen. Frist and the other Republican Senators who backed the resolution on Iraq need to know how wrong of a move this was. Tell them.

UPDATE:
Captain Ed has changed his mind, and now sees a problem with the Senate's passage of this resolution.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The President Strikes Back: Take Two

Earlier today, President Bush gave a speech at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska. In today's speech, he restated his points from his speech last week, criticizing the Dems for trying to rewrite history, and laying out his strategy for winning the war against radical Islamic terrorists.

Correspondingly, the speach boiled down to two parts: the first part, addressed to the terrorists, outlining the threat they posed and noting what must be done to stop them, and the second part, addressed to the Democrats, exposing their attempts to rewrite the history of the war in Iraq and urging them to stop playing politics with the war.

Some key graphs from today's speech, first in regards to the terrorists:
In Afghanistan, we put the terrorists on the run, we routed them, and now they've set their sights on another country. They're trying to turn Iraq into what Afghanistan was under the Taliban -- a terrorist sanctuary from which they can plan and launch attacks against our people. The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in their war against humanity. And we must recognize Iraq as the central front in the war on terror.

These militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow moderate governments in the region, and establish a radical Islamic empire that reaches from Indonesia to Spain. If they are not stopped, the terrorists will be able to advance their agenda to develop weapons of mass destruction, to destroy Israel, to intimidate Europe, to break our will and blackmail our government into isolation. I make you this solemn commitment: That's not going to happen so long as I'm the President of the United States. (Applause)
And now his comments directed towards the Democrats:
Reasonable people can disagree about the conduct of the war, but it is irresponsible for Democrats to now claim that we misled them and the American people. Leaders in my administration and members of the United States Congress from both political parties looked at the same intelligence on Iraq, and reached the same conclusion: Saddam Hussein was a threat.

Let me give you some quotes from three senior Democrat leaders: First, and I quote, "There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons." Another senior Democrat leader said, "The war against terrorism will not be finished as long as Saddam Hussein is in power." Here's another quote from a senior Democrat leader: "Saddam Hussein, in effect, has thumbed his nose at the world community. And I think the President is approaching this in the right fashion..."
The pre-war, bipartisan agreement on intelligence regarding Iraq is a great talking point for the president, and one the American people must continue to hear. Yet there is an even more compelling point the president makes:
Some of our elected leaders have opposed this war all along. I disagreed with them, but I respect their willingness to take a consistent stand. Yet some Democrats who voted to authorize the use of force are now rewriting the past. They are playing politics with this issue and they are sending mixed signals to our troops and the enemy. And that's irresponsible.

As our troops fight a ruthless enemy determined to destroy our way of life, they deserve to know that their elected leaders who voted to send them into war continue to stand behind them. (Applause.) Our troops deserve to know that this support will remain firm when the going gets tough. (Applause.) And our troops deserve to know that whatever our differences in Washington, our will is strong, our nation is united, and we will settle for nothing less than victory. (Applause.)
This speech is another great step by the president towards debunking the information spread by the MSM and leading Democrats. Presiden Bush must continue to expose the fickleness of the Dems in their views on the war, and simply keep pounding away at his message about the war on terror. The more he does it, the less the MSM can wrongly influence the American public.

The Stakes Are Raised For Alito

The Washington Times' Bill Sammon offers a very big story this morning:
Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, wrote that "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion" in a 1985 document obtained by The Washington Times.

"I personally believe very strongly" in this legal position, Mr. Alito wrote on his application to become deputy assistant to Attorney General Edwin I. Meese III.

The document, which is likely to inflame liberals who oppose Judge Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court, is among many that the White House will release today from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
This 1985 document confirms what most of the GOP assumed when Alito became the president's most recent nomination to the SCOTUS: that the he is a solid conservative Judge.

His statement in the 20 year old document does not guarantee his vote to overturn Roe v. Wade or Planned Parenthood v. Casey, however, but it does give a decisive stance on how Alito reasons about the abortion issue, and it does make an overturning vote likely.

With this prospect now out in the open, this nomination takes on much greater importance for the left. If the pro-abortion stance of the left is as important as they say it is, then the Dems must seek to block Alito's nomination. Yet this would greatly change the precedent for the confirmation process of judicial nominees.

One of the benefits of Alito's 15 year service of the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals is his long, undeniably sound judicial track record. To block the nomination, the Democrats would essentially be disregarding this record, along with Alito's other qualifications, and denying him confirmation on the grounds of his ideology. They would have to openly admit to a position implying that a solid judicial track record is not worth anything if a judge does not agree with their political views.

Furthermore, if the pro-abortion Democrat caucus can't stop the nomination, then the president has the leverage to choose similarly solid conservatives in his future SCOTUS appointments. As long as the GOP retains a solid majority in the Senate, and as long as the constitutional option is still a legitimate threat, the president can be highly confident in nominating very solidly conservative judges.

But don't expect the left to give up without a fight. There are plenty of liberal coalitions who are gearing up to take down Alito.

And Democrat Minority Leader Ralph Neas is fuming. I'm sure there's more where that came from.

Stay tuned in to Confirm Them for the latest reactions/information regarding the document.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Dean The Duck

According to a report from Drudge, Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, avoided an interview with the GOP's chairman Ken Mehlman on NBC's Meet The Press this morning.
Moments before taping was to begin with host Tim Russert, Mehlman asked Dean outside the NBC studio’s green room: “There’s still time for us to go on together Governor.” Dean declined with a shrug of his shoulders and an uncomfortable cackle and then proceeded to walk away into the green room.

DRUDGE has learned MEET THE PRESS producers have been working to get a head to head Dean/Mehlman appearance on the program since Dean was named chair back in February. Dean and his handlers have repeatedly turned down the request. The former Vermont governor only agreed to do this week’s program if they appeared in back-to-back interviews.
The cowardice of Dean here is obvious. The DNC chair is completely unwilling to go head-to-head with his Republican counterpart, Ken Mehlman. Most politicians would jump at the opportunity to showcase their views against their opponent's.

Head-to-head interviews are like big football games, "winning" one gets a lot of recognition. Thus these debates are among the best proving grounds that this country's political system has to offer. But Dean is apparently unwilling to partake.

The reason is simple: debates expose people.

If Dean were to take on Ken Mehlman, or any other level-headed Republican for that matter, he would be exposed. Without the normal protection he gets from the MSM, the American public could see firsthand that Howard Dean really has no idea what he is talking about. They would realize that he does not know what is best for America, and that if the Democrats are willing to put such a man in such an important position, they are not responsible enough to be trusted with governing America either.