Ted Kennedy Supports the Surge

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Ted Kennedy today on Meet the Press expressed his support for Bush's troop surge:

I suggest that the President has the responsibility to demonstrate and prove to the American people that the surge will work.

The only way to "prove" that the surge will work is to try it. So, Kennedy supports trying it. QED.

Of course, he didn't really mean what he actually said. What he really meant is that he will vote against it no matter what Bush says. It's odd, isn't it, that Kennedy has been against this war from the beginning, and yet now his plan for "success" in Iraq happens to involve drawing down the American troops? Just weird!

Kennedy isn't above lying, as we all know. Kennedy said that they should consider cutting off funding for the war if the President goes forward against "if we have a President who is going to effectively defy the American people, defy the generals, defy the majority of the Congress ... then we, I think, have a responsibility to end the funding for the war."

As we all know, the American people are not being defied. They voted to elect, and re-elect, Bush. Period, end of story. The people had their say, and public opinions polls don't change that. We have four-year terms for a reason: so the people can have their say every once in awhile, but not often enough to be able to drastically influence policy.

Also, the generals are not being defied, as it perfectly clear. Some of the generals are being disagreed with, but this surge is the actual idea of other generals. But more to the point, "to defy" implies opposing someone with authority, and generals have absolutely no authority of any kind over the President. Indeed, for Congress to require Bush to follow what his generals say (to not "defy" them) would be a clear violation of the Constitution.

And then there's Congress. Congress has a say, but not through any nonbinding resolution. Congress' say is to either revoke the authorization for the use of military force against Iraq, or to revoke funding. That is, you don't revoke funding as a consequence for defying Congress, because Congress cannot defied unless Congress actually takes some action that can be defied.

So, as usual, Kennedy is lying: not only would Bush not be defying anyone at the point Kennedy claims, but it is not possible for Bush to be defying anyone at that point. Take action, then complain about defiance. But don't pretend that your nonbinding resolution means squat, or that the President has any obligation whatsoever to follow what your cherry-picked generals say, let alone public opinion polls.

Another whopper:

The American people never voted to authorize to send American troops in the midst of a civil war. They authorized it to look after weapons of mass destruction that weren't there, to look after the issues of the operational association between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, they looked at the violations of the UN Resolution, but not a civil war. Today, we have a civil war.

In fact, the authorization for the use of military force against Iraq was in part, explicitly, to stop the "brutal repression of its civilian population," which would likely continue -- with worse results than before -- if we left now. Sorry, Charlie.

Worst poll of the day: Russert quotes an NBC poll that asks, "if Congress passes a resolution against the President's position on more troops, should President Bush proceed?" Sixty-five percent said no, thiry percent said yes. But, of course, no one has been talking about any such resolution. There is no such resolution under any consideration. The only resolution people are talking about does not do that, it is a meaningless nonbinding resolution. This resolution is not actually against the President's position, because it is not actually meaningful in any way. [Note: jamie points out the poll Russert quoted notes the resolution is nonbinding. But that doesn't change what I said, as my emphasis is on the fact that the resolution is actually meaningless, not on whether the poll mentioned this fact.]

And worse, that percentage is also the same as support for the war and the surge even regardless of any resolution. My guess is the respondents recognize it is meaningless, too. slashdot.org

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