Democrats failing in legislative role

Over at Daily Kos, there is a good post from late last week on how Democrats are failing in their duties as the legislative branch by not forcing President Bush, via the Iraq war funding bill, to start some actual end-of-war planning in the near future.

There are too many suspects to pin this rap directly on any particular one of them, but there has been no shortage of Democrats who have apparently had great difficulty in finding any other way of framing the Iraq appropriations situation than as a choice between funding or “abandoning” the troops. Specifically, that by not allowing the president to essentially write the legislation himself, Democrats were somehow not living up to the responsibilities of governance.

. . .

But what this says is that today we let Congressional Republicans write our country’s Iraq funding policy. Think about how amazing that is for a moment. This president has already reduced Congress to a cipher. Under Republicans, it became little more than a Politburo, approving only legislation that garnered the support of a majority of its then-majority, and even then suffering to see that legislation negated by signing statements. And now, after the American people stripped the Congressional Republicans of what little power this president permitted them to have, they still are ultimately the authors of the enabling legislation that pretties up Bush’s fiat.

. . .

Consider that the main point of contention — indeed the only point of contention — between what Congress has already passed and what Bush will accept has nothing but nothing but nothing to do with the funding. It’s definitionally impossible for that to be the case, because every version of the supplemental either house has passed has had more funding in it than the president requested. What Bush and his apologists object to is accountability accompanying that funding.

President Bush got the same bill back except for the accountability requirements. The commentary following the article is also interesting. Some point out the failings of Pelosi and crew. Some point out how misleading the story is. Some think the article doesn’t cover deeply enough the failings the Democratic congress have had thus far. It is one story that I think any interested in politics can appreciate.

[tags]Daily Kos on the war-bill failings of the Democrats[/tags]