By: E&P Staff
Apparently inspired by a Washington Post editorial today again criticizing efforts by Democrats to change the direction of U.S. involvement in Iraq, Rep. David Obey (D-Wisc.) lit into the paper’s longstanding promotion or endorsement of the war.
The Post editorial today states: “The Democrats claim to have a mandate from voters to reverse the Bush administration’s policy in Iraq. Yet the leadership is ready to piece together the votes necessary to force a fateful turn in the war by using tactics usually dedicated to highway bills or the Army Corps of Engineers budget…..As it is, House Democrats are pressing a bill that has the endorsement of MoveOn.org but excludes the judgment of the U.S. commanders who would have to execute the retreat the bill mandates.”
Rep. Obey, who heads the Appropriations Commitee, responded on the floor of the House: “Let me submit to you the problem we have today is not that we didn’t listen enough to people like The Washington Post. It’s that we listened too much.
“They endorsed going to war in the first place. They helped drive the drumbeat that drove almost two-thirds of the people in this chamber to vote for that misbegotten, stupid, ill-advised war that has destroyed our influence over a third of the world. So I make no apology if the moral sensibilities of some people on this floor, or the editorial writers of The Washington Post, are offended because they don’t like the specific language contained in our benchmarks or in our timelines.
“What matters in the end is not what the specific language is. What matters is whether or not we produce a product today that puts pressure on this Administration and sends a message to Iraq, to the Iraqi politicians that we’re going to end the permanent long-term dead end babysitting service. That’s what we’re trying to do. And if The Washington Post is offended about the way we do it, that’s just too bad.”