Format Break: Ok Big Mouths, Vote On An Iraq Pull-Out

This is a shrewd political maneuver by the GOP (and how often have any of us had an opportunity to say that over the last year or so?)

“House Republicans, seeing an opportunity, maneuvered for a quick vote and swift rejection Friday of a Democratic lawmaker’s call for an immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq.

“We want to make sure that we support our troops that are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. “We will not retreat.”

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California had no immediate reaction to the idea of a quick vote before Congress leaves Washington for two weeks.

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GOP leaders decided to act little more than 24 hours after Rep. John Murtha, a hawkish Democrat with close ties to the military, said the time had come to pull out the troops.

By forcing the issue to a vote, Republicans placed many Democrats in a politically unappealing position – whether to side with Murtha and expose themselves to attacks from the White House and congressional Republicans, or whether to oppose him and risk angering the voters that polls show want an end to the conflict.

Murtha offered a resolution that would force the president to withdraw the nearly 160,000 troops in Iraq “at the earliest practicable date.” It would establish a quick-reaction force and a nearby presence of Marines in the region.

House Republicans planned to put to a vote – and reject – their own resolution that simply says: “It is the sense of the House of Representatives that the deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately.”

Ok, so you Democrats want to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq by cutting and running? Fine, then right here, right now, tonight, they should vote to do just that. Let them go ahead and show the world that Democrats have failed a gut-check, that they don’t have the stomach or the heart to stick in there. Go ahead, you Dems, vote for the “victory for Al-Qaeda” bill.

On the other hand, Democrats could stand up and show the troops that they support their mission and simultaneously infuriate the nutty Daily Kos/Michael Moore wing of the Democratic Party that wants nothing more than to give up on Iraq.

Wasn’t John Murtha — a “hawkish” Democrat who has been complaining about the war in Iraq since 2003 — just saying yesterday that he wanted our country to collectively tuck our tails between our legs and abandon the Iraqis to Al-Qaeda?

Fine, let’s vote on it and see what happens.

This is a good move by the GOP because it’ll make these Democrats get on the record and then next year, as we get nearer to the election, when the troops are coming home and public opinion is zooming up, let the Dems defend their decision to attempt to rob our troops and our country of victory in Iraq.

It’s put up or shut-up time, you Donks, so let’s see what you got…

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