Pork and defeat

That’s the dish that House Democrats are trying to serve the American people. The House Dems are no longer a fringe left-wing faction — they gained control of the chamber by electing Democrats from swing districts where the constituents are not enthusiastic about military defeat. To induce these members to inflict such a defeat on the U.S., the left-wing leadership larded up its Iraq funding legislation with unrelated domestic spending programs — in other words, pork. Among the programs tied to a provision that would require the U.S. to leave Iraq by August 2008 are funds for spinach farmers in California, peanut storage in Georgia, rice farmers in Louisiana, etc.
The Washington Post is not amused. It wonders why a vote on something as serious as retreat from Iraq can’t proceed on its merits, without being tied to domestic goodies. As the Post puts it:

The legislation pays more heed to a handful of peanut farmers than to the 24 million Iraqis who living through a maelstrom initiated by the United States, the outcome of which could shape the future of the Middle East for decades.
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. . .[Democrats] should not seek to use pork to buy a majority for an unconditional retreat taht the majority does not support.

JOHN adds: In addition to bribing their members with pork to bring about defeat, the Dems’ House leadership is whipping their members as hard as they can. The Democrats’ House leadership sent out this memo to their members this morning; emphasis added:

The Daily WhipLine
Friday, March 23, 2007
House Meets At. Votes Predicted At.
9:00 a.m. for Legislative Business
Five “One-Minutes” Per Side
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
ATTENDANCE IS CRITICAL TODAY
Any anticipated Member absences for votes this week should be reported to the Office of the Majority Whip at 226-3210.
Floor Schedule and Procedure
***Members are advised that recorded votes will occur as early as 9:10am.***
H.R. 1591, the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Health, and Iraq
Accountability Act of 2007 (Rep. Obey-Appropriations):
This morning the House will complete consideration of H.R. 1591. The remaining time for debate on the bill will be managed by Appropriations Committee Chair David Obey, or his designee, and consideration will proceed in the following order:
Complete debate on the bill.
Debate and vote on a Republican motion to recommit the bill. Democrats are expected to VOTE NO on the Republican Motion to Recommit regardless of its content. Vote on final passage of the bill. Democrats are urged to vote YES on final passage.
H.R. 1591, the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Health, and Iraq Accountability Act of 2007. This bill will support our troops and veterans, hold the Bush Administration and Iraqi government accountable and bring our soldiers home by August 2008 or sooner. In addition, the bill would address urgent unmet domestic needs that the Republican 109th Congress neglected.
For the full Appropriations Committee summary of the bill, click here.

The memo closes with a quote from yesterday’s editorial in the New York Times supporting the Democrats’ efforts to subvert the war effort. If the Democrats were willing to fight as hard for victory as they are fighting for defeat, the country would be much better off.
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