Thursday, January 4, 2007

The Democratic Senate: "Lower your expectations"

When incoming Calfiornia Attorney General Jerry Brown was Governor back in the 1970s, one of his slogans for a while was, "Lower your expectations."  It was meant to call attention to the need to adjust for resource shortages, environmental limitations and a stagnant economy.

I'm applying that slogan to my own expectations of the slim Democratic majority in the Senate.  For one thing, it's only with the vote of Joe Lieberman that the Dems have a majority and he's become a Cheney sock puppet on foreign policy and intelligence issues.

Then there's there's the incoming Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Carl Levin, who should be one of the Dems' point men for criticizing the Iraq War and a lot of other military issues as well.  From Key Democrat might consider troop boost in Iraq Reuters 01/04/06:

President George W. Bush is likely to link any short-term increase in U.S. troop levels in Iraq to political milestones or other conditions, a key Senate Democrat said on Thursday, saying he might consider backing such a "surge" if those conditions are right.

Michigan Democrat Sen. Carl Levin (news, bio, voting record) also predicted the Republican president would soon find a way to end the "open-ended commitment" of U.S. troops to Iraq, even if Bush does propose a short-term boost in forces.

"I can't believe the president is simply going to say, 'We're going to increase troops in Iraq,"' Levin told reporters outside the Senate. "It's likely the president would add something of a conditionality to it."

The Democratic victory in the November elections was based first of all on a mandate to get the US out of the Iraq War.  Not for leading Dems to snivel and beg before Bush's throne to please, please, give me some phony excuse for supporting escalation.

Some Senators like Pat Leahy, target of Dick Cheney's famous "Go [Cheney] yourself" line, I expect will push for some real oversight investigations.  But I'm mainly putting my hopes in the House Democrats.

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