“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, February 16, 2007

"We Will Work with the President"

November 25, 2006
In a Democratic response to Bush's Saturday radio address, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader-elect in the House, said U.S. support in Iraq will not go on forever.

"We will work with the president and our Republican colleagues in Congress to forge a new direction in Iraq because, clearly, the current strategy is not working," Hoyer said. "Sectarian violence continues to rage. Our brave servicemen and women continue to be maimed and killed. And, the war is not making our nation safer or more secure.

"In the days ahead, the Iraqis must make the tough decisions and accept responsibility for their future. And, the Iraqis must know: Our commitment, while great, is not unending."
January 16, 2006

The House of Representatives passed a non-binding resolution by a vote of 246 to 182 to criticize President Bush for his decision to send more troops to Iraq. The vote is seen as a rare House admonishment of a wartime commander-in-chief.

H. Con. Res. 63: Iraq War Policy resolution
1st Session
H. CON. RES. 63
Disapproving of the decision of the President announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.
February 12, 2007
Mr. SKELTON (for himself, Mr. LANTOS, and Mr. JONES of North Carolina) submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services, and in addition to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

Disapproving of the decision of the President announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.
Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That--
(1) Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces who are serving or who have served bravely and honorably in Iraq; and
(2) Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on January 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq.
Democrats promise more decisive steps to constrain Bush's warmaking powers. They proposed ideas to put legislative strings on future funding in Iraq and prevent any preemptive invasion of Iran.

Democrats said their next move would be to challenge Bush's request for $93 billion in new funds for the Pentagon.

"The time has passed for accepting this administration's assurances at face value. The human cost of its repeated assurances is too great," Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., said Friday at the opening of the fourth and final day of debate.

"This country needs a dramatic change of course in Iraq and it is the responsibility of this Congress to consummate that change," said Rep. John Murtha, who chairs the House panel that oversees military spending.

Murtha, D-Pa., is preparing legislation that would set strict conditions on combat deployments, including a year rest between combat tours; ultimately, the congressman says, his measure would make it impossible for Bush to maintain his planned deployment of a total of about 160,000 troops for months on end.

Murtha's proposal also might block the funding of military operations inside Iran — a measure intended to send a signal to Bush that he will need Congress' blessing if he is planning another war.

"The president could veto it, but then he wouldn't have any money," Murtha told an anti-war group in an interview broadcast on

"The stakes in Iraq are too high to recycle proposals that have little prospect for success," said Nancy Pelosi.

"The passage of this legislation will signal a change in direction in Iraq that will end the fighting and bring our troops home," she vowed.

So much for "working with the President" and the Democrats' "great commitment to Iraq." The Democrats are defining success as "redeployment" but what are the consequences of their success? Do they think we leave Iraq and our troubles are over?


  1. Good post gents; I wrote about this resolution, before and after it passed here.

  2. " ... they were joined by 17 Republicans who repudiated their President over a force escalation ..."

  3. Pretty quiet at the bar tonight!?

  4. trish,

    re: Israel win or lose

    Israel hasn't the luxury of voting to quit. It cannot withdraw.

  5. trish,

    One question puzzles me about those who counsel retreat/withdrawal: where to? Are you with the Okinawa or the Texas school?

  6. The inexorable forces of evolution will sort things out in time. Since fitness favors the intelligent over the fecund, my money is on the Jews.

  7. rufus,

    re: Show Me

    Our motto says it all!

    Of course, the mule might have something to say as well.