Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Time for Older, Wiser Heads

The schoolyard fight over war funding has gone on long enough. It’s time for the sound-biting between the White House and Congress to stop.

In the last two days, older, wiser voices are beginning to be heard. Yesterday Sen. Carl Levin, 72, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said “We are not going to cut off the funding, period,” but added that Democrats will continue to press the President to "pressure Iraqi leaders to negotiate a settlement.”

In today’s Washington Post, the dean of political columnists, David Broder, 76, writes “In the continuing battle...logic is on the Democrats' side, but the crucial political leverage belongs to the president. It behooves the realists in both camps to recognize what the troops and the country have at stake--and negotiate a compromise.”

Later in the day, the President offers a slimy olive branch, with his usual my-way-or-the-highway thorns, inviting Democrats to discuss funding as long as they give him the money without conditions, and Harry Reid responds with the equivalent of “Oh, yeah!”

It’s time for Congressional Democrats to face the fact that fiddling with the funding is a no-win situation. If there is a constitutional way to rescind the 2002 resolution authorizing the war, use it.

Otherwise they should keep rallying public opposition and, as 2008 draws nearer, they will win over enough frightened Republicans facing reelection to pass something with veto-proof bite in it.

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