Thursday, July 12, 2007

"The Civil War Nobody Voted For"

OpEds come and go, but there was an unusual one in the New York Daily News the other day. Titled “This Is Not Our Fight,” its subhead read, “Congress must end U.S. role in a civil war nobody voted for.” The byline: “Robert Byrd & Hillary Clinton.”

Its final paragraph: “As Bush admitted in his State of the Union address in January, ‘This is not the fight we entered in Iraq.’ We could not agree more. This is not the fight Congress authorized, Mr. President. If you want to continue to wage this fight, come to Congress and make your case. Otherwise, bring our troops home.”

This was a collaboration by one Senator who wrote an OpEd (in the New York Times) in October 2002 opposing the resolution to allow Bush to invade Iraq and another who, while expressing admiration for his warning, voted for it.

Its appearance signals the seriousness of an effort this month to introduce a resolution to withdraw the 2002 authorization.

Of the myriad of proposals for bills to bring home the troops, this one offers the best hope for a Congressional challenge that, if passed by a veto-proof two-thirds vote in each house, would provoke a Constitutional crisis that might end up in the Supreme Court and test whether or not Justice Anthony Kennedy has become a permanent member of a conservative majority.

The OpEd itself, appearing in a major newspaper that has been gung-ho for the war, is a sign of the times. If a tabloid can change its mind, why can’t Congress?

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