Friday, May 25, 2007

Yesterday's Iraq War vote - Where the Candidates Stand

Governor Richardson issued this statement yesterday, regarding the vote on Iraq War funding.

"The best way to support our troops is to get them out of Iraq, and this bill will not move us any closer to that. The Democratic Congress is missing an opportunity. They should repeal the original resolution that gave the President the authority to take action against Iraq and replace it with one that requires the President to take all the troops out of Iraq by the end of the year. Congress has the authority to do that under Article One of the Constitution and under the War Powers Act and the President cannot veto it. Congress should not pass any appropriations beyond the date of de-authorization. By doing it that way, Congress would both fully fund our troops and get them out of Iraq as soon as possible." [emphasis mine]

Governor Richardson wants our troops out of Iraq now, as do the vast majority of the American people.

Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama don't seem to be sure about their positions on the war. Here's what Paul Begala had to say on Anderson Cooper 360 last night about their no votes on the legislation:

You know, I think both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, neither of them covered themselves with glory here. This -- this bill was not unexpected. It was not a deal that would suddenly shock anybody.

And the fact that they could not decide until just -- just right before the vote, where they were going to be, I think, is going to upset a lot of their supporters. And maybe this gives new oxygen to some of the stronger, clearer anti-war candidates.

Indecisiveness on major issues is not a quality commonly listed when people are asked about what they like in a Presidential candidate. I think it's also cold political calculation by both Senators.

But perhaps Obama having James Crown, whose family holds a major stake in defense contractor General Dynamics, as his chief fundraiser in Illinois, has something to do with his problem deciding where he is on the war.

Mr. Crown, whose family’s investments include a major stake in the military contractor General Dynamics, said family members normally avoided taking sides in a primary, in part because it was not good for business. But with Mr. Obama, they made an exception, with 10 family members giving a total of $112,500.

Why bite the hand that feeds you?

And then there's John Edwards on the vote:

"Washington failed America today when Congress surrendered to the president's demand for another blank check that prolongs the war in Iraq. It is time for this war to end. "Congress should immediately use its funding power to cap troop levels in Iraq at 100,000, stop the ongoing surge, and force an immediate drawdown of 40-50,000 troops, followed by a complete withdrawal in about a year. "The American people's call for a new course in Iraq was not answered today, but Congress still has the power to end this war. Our security and democracy alike demand it." [emphasis mine]

John Edwards goes nowhere near as far as Bill Richardson. John Edwards wants to leave troops in Iraq for up to a year, allowing more of them to be targeted by militants. A new course isn't leaving troops in Iraq Senator Edwards. A new course is getting them out and leaving no residual forces inside Iraq.

Of all of the candidates, it's not surprising that the one with the most foreign policy experience, Bill Richardson, has the best plan for Iraq. Go read Governor Richardson's New Realism for Iraq and tell your friends.

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