Today's Blogs

High Noon on the Hill

Bloggers are taking sides in the congressional showdown over U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, going retro over a new version of the old Equal Rights Amendment, and getting down with, um, MC Rove.

High noon on the Hill: President Bush and “the new Congress in town” are strapping on sidearms over Iraq war funding, with Bush swearing he’ll veto any bill that also sets a date for troop withdrawal and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recommending the commander in chief take some deep, calming breaths.

At the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s The Big Question, reporter Eric Black points out that deadlines are made to be broken: “The March 31 date for redeployment to be completed is explicitly described as a ‘goal.’ Goals can be missed; many are. The administration has already missed just about every temporal goal for its Iraq mission since the ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner was displayed behind Pres. Bush on the USS Lincoln on May 2, 2003. There is no ‘what if’ in the bill for missing the next goal either.”

University of Puget Sound professor Seth Weinberger, writing at Security Dilemmas, questions Congress’ methods and commitment to leaving Iraq: “The spending bill as it stands represent a congressional abdication of the role it is all too quick to loudly proclaim for itself. It is not a serious attempt to check the president, to bring the troops home, or to enforce the will of the American public. … The ultimate result of this will be nothing; until Congress grows a spine and refuses to appropriate funds for the war in Iraq, it will continue according to President Bush’s plan.”

The Local Crank’s Patrick Barkman, a Texas lawyer, has an idea for the president: “I’d tell him to sign the Iraq Budget Supplement WITH the pullout deadline. And I’d tell him to add a one line signing statement, ‘The President will enforce this act consistent with his powers as commander-in-chief.’ … If the Bush White House really wants a constitutional Battle of Armageddon with Congress, this would be a blockbuster.”

Daily Kos’ mcjoan worries that the showdown could fracture the Democrats: “There’s definitely a possibility that Bush’s veto is a set up for that hit. But there are other options for the Democrats beyond sending this same bill to the floor again, and back to the President’s desk in the same, or even a weakened, form. These approaches could peel off Democrats, on both sides of the debate.” And Jaime at the progressive Intoxination says the media are in cahoots: “Bush will veto this bill and it will be a hard job for the Democrats to get the message out that he was the one denying the funds to our troops.”

Read more about the fight over troop withdrawal.

Everything old is new again: Following the lead of five states, the House and Senate have introduced a new version of the Equal Rights Amendment. The new-fangled Women’s Equality Amendment drew out its old-fangled opponent, Eagle Forum President Phyllis Schlafly, who’s now reportedly more worried about same-sex marriage than unisex bathrooms.

Positive Liberty blogger and Cato Institute researcher Jason Kuznicki is Schlafly’s worst nightmare: “I am inclined to think that the Equal Rights Amendment, now known as the Women’s Equality Amendment, would protect same-sex marriages under the United States Constitution. For this and for many other reasons, I support it.”

Conservative SC Eagle at On Wings of Eagles sees no reason to add to the Constitution, citing the 14th Amendment: “The only way we NEED the ERA is if the women persons of this country aren’t protected. But, they are. And have been for some time now. Instead of going through a lot of time and effort to enact a redundant amendment, why don’t we put that effort into enforcing current laws, hmmm?” Over at Kiko’s House, newspaperman Shaun Mullen sees the other side: “In my view, the ERA isn’t so much progressive than commonsensical. … What may be commonsensical for you and I is, of course, anathema for people who believe that anything liberals believe in is baaaad. And that an Equal Rights Amendment will open the door to a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, if not an armed takeover by radical lesbians. Then there are the folks with rose-colored glasses who believe that there have been so many societal advances for women that an ERA isn’t necessary anymore.”

Bloodthirsty Liberal believes Congress is stuck in the Wayback Machine: “This is the best the Democrats can do? Forget a September 10th mentality; I can’t even figure out what year they’re stuck in. … Forget the merits of the act itself—it’s thirty years old! What a perfect symbol of “progressive” politics. To them, the world isn’t what we wake to today. It’s some bizarre combination of nostalgia and utopia. McGovern/Obama in ‘08.”

Read more about the new push for the ERA.

Bust a move: White House adviser Karl Rove kicked it with comics from Whose Line Is It Anyway? at the Radio-Television Correspondents’ Association dinner Wednesday, joking about killing small animals and playing MC Rove during a rap parody.

New Yorker James Urbaniak doesn’t see the humor: “Why would a comedian at the White House Correspondents Dinner at the height of the Bush Administration’s latest scandal bring Karl Rove on stage and not make the slightest reference to who the man actually is? Because that might make people uncomfortable! And we don’t want that!”

Dave at Bisbah isn’t feeling it, either: “Who cares if he’s the architect behind one of the most destructive Administrations in American History?? He’s pretending to be ‘MC Rove!’ Wiki-wiki, y’all! Well, you know what? I don’t think I’ve ever watched something that has pissed me off as much as this.” Over at State of the Qusan,  the blogger questions the racial angle: “Why do white folks (especially conservatives) get such a kick out of imitating the very thing they will be bashing the black community about in the next breath? I am unimpressed with MC Rove.”

Read more about MC Rove.