Video: Bush gets bipartisan in signing the war-funding bill

posted at 1:25 pm on June 30, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

There was a time, not so long ago, that we assumed a Democratic majority would cause enormous problems in getting funding for the war efforts in Iraq and, to a lesser extent, in Afghanistan.  If one wanted to see how well the surge has really worked, all the proof can be found in the quiet, mostly bipartisan manner in which the latest supplemental funding bill passed through Congress this month.  Instead of crowing over the demolition of Democratic opposition it represents, President Bush took the gracious path of acknowledging the bipartisanship:

Bush made clear to thank members of both parties in Congress, singling out some sponsors of the long-delayed, compromise measure for praise. His positive comments contrasted with the confrontational tone that has dominated the debate between Congress and his administration over Iraq.

The legislation will bring to more than $650 billion the amount Congress has provided for the Iraq war since it began more than five years ago. For operations in Afghanistan, the total is nearly $200 billion, according to congressional officials.

Despite the conciliatory tones of all the administration officials in today’s announcement, the Democrats are privately annoyed at having lost yet another battle to George Bush during his supposed lame-duck year. They did manage to get two of their initiatives added into the bill; one creates a new GI Bill in terms initially opposed by the White House, and the other extends unemployment benefits an additional quarter. On the latter, though, the Democrats had to accept a limitation that grants eligibility only to those who have worked at least 20 weeks before applying for unemployment.

The seeds of Democratic collapse on Iraq were planted firmly in their own hubris and defeatism. Harry Reid set the stage with his staggeringly foolish declaration of defeat on the Senate floor in the spring of 2007, as the surge troops first began arriving in Iraq. As the new efforts began to show results, Democrats insisted that General David Petraeus was simply lying about it — and got exposed afterwards as fools. Only now have they tried to de-emphasize Iraq as an issue in the 2008 cycle, doing their best to keep it off the table and out of the headlines for the rest of the election.

Their effort will help the war effort, and that at least deserves a mention. However, their motives hardly deserve praise, and their track record — from General Harry “Retreat!” Reid almost all the way through their caucuses — speaks for itself.


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And so it goes– “Misunderestimated gets” another win. Dems have to wonder how a dumba$$ like him got the best of them, over and over again. I love this guy.

leftnomore on June 30, 2008 at 1:33 PM

The Democratic Party as a whole needs a slap upside the head.

Those that elect the rejects like Reid and Murtha and Pelosi need to have a reality check. I hope they like being taxed.

As I like this bill… it has some good qualities. I don’t care for the part on the Drug Trafficing part. I think that should have been seperate. But that is my opinion.

upinak on June 30, 2008 at 1:36 PM

There was a time, not so long ago, that we assumed a Democratic majority would cause enormous problems in getting funding for the war efforts in Iraq and, to a lesser extent, in Afghanistan.

It did. Late last year Congress was stalling in order to put in a withdrawal measure, and the Pentagon was warning about running out of money in February.

amerpundit on June 30, 2008 at 1:38 PM

Thank you President Bush. Now when is Nancy and Harry’s press conference thanking him also?

Brat on June 30, 2008 at 1:40 PM

The legislation will bring to more than $650 billion the amount Congress has provided for the Iraq war since it began more than five years ago.

30% or more of this is earmarks and pork added to these funding bills that have nothing to do with Iraq, so this statement is false and misleading.

JeffinSac on June 30, 2008 at 1:40 PM

Certainly President Bush has learned by now that any concession on his part is seen as utter weakness by the Democrats. Rather than offer up their own concessions, the Democrats will only turn up the pressure. It’s what they want. Their BDS forbids them from any true bipartisanship. Besides, Democrats define bipartisanship as doing what the Democrats want. Anything else is wrong and non-bipartisan.

By the way, Mr Bolton’s piece yesterday was very well said. I am happy that he lays it all out, instead of being a dopey politician.

Weebork on June 30, 2008 at 1:41 PM

One thing Bush is trying to do is make it easier for (worst case) President Obama to continue supporting Iraqi national security until the Iraqis are capable of doing it themselves. And part of accomplishing that is to turn down the temperature on partisan rhetoric. Not because moderation of rhetoric is deserved, it’s not, but because it’s just practical.

RBMN on June 30, 2008 at 1:54 PM

The Bush Administration has been irresponsible in not spotlighting the aid and comfort the Democratic Party has given to the enemy.

Harry Reid should have had his teeth knocked out over what he’s said about this war and that would be a mild punishment.

John Murtha ranks with Benedict Arnold in all he has done to hobble the troops.

The Democrat Party has an undeclared war on America and it is even more damaging than the declared war Al Qaeda has with us.

Our enemies cannot hope to win without the generous aid and featherbed comfort that the Democrat Party continues to offer them.

Any voter who even slightly considers voting for a national Democrat in this next election is a complete idiot. It’s akin to paying for someone to stick a rusty dagger in your back.

NoDonkey on June 30, 2008 at 1:58 PM

Harry Reid set the stage with his staggeringly foolish declaration of defeat on the Senate floor in the spring of 2007, as the surge troops first began arriving in Iraq.

New spin, Harry Reid won the war for us by making a stupid statement as Dem Leader which with all the recent gains in Iraq would be replayed to show how foolish the dems are if they were to oppose funding and a pullout from Iraq. Harry Reid’s patriotic idiocy has effectively helped to take the issue off the table and Win the War, all thanks to absurd Democrat defeatism.

jp on June 30, 2008 at 1:58 PM

President Bush took the gracious path of acknowledging the bipartisanship:

Nice gesture, but it’ll get him absolutely zero goodwill from the left.

BacaDog on June 30, 2008 at 1:59 PM

W,

Thank you. There were times I thought you had slipped up, fallen and stumbled again, but each misstep, although maybe not on the surest footing, was at least headed in the right direction. Also, whenever you took the right steps and landed on sure footing, I was eminently proud.

Again, thank you President Bush.

–Jason

Jason Coleman on June 30, 2008 at 2:01 PM

Just once before he’s gone I want to see Bush get up to a podium and say “I’ll see you in hell, Harry Reid”.

Chuck Schick on June 30, 2008 at 2:03 PM

Good man. I wouldn’t count out his legacy being positive just yet.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2008 at 2:09 PM

Those that elect the rejects like Reid and Murtha and Pelosi need to have a reality check. I hope they like being taxed.

As I like this bill… it has some good qualities. I don’t care for the part on the Drug Trafficing part. I think that should have been seperate. But that is my opinion.

upinak on June 30, 2008 at 1:36 PM

Speaking of Pelosi and drug trafficing…it seems the feds are investigating the city of SF (Pelosi’s district) for shielding Honduran “youths” from deportation:

“San Francisco juvenile probation officials – citing the city’s immigrant sanctuary status – are protecting Honduran youths caught dealing crack cocaine from possible federal deportation and have given some offenders a city-paid flight home with carte blanche to return.”

I’m shocked…shocked I tell you!

Here’s the complete article:

Feds Probe SF’s Migrant Offender Shield

Liberty or Death on June 30, 2008 at 2:18 PM

Traitors is as Traitors does…

Dale in Atlanta on June 30, 2008 at 2:48 PM

I don’t care for the part on the Drug Trafficing part. I think that should have been seperate. But that is my opinion.

upinak on June 30, 2008 at 1:36 PM

I can understand that but I do think it was timely to include it rather than go thru the process again and as I said a while back on another thread, that’s the kind of money we use down here to reinforce border security. This time it’s going to help on the other side of the Rio Grande and that’s good because Mexico has a President now that is pushing to clean up corruption in the ranks. We need to tackle the gangs, drug cartels and coyotes on their side of the border too.

Texas Gal on June 30, 2008 at 2:52 PM

Hated the Patriot Act but voted for it twice? Check

Hate surveillance measures used by Bush but want them legalized now that they think a Democrat will be President? Check

Hate the war in Iraq but keep voting to fund it? Check

This stuff just really backs my theory that these two parties are essentially the same. They have the same goals and just use wedge issues to separate the voters to a point where a third party doesn’t have a shot because of the fear of “wasting” a vote. They all make me want to vomit and I refuse to vote for either Republicans or Democrats anymore.

Benaiah on June 30, 2008 at 2:56 PM

The legislation will bring to more than $650 billion the amount Congress has provided for the Iraq war since it began more than five years ago.

This statement is also misleading because a good portion of that money would have been required to fund the military during peace time anyway.

Lame Duck … my a$$!

We’re I’m ashamed EXTERMELY PROUD the president of the United States is from Texas.”
Natalie Maines, 2003 Texas Gal

Texas Gal on June 30, 2008 at 2:58 PM

Now if only. . .

those extremist obstructionist democrats were voted out of office, and replaced with some reasonable responsible democrats, my faith in US citizens would be restored.

rockhauler on June 30, 2008 at 3:14 PM

Bush’s has been impressing me more and more during his 2nd term. He is truly a great man.

AlexB on June 30, 2008 at 3:57 PM

Bush’s has been impressing me more and more during his 2nd term. He is truly a great man.

AlexB

I think he’s an idiot but according to him I’m just a racist for wanting our borders to be secure so what do I know?

Benaiah on June 30, 2008 at 4:10 PM


W,

Thank you. There were times I thought you had slipped up, fallen and stumbled again, but each misstep, although maybe not on the surest footing, was at least headed in the right direction. Also, whenever you took the right steps and landed on sure footing, I was eminently proud.
Again, thank you President Bush.
–Jason
Jason Coleman on June 30, 2008 at 2:01 PM

Yes, and I thank you too Mr. President. You have managed to spend nearly 1 TRILLION DOLLARS without having captured the prime target of your “war” while weakening our country with your amnesty plan, killing our economy by turning our dollar into the Northern Peso and reducing the image and name of our great country to a punchline around the world.

The history books will remember you well sir….thank you.

DanKenton on June 30, 2008 at 4:40 PM

Yes, and I thank you too Mr. President. You have managed to spend nearly 1 TRILLION DOLLARS without having captured the prime target of your “war”

DanKenton on June 30, 2008 at 4:40 PM

Do you honestly think that a war, any war, has one man as its prime target?

misterpeasea on June 30, 2008 at 4:56 PM

A good time to be gracious and not score partisan points. For me at least, and I think for GWB as well, this has been about what’s good for the country and not what’s good for the Republican Party. If Obama gets elected and we fight a war under him, I’ll be pulling for us to win a crushing victory just as hard as I have been in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mark Steyn said it best: “Political parties don’t lose wars, nations do.”

Dudley Smith on June 30, 2008 at 5:00 PM


Do you honestly think that a war, any war, has one man as its prime target?

misterpeasea on June 30, 2008 at 4:56 PM

No, I don’t. That’s why I put the word war in quotations because this is no war. This is GWB’s way of playing cowboy and screwing Americans in the process. But that doesn’t really matter to his loyal following of sheep here among us. No economic data, no ex-administration dissenters and no win for Obama in November will ever convince you that you’ve just witnessed the destruction of the GOP over the past 8 years. Enjoy.

DanKenton on June 30, 2008 at 6:34 PM

DanKenton on June 30, 2008 at 6:34 PM

Just because he wants to play cowboy and screw Americans? That whole “9/11″ thing was just a coincidence?

Tell me, was there any value in killing Saddam? Any value in putting the Taliban out of power? Any value in encircling Iran?

And yes, he’s contributed mightily to weakening the Republican party, but he’s had a lot of help.

Baaa!

misterpeasea on June 30, 2008 at 7:14 PM


Just because he wants to play cowboy and screw Americans? That whole “9/11″ thing was just a coincidence?
misterpeasea on June 30, 2008 at 7:14 PM

And Iraq was responsible for 9/11 how? That’s the problem with Republicans today…the inability to discern the enemy from a convenient target that John Wayne was gunning for long before the towers fell.

DanKenton on June 30, 2008 at 7:54 PM

If this is the GI Bill that encourages soldiers to leave after one tour, it’s not really a victory. It will hurt the Army badly in years to come. The version that would have delayed the benefits and allowed careerists to bestow them on their children would have helped it greatly.

This has to be personal hatred for the military, not just pandering to the electorate. Only a very few folks on the far left or right will understand the implications. It sounds to me like they are punishing the Army and Marine Corps for proving them wrong in Iraq.

njcommuter on June 30, 2008 at 8:54 PM

And Iraq was responsible for 9/11 how? That’s the problem with Republicans today…the inability to discern the enemy from a convenient target that John Wayne was gunning for long before the towers fell.

DanKenton on June 30, 2008 at 7:54 PM

This stupid line is getting really old.

I suppose John Wayne is Bill Clinton since he was bombing
Iraq and calling for regime change due to Saddams WMD’s and
refusal to adhere to the 17 UN resolutions to disarm.

President Bush never said that Iraq was responsible for 9/11. If you had the ability to look beyond your fish bowl of liberal talking points,you would understand that the War on Terror is about fighting Islamic jihadist,not revenge for
9/11.
9/11 changed the way we handled the growing threat of the jihadist like al-qaeda that gained so much power during the
Clinton administration and the appeasement policies of the left.
We went on the offensive,and it has worked:

Cheer up. We’re winning this War on Terror

Al-Qaeda and the Taleban are in retreat, the surge has worked in Iraq and Islamism is discredited. Not a bad haul
Gerard Baker

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/gerard_baker/article4221376.ece


Bush made the world a safer place

We may jeer him and tell him to go home, but America’s allies continue to benefit from some of George Bush’s decisions

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jun/17/georgebush.terrorism
Oliver Kamm
guardian.co.uk,
Tuesday June 17 2008

But hey, don’t let the facts get in your way.
going the appeasement route of the left and UN has done wonders for Tibet,Darfur,Rwanda,and Iran.

You can bet that Israel will not wait for the international
community to make a decision on Iran, the Jews already got burned waiting for that with Hitler,resulting in the loss of millions of lives.

If a major war is started in the Middle East due to Iran’s quest for a nuclear weapon and the desire to “wipe Israel off the map”, it will be because Iran was not dealt with strongly and allowed to manipulate the international community,not because of “John Wayne” diplomacy.

Baxter Greene on June 30, 2008 at 11:51 PM

And Iraq was responsible for 9/11 how? That’s the problem with Republicans today…the inability to discern the enemy from a convenient target that John Wayne was gunning for long before the towers fell.

DanKenton on June 30, 2008 at 7:54 PM

I will stipulate, for the sake of argument, that Iraq was not at all responsible in any way for 9/11. That idiot Bush still made Iraq part of the war, no? And killed Saddam, and encircled Iran, and bullied Syria into giving up its WMD program, &c.

See, that idiot Bush and his idiot advisors might have had a “big picture” in mind.

And if that idiot Bush had Iraq in his sights before 9/11, well, that’s proof of his idiocy, huh? The most aggressive enemy of the US in the ME, the enemy that tried to assassinate a US President, an enemy in a very strategeric position in the ME.

You’re right. Bush is an idiot.

misterpeasea on July 1, 2008 at 2:29 AM