Cut 'n' Run Deja Vu
By James S. Robbins
Now we have the latest rage (in war management): consequences with waivers. In various versions of this approach (and according to the Dems), a bill will be passed with timetables, metrics, or whatever, and the president will have the option of waiving the consequences should they come into play.
A deadline is reached? Waive it. A milestone is not met? Ignore it. The beauty of this approach, from the point of view of a Democrat-controlled Congress, is that they can adopt a penalty-free moral posture. Which is to say, whatever the novelties they load into the bill to score political points, they don’t have to worry that they will actually be implemented because the president is certain to waive them. So they get the credit for having done something, and can wash their hands of whatever the president actually does. Beautiful.
But will the waivers gimmick pass muster with the White House? It is non-threatening, does not tie the president’s hands, would have no impact whatever if the waivers were used. More importantly it allows Congress to fund the war without taking responsibility for it. Those who oppose the war can say that the bill they voted for contained timetables or milestones or metrics, and that but for the presidential waiver these would be in place.
So the war as it actually exists is not their fault; they envisioned a different, better path. Indeed had it not been for the use of waivers the war might be over by now… You can see how the talking points would go.