Democrat Party = Tantrum and Give Up On Iraq
With daggers drawn for a weakened White House, congressional Democrats return from a short recess this week plotting to further undermine President George W. Bush's waning political sway.
Even as Bush's signature immigration reform bill was strangled in the Senate last month, Democratic leaders were mapping out new misery for a president beset by rock-bottom poll ratings, the three bloodiest months for US troops in Iraq since the war began in 2003 and a fraying Republican support base.
Nearly half a dozen Republicans Senators recently broke ranks with Bush urging him to change course in Iraq.
After a six-week hiatus, Democrats plan an new attack on the unpopular war, and have besieged the White House with subpoenas over simmering legal and constitutional showdowns.
A House of Representatives committee meanwhile is planning on making political hay by probing Bush's decision to commute a two-and-a-half year sentence imposed on former White House aide Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, over a scandal sparked by the leaking of a CI spy's identity.
"Republicans will have the opportunity to not just say the right things on Iraq, but vote the right way, too, so that we can bring the responsible end to this war that the American people demand and deserve," said Senate Majority leader Harry Reid.
But it is unclear whether the new Democratic attacks on Iraq will be any more successful than previous ones. Bush forced the Democrats into a climb-down in June on their crusade to insert troop withdrawal guidelines in an emergency war budget.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to introduce a bill within weeks to authorize troop redeployments to start within four months and to be completed by April 1, 2008, a formula Bush has already blocked once with a presidential veto.
Senate Democrats will introduce their own attempts to force Bush to accept troop withdrawal timelines, extend rest periods for troops between deployments and curtail his congressional authorization to wage war.
Senate sources said veteran Senator Robert Byrd, and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will frame an amendment to a Defense Authorization bill that would sunset Bush's authorization to wage war in Iraq in October -- five years after it was granted.
Meanwhile, Senator Carl Levin and Jack Reed will propose an amendment that would require a troop withdrawal to begin within 120 days of becoming law, The New York Times reported Sunday.
Democratic tactics appear designed to fracture the president's firewall of Republican support for his Iraq policy.
Currently, Democrats, who have attracted only a couple of GOP votes on anti-war measures, cannot pile up the needed 60-vote Senate super-majority to force Bush's hand.