I’m amazed to be saying this, but President Obama is actually honoring one of his campaign pledges athwart major public pressure to do otherwise. He intends to send an additional 34,000 US military personnel to Afghanistan to support the teetering, Post-Taliban government headed by President Karzai. Predictably, the American Left is spasmodic in its outrage.
Byron York reports in the Washington Examiner that 67% of Democratic Party members in the general population do not support his policy decision. Yet, as York reports, nearly every Democratic Candidate for the party nomination in 2008 (Dennis Kucinich exempted) all claimed to favor a stronger presence in Afghanistan. York explains why the leading Democratic politicians stiffed their base on this issue below.
In September 2006, as she was leading the effort that would result in Democrats taking over the House and her becoming speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi said George W. Bush “took his eye off the ball” in Afghanistan. “We had a presence over there the past few years, but not to the extent that we needed to get the job done,” Pelosi said. The phrase “took his eye off the ball” became a Democratic mantra about the supposed neglect of Afghanistan — a situation that would be remedied by electing ready-to-fight Democrats.
So the Democratic Party talked a tough game on Afghanistan in order to make their stance against the Iraq War seem less weak and irresolute to independent voters. This posture worked well, and the Democrats won domineering victories in both the 2006 and the 2008 national elections. This gave them massive governing power and all of the dilemmas that power entails.
Thus, with their power secured, Democrats now want their political leadership to renege upon their promises to independent voters and remember who nominated them for office in the first place. This pressure falls more heavily on House Members who stand election in 2010, than it does on President Obama, who is in office until he stands election in 2012. Therefore, no one should be surprised that Byron York now reports the following.
…Pelosi and others in her party are suddenly very, very worried about U.S. escalation in Afghanistan. “There is serious unrest in our caucus,” the speaker said recently. There is so much unrest that Democrats who show little concern about the tripling of already-large budget deficits say they’re worried about the rising cost of the war.
It seems President Obama needs to find the cost estimation team that butched-up the Baucus Health Care Plan. These are the same people who bemoaned the paltry $800Bn spent on “Stimulus” as not enough to move our economy forward. They have no problem digging the $1Tr out of the sofa cushions for either Health Care “Reform” or Cap and Enslave. It would amaze me to no end if the supplemental appropriations President Obama required from the HAC and the SAC were within two orders of magnitude of even the most generous estimates of what Congress would have to spend to enact Henry Waxman’s most recent Energy Bill.
The budgetary concerns are not what drive the rhetoric in Congress. The outrage expressed by the base of The Democratic Party drives their concern. According to the US Army North Provost Marshall, a coalition of protest groups will demonstrate against President Obama’s move to reinforce Afghanistan. For the next five days, protest are planned throughout the nation. The following US cities have issued legal permits to demonstrate: Phoenix, AZ, Berkeley, CA, Chicago, IL, Detroit, MI, Fort Hood, TX, Los Angeles: CA, Pittsburgh, PA, San Francisco, CA, New York City, NY and in Washington, DC.
While no known plans to commit violence have been discovered, this list of urban areas, like a Howard Dean primary speech, seems to include a mention of nearly every Democratic Party urban vote farm in the country. This could do plenty of nasty violence to the motivation and desire of hard-core Leftists to trust the Democratic Party as implicitly as they have the last three election cycles.
This also puts the interests of loyal Democratic Party activists and door-knockers against those of a vast swath of more moderate voters who liked the idea of a party that could step away from the Iraq War without being world-wide wimps. President Obama, who faces a nationwide electorate needs the moderates. Nancy Pelosi, whose district electorate prefers her somewhat more than Cindy Sheehan or Bob Weir, wishes these moderates did not exist.
This is why President Obama has chosen to stage his Sistah Soljah Moment with his base against the hallowed background of The West Point Military Academy. As Charlie Brown sighs “Good Grief!” and ABC moves “A Charlie Brown Christmas” to next week, Barack Obama tries to convince an increasingly skeptical public that he actually believes and intends to act on his proposed agenda from his run for The White House.
He also has to explain to his political base why he is acting against their interests. Like Senator Cornyn from Texas, they will not be particularly happy if his logical justification for the snub is along the lines of “I won.” If a Liberal Civil War blows up in his face, or if the Afghan War turns into a politically correct fiasco instead of a victory, Senator Cornyn may well be one of the last people to ever hear those two words out of Barack Obama’s arrogant mouth.