Symbol, no substance

The Democrats are about to force a vote on non-binding resolutions opposing the President’s plan to increase troop levels in Iraq. The good news is that this is actually pulling back from Teddy Kennedy’s anti-Constitutional legislation to require the President to gain Congressional approval before sending more troops to Iraq. Unlike the the Democrat leadership, Senator Kennedy at least has the courage of his affliction.

From the Democrat leadership we get a symbolic vote that will please Cindy Sheehan, Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky and Dennis Kuchinich. It will not discomfit Iran, Syria, Al-Quaeda, Hamas or Hizballah much either.

No matter the result, what does even holding this vote say? The common perception of the entities listed above will be that it reveals the weakness of the Great Satan. My view is that it reveals the Satan in the great weakness.

Have the Democrats offered a plan? Not so much. They do have a theme in line with Senator Kennedy’s stalking points proposed legislation.

For example, Barack Obama’s plan is to “constrain” the President:

I think we will get a majority of the Senate saying that this is a bad idea. That will give us, I think, the impetus and the political symbolism to then start pursuing a more concrete plan to constrain the president,” said Obama, who has called for the immediate drawdown of troops from Iraq.

Obama also acknowledged there’s some question as to “how binding” the Senate can make its resolution, given that the Bush administration already has started moving troops around.

Emphasis mine. This is, of course, a power and a duty the Constitution assigns to the Commander in Chief. Despite having crashed the marble ceiling, that’s not Nancy Pelosi, but she is in dudgeon similar to Obama’s:

Nancy Pelosi, returning to her hometown of San Francisco, strongly warned today that President Bush “should not abuse his power” with regard to troop escalation in the Iraq war and said it is the duty of Congress to “exercise oversight over his power.

The President has sole control over troop deployment. The answer to Senator Obama’s question about “how binding” the Senate can make its resolution is obvious even to Ted Kennedy. The only thing Congress can do to “exercise oversight” is to cut funding. So, rather than making these mewly noises, and wasting the time of the Senate and House with a “vote of no consequence”, let us have that vote rather than this petty encouragement of our foes, foreign and domestic.