It has not been a good week for leadership nor democracy itself. The House and Senate are getting ready to pass what Democratic leaders insist is the best bill we could get to fund operations in Iraq through September. From the AP:
"I hate this agreement," said Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., chairman of the Appropriations Committee.
Obey said the deal was the best that Democrats could manage because "the White House is in a cloud somewhere in terms of understanding the realities in Iraq."
The bill includes the nearly $100 billion that President Bush requested for military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as billions in domestic spending, including $6.4 billion in hurricane relief and $3 billion in agricultural assistance.
Republicans were unhappy about the added domestic spending, but said they were relieved the final measure did not attempt to set a timetable on the war.
"We cannot and will not abandon the Iraqis to be butchered by these terrorists in their midst," said Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif. "And we cannot and will not abandon our mission just as real progress is starting to be made."
If not approving unfettered funding is abandoning the troops in the field, then just as surely leaving them there with no mission, no way to win, and no way out is abandoning them, too.
We are all culpable today. And we are all living under the cloud Obey mentioned - a debilitating cloud of shame and lies that the Bush administration brought on our nation in March 2003. May we live - and may our troops live - to see a brighter, wiser day than this one.