Democrats looked to the upcoming votes after losing a bruising battle with Bush on an emergency war spending bill. Lacking the two-thirds majority needed to overcome another presidential veto, Democrats dropped from the legislation a provision ordering troops home from Iraq beginning this fall.Should I avert my eyes so that I can preserve some chance of voting for Clinton or Obama in 2008? Both candidates have calculated that this is the position they must take to go forward toward the primary. I'd like to think they both know they are wrong but are doing what they need to do as a means to an end. And I believe that at least Clinton does. Obama, I suspect, is simply weak on national security (which is why he was against the war all along).
Congress passed the revised $120 billion spending bill on Thursday, providing $95 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through September. The House voted 280-142 to pass the bill, followed by a 80-14 vote in the Senate.
Democratic leaders said they hoped to ready the bill for Bush's signature by this Memorial Day weekend.
Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama both voted against the bill.
''I fully support our troops'' but the measure ''fails to compel the president to give our troops a new strategy in Iraq,'' said Clinton, D-N.Y.
''Enough is enough,'' Obama, an Illinois senator, declared, adding that Bush should not get ''a blank check to continue down this same, disastrous path.''
Their votes continued a shift in position for the two presidential hopefuls, both of whom began the year shunning a deadline for a troop withdrawal.
May 25, 2007
The Democrats and the war: