Before shock and awe, there was give peace a chance. The call for a surge in Iraq drew a push-back from MoveOn.orgers. Doves bristle at endless warfare.
Ah, the good old days. Now, down is up, Simon Cowell is Jennifer Lopez, and hawks who once warned, "You break it, you fix it" are talking pullout. Just take a recent vote by the U.S. House of Representatives, including everyone's favorite Surfin' Mujahideen Congressman.
The San Francisco Chronicle, as is expected of a lefty pipe organ, is dissecting U.S. war funding. As part of that coverage, "Below the Beltway" columnist Carolyn Lochhead was struck by a House vote on an amendment that would have saved $400 million by eliminating the Afghan infrastructure fund.
Backers rightly argued there's plenty of infrastructure to rebuild right here in the U.S. It's the same argument liberals made (and still make) about funding NASA, which really is part of the war machine. The argument goes: Why spend gazillions sending people into space when babies go hungry on the ground?
So, the vote on the Afghan infrastructure fund provided a good gauge of war support. Like most California voter initiatives, it does get confusing: A yea was a no to the funding; a no was a yea. (See "Down is up, Simon is . . ." Oh, never mind.)
The amendment failed, 135 to 294, along what Lochhead notes were "oddly bipartisan lines." Of course, its author, Representative Walter B. Jones Jr. (R-North Carolina), backed it. He famously led the charge to change the name of French fries to "freedom fries" in the House cafeteria. However, his anti-war stance is no surprise now, as he has said he was "duped" into voting for the Iraq invasion and he called on then-President George W. Bush to apologize for misleading Americans.
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Some of the other yes (to eliminate) GOP votes came from Representatives Dana Rohrabacher (R-Taliban Beach), John Campbell (R-Newport Beach), Ed Royce (R-Fullerton), Mary Bono Mack (R-Palm Springs) and Tom McClintock (R-Granite Bay).
Support from Rohrabacher and McClintock is not that surprising. Dana has always been a wild card, fancying himself an Afghan expert since he once played army men there with future Taliban types armed by the Reagan administration to fight the Soviets. And McClintock wants to eliminate government funding of everything.
Perhaps even more jaw-dropping were the no (to eliminate) votes from the other side of the aisle: Representatives Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara), Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles) and Pete Stark (D-Hayward).
These are interesting times.