Monday, February 11, 2008

Daily KOS - "Obama Just Surrendered to Bush" on Iraq

Some may not remember that Obama's opposition to the Iraq War wasn't quite so adamant last year. While Obama did oppose the war in a speech on the Illinois Senate floor, when he reached the US Senate he failed to sponsor a single bill to end the war in 2005 and 2006. He opposed John Murtha's plan to set a timetable for redeployment and he voted for every bill to continue funding the war. According to, "Obama has found himself facing a storm on leading liberal blogs over a weekend interview in which he spoke as though he were an observer, not a participant, in the confrontation between Congress and Bush over a threatened veto of legislation that sets a deadline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.

"I think that nobody wants to play chicken with our troops on the ground," he told the Associated Press, adding: "I don't think we can muster at this point a majority of Senate Democrats or Republicans to vote for a cutoff of funding."
...Obama's opposition to the Iraq war in 2003 is unquestioned. But what was a sharp anti-war line on the campaign trail in 2004 – when he said he favored voting against funding the war – turned into a more pragmatic Senate performance, where Obama has taken a less aggressively anti-war tack than fellow Democratic Sens. John F. Kerry (Mass.), Russ Feingold (Wis.) and others.

As a review of their votes by the website TPMCafe showed last week, Clinton and Obama have almost identical voting records on Iraq in the Senate; they cast different votes just once, when Obama voted to confirm Gen. George Casey as the Army chief of staff and Clinton voted against his confirmation.

Obama's choice of pragmatism over confrontation has long frustrated some anti-war figures, and their sentiment boiled over after Obama's comments to an Associated Press reporter in Iowa last weekend.

"Obama just surrendered to Bush," wrote Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas Zuniga. Faced with complaints from Obama supporters, he asked them to "imagine if this was Hillary saying these things. You'd be demanding her head on a pike, and so would I."