So. No debate, let alone meaningful action, on whether to support or block the president's "surge" plan.
Instead we are seeing in the Senate the same stew of demagoguery and cowardice that produced the authorization to use force in Iraq...which produced the too-broke-to-fix quagmire we find ourselves in in Iraq.
Demagoguery: Republican senators scuttled debate with a resolution they believed would compel cowardly Democrats to support the surge by linking it to a "support the troops" promise not to cut funds for the war.
Cowardice: Democrats didn't disappoint the Republicans who figured they'd fold.
It was a replay of the tack that compelled cowardly Democrats to vote for the use-of-force resolution by linking it with post-911 patriotism.
The Democrats who voted for it did so because they feared Karl Rove would successfully accuse them of siding with the terrorists. And that, they feared, would cost them their jobs.
Cowardly Democrats can't say that, of course. Admitting cowardice is only marginally less offensive to voters than "siding with the terrorists." So Democrats who've been recanting their force-resolution vote in recent months instead say things like "I supported the war, but the president was incompetent in prosecuting the war" or "I believed the president when he told us the Iraqis had nukes." Nonsense.
Lots, maybe all, of those timid Democrats probably thought the war was a bad idea -- for the convincing reasons expressed by George W's father back in the early 1990s. And, even if Hussein had the weapons George W said he had, not a shred of evidence was put forward to suggest Hussein had any intention of attacking America.
Beyond that, most clear-thinking people see no real difference between "pre-emptive war" and "first-strike war of aggression."
It's sad what we're seeing in the Halls of Congress. Conniving, mindlessly partisan Republicans scheming to protect an incompetent, delusional president and spineless Democrats letting young Americans die as a result of deplorable policies that they have the power to stop.