Thanks to Rich Galen for the following succinct reminder of exactly who is in charge here. Rich's column "Mullings" can found via this link ............
Article II; Section 2. The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the militia of the several states, when called into the actual service of the United States.
• I don't know what the President is going to say tonight, but I do know this: Iraq is a major battleground in the worldwide war on terror. So is Iran and North Korea and Somalia.
• I also know that Article II, Section 2 says the President is the commander-in-chief. Article II, Section 2 is also that part of the Constitution which contains the "advise and consent" language:
He shall have power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States …
• Note, however, the language clearly stipulates which Presidential powers require the advice and consent of the US Senate. Sending more troops to Iraq is not among them.
• Neither Nancy Pelosi, nor Harry Reid, nor Joe Biden nor any other member of the House or Senate nor anyone running for US President from either party has the right to deny the President the power granted to him as commander-in-chief.
• The Congress can, of course, withhold funding for military adventures. In the 1960s, when the country was opposed to the Vietnam war and was also opposed to the soldiers who fought there, that might have worked.
• In 2007, in spite of the country being opposed to the war in Iraq, it is most assuredly not opposed to the men and women who have volunteered to serve in uniform and, by extension, fight for our safety in Iraq and Afghanistan and anywhere else they are ordered to go.
• Denying services members the funds necessary for them to do their jobs will not be a path to re-election in most Congressional Districts in America in 2008. House Members - especially freshmen Members - understand this.
As for the Dem leadership's attempts to usurp Presidential power:
MR. RUSSERT: So you would put more American troops on the ground?
REP. PELOSI: What I'm saying to you, that we need more troops on the ground.
MR. RUSSERT: Would you send more American troops in order to stabilize the situation?
REP. PELOSI: Yes.
Above exchange from Meet the Press, May 30, 2004. Of course these are brief excerpts but read the whole interview here. Harry Reid needs mentioning as well because he said on 12/17/06 that he supported an increase in troop strength.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Sunday (12/17/06) he would support a temporary troop increase in Iraq only if it were part of a broader strategy to bring combat forces home by early 2008.