The Senate withdrawal provision, which sets a March 31, 2008, target for ending U.S. combat operations, is tucked into a $122 billion package to fund operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a must-pass bill that Democrats view as their best shot at forcing Bush to change direction. The withdrawal language was nearly identical to that of a Senate resolution rejected 50 to 48 two weeks ago.
At least we have a clear statement from the Democratic majority in Congress. They have declared defeat while we still fight in Iraq, and they spent over $20 billion in pork to make that declaration stick. They still want to make Bush responsible for the withdrawal, but they've quit trying to cover their tracks with clever tricks about readiness definitions to do so.
Only one thing is sure -- we'll finall get to see the President veto a bill. But what then? The troops need to be funded one way or another. Continuing resolutions? A compromise along the lines I've spelled out so many times I'm not going to bother doing so again? Or will the President finally get the clean bill he's demanded?