It looks like the Democrats caved and will present a bill to the president funding the war with essentially no conditions. I suppose there is some upside, the funding is "only" through Sept. 30. Still, I can't help but wonder at the rationale for the brinksmanship without the willingness to pull the plug, or at least make a run at a really good bluff.
In my opinion, their goose was cooked when Pelosi & Reid made their initial offer to put the timeline and benchmarks in but let Bush waive them - just a unilateral offer that essentially was a negotiation against themselves. So that just showed Bush & co. that Congressional leadership was nervous and they pounced. However, instead of stiffening and calling Bush out, the Dems just caved. I'm not a fan of the negotiating against yourself tactic - but it there was still an opportunity to use it against the White House. In other words, they could have said "We made an offer and he told us to stuff it. He wants us to pass a bill that guarantees only more of the same."
The problem here is not just that the Dems looked bad - it's that they blew a golden opportunity to negotiate. They've lost all credibility, and it will take pulling the plug, I think, to get the WH to move. In their eyes, what does Bush have to gain by negotiation at this point?
WRITE or CALL your Senator and Congressperson - tell them to NOT SUPPORT THIS BILL!