The House, with overwhelming, bipartisan support, voted yesterday to give the Bush administration two months to present to Congress its planning for the withdrawal of combat forces in Iraq.Wait a second. A 377 to 46 vote to give the administration two months to present a plan about withdrawing troops from Iraq is staring down the antiwar left? What the hell is the anti-war left anyway? Everything to the left of Rush Limbaugh?
The 377 to 46 vote was the first salvo of a new legislative strategy adopted by House Democratic leaders, away from partisan confrontation and toward a more incremental approach to war policy that can bring Republicans to their side. The withdrawal-planning bill had met fierce opposition this summer from ardent Iraq war foes, who scuttled an earlier vote by saying it would do nothing but give Republicans political cover for their support of President Bush's policies
This time, amid the stirrings of a bipartisan centrist coalition on Iraq, Democratic leaders stared down the antiwar left and went forward with the vote. With Senate leaders stymied in their efforts to force a change of course in Iraq, House Democratic leaders faced a choice of whether to continue pushing firm timelines for troop withdrawals, as many liberal Democrats want, or to search for bipartisan comity, even after the Senate had failed to find it.
What is The Washington Post saying? First of all, one thing is clear: antiwar in this case means being against the current debacle in Iraq. It doesn't mean being against war in general. Some pretty hefty Republican troglodytes have come out against this war, including no doubt some that might have loved many other wars including Vietnam, Desert Storm, Korea, Afghanistan, and maybe some that haven't even happened, like a hypothetical nuclear holocaust during the Cold War that would have hastened the Second Coming.
More accurately, The Washington Post was trying to say that the motion to withdraw wasn't as strong as some who are against the war would have wanted. Some would like the U.S. out of Iraq in two months. They could have just said that without using the loaded term "antiwar left." I expect that from Fox News or The New York Post, not a respected newspaper.