The Democrats have spent the better part of four decades trying to overcome their antitroop image. One would think, just might think, that the party whose members are huddling this week to "plot strategy on their next move, which will be seeking to restrict some of Bush's Iraq war spending by establishing high readiness and equipment targets for troops and requiring those targets be met first" would be the pro-troop party, right?
That's not how Republicans are portraying Democrats.
"They ultimately plan to cut off funds for the troops," the Senate's top Republican, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, told Fox News on Friday.
Friday, of course, was just a day or so before Republicans cut off a Democratic effort in the Senate to register disapproval of the president's proposed "surge" of additional U.S. troops into Iraq.
So that would make Republicans the party that is "for" the troops, right? McConnell would certainly like to don that crown. However, the same party that launched the Iraq war sent those troops to Iraq woefully short of thousands of desperately needed humvee armor kits that reduce U.S. troop deaths from roadside bombs. The advanced armor helps shield the troops from "a rising threat from particularly lethal weapons ... known as 'explosively formed penetrators' (EFPs)that are now inflicting 70 percent of the American casualties in the country," according to U.S. military and civilian officials.
Oh, and the needed armor won't be ready until this summer.
Now I get it! Republicans, who sent troops into Iraq ill-equipped, are the partisans more supportive of the troops? Well, it's not quite that simple. Democrats are trying to quiet down their in-house firebrands (Rep. Dennis Kucinich et al.) who'd cut funding for the troops without even giving them airfare to get homeor so some war supporters would like the public to believe.