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The Iraq War Is Not Michael Jordan

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Back in the 1990s when I was a huge NBA fan, they used to say about Michael Jordan: "You can't stop him, you can only hope to contain him." Except for people like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA), Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and a few others, the Washington Democrats, Republicans and the pundit class are all using the Jordan description as their motton about the Iraq War - that Congress can't stop it, and actually worse - it can't even contain it. Sen. Joe Biden (D-MBNA) said as much this Sunday, as did Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). The Washington Post's Dana Milbank basically said it as a matter of fact on Keith Olbermann's show last night.

They all are basically saying that Congress simply "can't" stop funding for President Bush's military escalation, even though, last I checked, the Constitution gives the U.S. Congress the power of the purse, and the Washington Post's Walter Pincus has previously laid out very obvious ways to use that power without putting troops in harm's way.

Here's a newsflash: The Iraq War is not Michael Jordan, and the Congress doesn't have to be Craig Ehlo - the Cleveland Cavaliers guard who got perpetually posterized by Jordan. Congress can stop the Iraq War, or at least the escalation of it, no matter how many people in Washington use these Jordan-esque descriptions to justify their own pathetic refusal to do what the vast majority of Americans want.

Thankfully, as I said, Pelosi, Murtha and Kennedy have all said they are going to use their power in the majority to, at the very least, force President Bush to get congressional approval for a military escalation. Just today, in fact, Kennedy introduced bold legislation (linked below) saying that no funds can be spent to send additional troops to Iraq unless Congress approves the Presidentà ‚¬ „ s proposed escalation of American forces. This is going to tear the Iraq War as Michael Jordan narrative to pieces, forcing lawmakers to publicly state whether they have the guts to exercise their constitutional responsibilities or not. Stay tuned.

Text of Kennedy legislation
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David Sirota is a full-time political journalist, best-selling author and nationally syndicated newspaper columnist living in Denver, Colorado. He blogs for Working Assets and the Denver Post's PoliticsWest website. He is a Senior Editor at In These Times magazine, which in 2006 received the Utne Independent Press Award for political coverage. His 2006 book, Hostile Takeover, was a New York Times bestseller, and is now out in paperback. He has been a guest on, among others, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and NPR. His writing, which draws on his (more...)

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