The day Democrats took control of congress, MSNBC's head pol Chris Mathews came out hard and fast on the Dems for too much celebration and not enough work. This was the first day.
In an exchange with Democratic strategist (and former RIAA head), Hilary Rosen, Mathews went straight for the throat.
"Let me ask you, Hilary, will the Democrats do what they promised to do in the campaign, or will they let the voters down again and not stop this war? " [Emphasis added--ed.]
Cutting Rosen's response that Jack Murtha, among others, has committed to conducting hearings, Mathews blurted out, "Words, words, words. I mean, excuses... "
Now, I'm all for holding elected officials to task and making sure they DO what they were elected to do, but bitchin' in Day One seemed a bit much, but whatever. The focus of Mathews' ire is his disbelief that the Democrats will actually do anything beyond talking about stopping the war in Iraq. Despite the fact that the President is the Commander in Chief and is soley responsible for the use of our country's military, Mathews' is right that Congress isn't without any control. They do hold the purse strings and as politically risky as it may be, the democrats do seem to be taking that responsibility seriously and are telegraphing to the President that the blank checks may have just run out.
The political risk, of course, is that defunding the war could easily be twisted by political shitheads like Karl rove into non-support of the troops. Anticipating just that, Pelosi starts every discussion of fund cuts with undeniable support of the troops currently in the field.
Speaking on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday, Pelosi said, "The American people and the Congress support" the troops currently in Iraq.
"We will not abandon them," she said. "But if the president wants to add to this mission, he is going to have to justify it. And this is new for him because up until now the Republican Congress has given him a blank check with no oversight, no standards, no conditions."
It's easier to be an opposition party than it is to govern—just ask the Republicans. The big tests for Pelosi and her new majority will be to halt the act of hiding war costs in emergency supplements rather than in the regular budget; actually vote down additional funding of a catastrophe; and defending those actions when the Defeatocrat accusations come flying...and they will come flying.