What were Pelosi and Reid supposed to do?

May 23, 2007

While I’m as sick over the Democrats caving to Bush on the Iraq war funding bill as the next sentient being, I think Keith Olbermann went a little too far in his Special Comment by suggesting that war opponents should, “if need be, unseat Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi.” The full Special Comment, video and text, is here.

Olbermann knows full well that there aren’t the votes in either the House or Senate to cut off funding completely for the war at this point. Any bill with timetables will be vetoed by the president. The leadership could take the step of refusing to pass any bill whatsoever, but that’s extremely risky politically because it would give the impression of congressional dithering harming the war effort. Olbermann may be right that the framing of the war funding issue by Bush and many in the press is ludicrous, but he’s wrong to criticize the leadership so harshly for taking the least bad of the bad options available to them.