There’s a trick you can use when facing a fight you really don’t want to have. You can either fight straight up, run away, or whisper in the ear of the person you’re about to square off with and say something like, “I’ll give you a hundred bucks if we both take a few weak swings at each other and then call it a draw so I don’t look bad in front of my friends.”

Politicians have that last technique down to a stone cold science. This week it’s the Democrats’ turn.

The Democrats in Congress are taking what some are describing as a “brave stance” against President Bush for his plan to send more troops to Iraq.

Most leading Democrats don’t think the U.S. should be in Iraq in the first place, and have said time and time again that the Iraq war was and is based on a lie and is a travesty. They’re also pretending to have little or no control over what the president does.

So little control, in fact, that Democrats are planning a “symbolic” vote:

Senate Democrats decided to schedule a vote on the resolution after a closed-door meeting on a day when Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts introduced legislation to require Mr. Bush to gain Congressional approval before sending more troops to Iraq.

The resolution, of course, is meaningless since the Commander in Chief has full Constitutional authority over troop deployment. Congress has control of the checkbook, however.

Ted Kennedy, by leading the Democrats in this phony exercise, is now a hero to the likes of Alec Baldwin and many others for showing balls the size of his liver (how standing up against something that’s “wildly unpopular” takes a strong set, I don’t know).

It only makes sense that when you’re looking for intestinal fortitude, you turn to a guy with a gigantic gut, but if Congress really wanted to stop the war, they could. All they have to do is vote to not fund it. They have the power, and theoretical numbers, to do just that.

I’ve criticized Cindy Sheehan plenty, but I’ll hand it to her on this one, she’s one of the few who aren’t buying the excuses from Ted Kennedy and the rest — and rightly so.

Many say that the Democrats are in control of Congress because of voter disgust with the war in Iraq. If it’s true they’re in power because of Iraq war disgust, discontinuing to fund the war would surely drive their approval ratings higher than a stowaway mouse in Kate Moss’s purse — wouldn’t it?

What are they waiting for? For starters, it would require — from the perspective of the left at least – integrity, guts and principle. You’d have better luck spotting Michael Moore at a Tofu bar than you would of finding these qualities in Congress — most certainly among the pool of Democrat leaders. Oh sure, you’ll find them symbolically and figuratively, contained in fits of empty threatening rhetoric, but rarely if ever literally.

So, Ted Kennedy can keep on flapping his gin-blossomed Chivas hole until the cows come home. This will continue to thrill his muse, who will be so busy watching the cows come home that they won’t notice that the troops aren’t.

The latter fact is really a secondary concern anyway. This is about hating Bush, not loving troops. Hard-core Congressional Democrats want the war in Iraq to end successfully about as bad as Jesse Jackson wants to get rid of poverty and racism.

The proof is in the symbolic pudding, which is, in fact, merely an empty bowl that Kennedy is clanking with his silver spoon.

“Did somebody say pudding?”


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