Apparently Byrd and the Democrats are trying to rewrite the Constitution again. With the help of a spineless Republican majority, Democrats have successfully changed the ‘advise and consent’ aspect of the judicial confirmation process into a 60 vote requirement from a simple majority, now he wants the requirement of a popular mandate to appropriations bills:
SEN. ROBERT BYRD: Secretary Rumsfeld, where is the mandate from the American people to carry out the reconstruction of Iraq? Who has set the parameters for how extensive this nation- building effort should be? And when did the American people give their assent?
DONALD RUMSFELD: Thank you, Senator Byrd. The answer to your question is that in our constitutional process, the president came to the Congress, as we all know; sought a resolution, received a resolution. He recognizes that under Article I of the Constitution, the Congress controls the purse strings, and therefore, he has made this request to the Congress. And certainly the deliberations that we’re currently engaged in…
SEN. ROBERT BYRD: But where is the mandate from the American people to carry out the reconstruction of Iraq and to Democratize that government?
DONALD RUMSFELD: The goal for the United States is not to stay there– or for the coalition. It’s to turn that country back over to the Iraqi people, which is, as Ambassador Bremer pointed out, a seven-point plan to do that through a constitution and elections, and then passing of sovereignty at a pace as rapidly as is reasonable.
SEN. ROBERT BYRD: But still I haven’t had an answer to my question as to where the mandate comes from the American people. The American people have never been told that we’re going into that country to build a new nation, to build a new government, to democratize the country and to democratize the Middle East. The American people haven’t been told that. They were told we were going in there because of weapons of mass destruction.
The man is a walking joke, and you can tell his colleagues on the right hold him in utter contempt while his colleagues on the left are simply terrified he is going to embarass them all again.
BTW- Bill Hobbs reminds us of the bait and switch some on the left are now trying to pull regarding the debate to go to war with Iraq.