How Democrats Can Explain War Funding Easily:
Let us say, and why not, that your sister with three kids is always asking you for money. You're a generally kind person, willing to give your sister the benefit of the doubt, that times are tough, that decent paying jobs are hard to come by, that we're all doing the best we can, that food stamps and unemployment checks only go so far. Let's say, and, again, why not, that over the course of a few years you've dropped a few thousand because you give a damn about your nieces and nephew. In fact, if you've ever even hinted that you don't have the money, your sister says, "Well, I guess we'll have to skip dinner a couple times this week." What kind of hard-hearted asshole would you have to be to deny her?

The thing is, it's really making you take a hit - there's stuff you need, like car repairs, some dental work, perhaps, that you have to put off because of your sister's constant requests. And the thing is, you don't see how the cash is going to anything that'll actually make your sister get a job or better housing. In fact, when you ask where the money goes, she gets all pissy, saying you don't trust her, saying that you want her kids to be taken from her. Sure, sure, she makes promises, that the money's going to pay for school for her. Or job training. But none of that has happened. Your money could be going for drugs, clothes, or just bullshit expenses that dribble it away. Either way, your sister thinks she's doing the right thing and, hey, the kids are fed, even if they seem a little bedraggled by the whole experience.

One day, you decide enough is enough. Your sister comes to you again, saying once again that she needs money, that she's used up the last check. You tell her, "Okay, I'm gonna give you some money, but only to pay directly for the following." And you lay down a few mild restrictions, like you'll pay school expenses. You'll pay for her to get some clothes to go on job interviews. And, of course, whatever the kids need. You want to be more involved. After all, you're the one providing the money. And she's sure as shit demonstrated that her ability to use your cash is worthless.

Now let's say that she gets really angry at you for daring to question her. She says that you don't care if her kids starve, that you don't support her. You either give her the same cash with no strings attached or you can shove your money up your ass and watch the kids go hungry in rags and it'll be your fault. "What the fuck?" you might think. You've given her every chance in the goddamn world. At some point, haven't you earned the right to say that she's incapable of making reasonable financial decisions or, really, decisions about the welfare of her children. You wanna give her money. She says it's her way or the highway. What are ya gonna do?

As many Congressional Democrats go back to their home districts this week, it's time to explain to their constituents why they are going to take a stand against the Bush administration's war (and they need to take that stand). It's so simple: we'll give the funds, but we demand a say in how the money is spent.

Explain that the President simply wants to be given a credit card with no limit to use as he likes. Sure, yeah, he can bully all he wants, saying nonsense like, "[O]ur troops deserve the full support of Congress -- and that means giving our troops the funding they need to successfully carry out their mission."

It's pathetic that Bush would use the troops as shields for his own incompetence. If your sister was feeding the kids Twinkies and Pepsi while using the TV as a babysitter, would you give her the money to continue?

When the President tries to hide his failure behind the bodies of soldiers, he is merely demonstrating that there's no strategy left, that we are bereft of possibilities as long as he is calling the shots.