Last week, Congress passed the “$106 billion military supplemental to fund the U.S. military’s efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.” In the House, 170 Republicans and 32 Democrats voted against final passage of the supplemental citing various reasons, including opposition to a measure from the Senate version of the bill which would make a new line of credit available to the IMF at a cost of $5 billion. (CAPAF Senior Fellow Nina Hachigian explained the need for the IMF measure.)
Now, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) plans to run ads on the July 4 holiday criticizing several vulnerable Republican members for their votes against the supplemental last week. As Glenn Thrush reports, “A series of 60-second radio ads will run during drive time from July 1 through July 8, according to a script provided to POLITICO — and they have the support-our-troops ring of GOP spots.” Thrush provides the script:
Around here, we recognize Independence Day with parades … and picnics … maybe a few fireworks. But July Fourth is about more than that.
It’s about remembering those who fought for our freedoms. And those still fighting today. Congressman Lee Terry used to understand that.
When George Bush asked, Congressman Terry voted to fully fund our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, last year he said, quote, “We must give our military every resource it needs.”
Seems like Congressman Terry is playing politics now … Last month Congressman Terry voted AGAINST funding for those same troops. It’s true: vote No. 348 — you can look it up.
Versions of the ads are reportedly going to be run against seven Republican members: Reps. Ken Calvert (R-CA), Charlie Dent (R-PA), Jim Gerlach (R-PA), Dan Lungren (R-CA), Mike McCaul (R-TX), Lee Terry (R-NE) and Joe Wilson (R-SC). The DCCC insists that it is simply pointing out that “[w]hen George Bush was president, Republicans were quick to criticize anyone who voted against the supplemental bills that fund the troops as against the troops. But now that Republicans are trying to score political points, they have flip flopped on troop funding.”
This, however, is not really the case. On May 14, when the House voted on its version of the supplemental — which did not include the IMF funding and a number of other changes to which many Republicans ultimately objected — 168 Republicans voted in favor of the bill. In fact, every single member whom the DCCC is targeting with its patriotism-themed ads voted for initial passage of the war funding.
Steve Benen writes, “As a substantive, policy matter, lawmakers can have completely legitimate reasons for voting against military spending measures, and opposition to these expenditures does not make one an unpatriotic terrorist sympathizer.”
On multiple occasions, ThinkProgress has criticized Republicans and conservatives for questioning the patriotism of those who were critical of the Bush administration’s policies — it’s not any more acceptable when Democrats question Republicans’ patriotism in a similar fashion.