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‘Slow Bleed’ Conservatives Voted Against Billions In Equipment For U.S. Troops

The right-wing has begun a coordinated effort to smear Iraq war critics by describing their legislative plan as a “slow-bleed strategy.”

The phrase was first used in an article Wednesday by John Bresnahan of The Politico; within hours, the Republican National Committee issued a release falsely claiming that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) “call their plan the ‘slow-bleed strategy.’” In fact, as Bresnahan clarified in a subsequent article, “slow-bleed” was “not a term used by any Democrats or the anti-war groups supporting their efforts.”

Nevertheless, conservatives continue to use the phrase to attack war critics. During this week’s Iraq debate, at least five members — Deborah Pryce (R-OH), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), and Adam Putnam (R-FL) — used the phrase on the House floor. Watch a video compilation:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/02/slow.320.240.flv]

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If only their rhetoric matched their voting record. In October 2003, as insurgent violence in Iraq was growing and military equipment shortages were becoming increasingly problematic, Rep. David Obey (D-WI) proposed an amendment shifting $3.6 billion to pay for better equipment and other quality-of-life measures for U.S. troops. Not one of the five voted for it.

That’s a real recipe for “slow bleed.”