Monday, August 28, 2006

Time to Put Up or Shut Up

I'm a big supporter of Francine Busby in the CA-50 and it is good to she her shaking off the timid advice and strategic planning that came wrapped around the DCCC's financial support of her special election run against entrenched Republicans and, ultimately Brian Bilbray in the district.

Yesterday, Busby attacked Bilbray for his recent declaration that he is fully behind George Bush's "stay the course" strategy in Iraq. Busby came out swinging at Bilbray's assertion that the only way to change the current American strategy regarding Iraq and/or the "war on terror" was to get oneself elected president (or appointed emperor). As Bilbray puts it:
"The executive branch makes those decisions, and if you want to make them, you run for president."
Busby suggested that Bilbray may have missed the congressional orientation class that discusses the separation of powers provisions of the Constitution.

"Mr. Bilbray is wrong,” Busby said at a news conference outside the Veterans Museum and Memorial Chapel in Balboa Park.

“The Constitution says that Congress is responsible for oversight and funding of our armed services,” she said, adding that Congress had “shirked its responsibilities.”

“The time for mindlessly repeating the 'stay the course' mantra is over,” she said, backed by two dozen supporters. “It's time for answers, accountability and for action.”

This is the approach that Busby is going to have to take to break herself free of the inertia that has gripped the district after two years of almost continuous campaigning for Randy "Duke" Cunningham's congressional seat. Busby tried running against Cunningham in the June run-off, but voters in the heavily Republican district were unwilling to see Bilbray as Cunningham Lite.

To engage independents and rally the Democratic base for one more frontal assault, Busby needs to hang George Bush around Bilbray's neck. It's really the only strategy she has left, but she is going to have to be far more assertive than she was on Sunday to make this approach work.
Busby was vague when asked what actions she would push for if she defeats Bilbray, who is seen by analysts as the favorite in November in the heavily Republican 50th Congressional District.

Asked in an interview what Iraq policy she would push for in Congress, Busby said: “The first thing I would do is open the floor of Congress for a debate, so that we can ask these questions: 'Is this still a viable military option? Should this be changing into more of a diplomatic mission?' ”


She did not offer specifics.

“Maybe we leave some (troops) there for stability,” she said. “Maybe we leave some there for training the Iraqi troops.”

Asked about a timetable, she said: “I'm not in a position to give a timetable answer, because (generals) need to tell us what's viable.”

Note to Busby: If you are going to attack your Republican opponent for not having a plan, it would be a good idea to have one of your own.

Busby failed in June by being too cautious, she can't afford to make that mistake again. Take the battle to Bilbray!