What have you done for me lately?

GOP representative says the Democratically controlled Congress has done nothing to help the U.S. win in Iraq.

Published October 25, 2007 5:38PM (EDT)

We argued the other day that the Democrats' repeated caves on the war in Iraq and surveillance back home weren't going to keep Republicans from accusing them of undermining the troops and generally hating America.

Case in point:

In a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today, Republican Rep. Chris Shays told Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that he "can't think of hardly anything this new Congress, my Democratic colleagues, have done to help our soldiers win in Iraq and allow them to come home, succeeding rather than failing to help the Iraqi people live in a safe and free Iraq, free from terrorism, free from foreign intervention."

"I frankly can't think of hardly anything," he repeated.

In March, the Democratically controlled House approved $124 billion in funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, coupled with a timeline for ending the Iraq war. When the president vetoed the measure, the Democratically controlled House approved the funding again without any timeline attached.

But let's not let facts get in the way.

Shays told Rice today that he was "struck by the comment of House Majority Whip James Clyburn, who said, basically, if the Iraqi war went well, it would be bad for Democrats."

Basically? Not exactly. What Clyburn actually said -- and this was back in July -- was that if the then-pending Petraeus report claimed progress in Iraq, it would be a "problem" for pro-withdrawal Democrats because it would prompt more conservative, "Blue Dog" Democrats to stick with the pro-war Republicans in opposing any plan to bring the troops home.

By Salon Staff

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