Believing they have been given a clear mandate from voters, Democrats are trying to challenge President Bush on the Iraq war while struggling to find enough votes to do it.
Party leaders are facing a caucus deeply divided on the issue and hold only a narrow majority in Congress. With their hands tied if just a few members stray, Democratic leaders are finding it tough to pass legislation that would require Bush to start bringing troops home.
I'm only asking for consistency from one sentence to the next! Is it too much to ask? Surely, if you believe you've been given a clear mandate, you cannot also be deeply divided?
By the way, while it's too early to predict that the supplemental will pass, it's starting to sound like the House Democrats are lining up the Members they need to get a majority. Combined with the clear indication from Hoyer (below) that the Democrats are ready to twist arms until they break, I wouldn't be too optimistic that this bill will be defeated - and followed by the clean bill that would have to be the next step.
If the House Rules Committee meets today on the bill, it's a clear sign that a majority is in reach.
Update: The Rules Committee has met, and reported a rule that allows no amendments to be debated.