Alternative headlines

The headline on this story reads "Dems abandon war authority provision," but I would suggest a couple of alternative headlines:  "Dems abandon pretense of opposition to executive authority," and "Dems abandon any claim to constitutional governance."  But that said, the story itself, from the Associated Press, does little to beat around the bush:

Top House Democrats retreated Monday from an attempt to limit President Bush's authority for taking military action against Iran as the leadership concentrated on a looming confrontation with the White House over the Iraq war…

Conservative Democrats as well as lawmakers concerned about the possible impact on Israel had argued for the change in strategy…

The Iran-related proposal stemmed from a desire to make sure Bush did not launch an attack without going to Congress for approval, but drew opposition from numerous members of the rank and file in a series of closed-door sessions last week.

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., said in an interview there is widespread fear in Israel about Iran, which is believed to be seeking nuclear weapons and has expressed unremitting hostility about the Jewish state."It would take away perhaps the most important negotiating tool that the U.S. has when it comes to Iran," she said of the now-abandoned provision.

"I didn't think it was a very wise idea to take things off the table if you're trying to get people to modify their behavior and normalize it in a civilized way," said Rep. Gary Ackerman of New York.

Several officials said there was widespread opposition to the proposal at a closed-door meeting last week of conservative and moderate Democrats, who said they feared tying the hands of the administration when dealing with an unpredictable and potentially hostile regime in Tehran.

I recall reading recently that at the beginning of each new session of Congress every two years, somebody reads aloud George Washington's farewell address.  Obviously when this was last done two months ago, no one was listening to the part about the perils of "sympathy for a favored nation."