The Deciderer and his flacks have been working overtime to tell Democrats (and the world) that any limitations on his power as commander-in-chief are unacceptable and send the wrong message to our enemies. He even invited the whole Republican caucus to the White House yesterday, so they could stand around for window-dressing while Bush made that announcement.
Well guess what, Mr. Pretzelnit? Everything you said (and everything you implied) yesterday applies equally well to Congress. I'm sure you've heard of the Constitution, though regrettably I doubt you've ever actually read it. But if you'll turn in your hymnal to Article I, Section 8, you'll notice that it is Congress, not the president, that makes the rules about how the armed forces are to be run. It is Congress that confirms the generals, Congress that declares war--and decides how, and whether, and when, to pay for it.
Yes, Article II, Section 2 does state that the president is our commander-in-chief. But, contrary to what I'm sure your advisers have been telling you these past seven years, that is not a grant of absolute power. Nor is it license to do whatever the hell you want and expect the rest of the government to follow along, willy-nilly.
So here's the thing. Congress has told you that it's willing to give you the $122 billion you've asked for to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the remainder of this fiscal year. That's the part you wanted to hear. But they've also told you that they're through giving you carte blanche to piss away Americans' lives and treasure in a fruitless attempt to demonstrate your relevance to the world or to secure something that you can feature in your presidential library (assuming, argumentis causa, that you can find any institution willing to play host for it) as your "legacy."
Let me translate that into Texan for you, Mr. Preznit. It means "You're fucked, but good."
Congress absolutely has the power to give you the money you want for continuing this war. It also has the power not to give you that money. And if it chooses not to, you have very limited options for finding it elsewhere. Congress is also free to attach whatever strings to that money that it feels are in our national interests. If you want the money, you're going to have to make nice with Congress--and not just the minority of its members that still think you have at least some idea of what you're doing.
By all means, veto this appropriations bill when it lands on your desk. That only means that Congress is going to have to go through the process of writing another one and sending it over to you, at which point we'll repeat this whole rigmarole. Congress has the clearly expressed will of the American people behind it. You, not so much. Veto all you want--they're going to keep coming back around and getting in your face with some kind of a stick to make you at least talk about getting our men and women out of the clusterfuck you've allowed Iraq to become.
You can either accept the term limits Congress decides to attach to the money you've asked for, or you can accept the much shorter term limit that will hit when the money you do have for fighting these pointless wars runs out, at which point you'll have to bring the troops home anyway. It's entirely up to you which of those two options you choose. If you have any scrap of intelligence or even an ounce of real concern about the safety and security of the men and women in uniform you have been so glibly sending to their deaths these last four years, you'll opt to take Congress's limits. At least that way you have an opportunity to make plans and provisions for an orderly withdrawal so that as few of our people as possible are lost in making sure we get out and leave nothing behind that would give aid and comfort to our enemies.