You know that line about something being "full of sound and fury and signifying nothing?" Shakespeare wrote it in MacBeth to describe "a tale told by an idiot." But it might also describe the recent battle in Washington between Congress and President Bush over a spending bill for the war in Iraq. It was a tense, testy fight in which the Democratically-controlled Congress sent the President a spending bill contingent on a timetable to remove US troops from Iraq and led to a presidential veto. It galvanized people, including many who said the President was losing control and looked to the Democrats to right the ship. Well, it looks like the President is still at the helm.
The word from Capitol Hill is that leaders have worked out a deal on a $120 billion spending bill, which includes several billion dollars for domestic projects Democrats wanted. And with any bill involving money, you can bet there is plenty of pork-barrel projects built in.
But perhaps the most significant aspect of this compromise is that it may mark a monumental cave-in by Democrats. For weeks they've said they were resolved to fight the President and force his hand with the war in Iraq. Some even vowed to keep resubmitting the vetoed bill to make a statement against what the call the President's illegal war. Sound and fury, my friends, that in the end are signifying noting. If the rumors of the deal are true, the President will get the funding he wants free of the withdrawal timetable. And while the Democrats may get their pet projects, they will also likely lose some big-time political capital.
Among the things that has doomed the last two runs at the White House for Democrats is a seeming lack of leadership and the ability to truly get things done. This won't help that image.