I bet this isn’t in the Constitution

I’m happy to have contributed my share to this $20 million:

Tucked away in fine print in the military spending bill for this past year was a lump sum of $20 million to pay for a celebration in the nation’s capital “for commemoration of success” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Not surprisingly, the money was not spent.

Now Congressional Republicans are saying, in effect, maybe next year. A paragraph written into spending legislation and approved by the Senate and House allows the $20 million to be rolled over into 2007.

The original legislation empowered the president to designate “a day of celebration” to commemorate the success of the armed forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, and to “issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe that day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

Like the gambling bill, I’m sure some legislator bundled this stupidity into a Must Pass Bill&#153. Well played, since no one can vote against it. But let’s pretend that declaring victory in Iraq and Afghanistan was as simple as enacting into law some lawmaker’s desire to hold a giant patriotic parade. Would this celebration make any sense? If those victories amount to a complete win in our war against terror, which is open-ended by definition, that would warrant a national party. Not at the expense of taxpayers, but a party no less. But is that what victory in Iraq and Afghanistan would represent? Of course not. Celebrating that with lavish ceremonies is no different than a linebacker celebrating every tackle.

Winning is what we’re supposed to do. Instead of expending the effort to win those wars, our current leadership would rather throw an “aren’t we swell” party. Patriotism isn’t real if it’s forced in some cheap imitation of 1984. If $20 million for what amounts to a national hug can be considered cheap.

Idiots, every one of them.