Why did President Bush get a blank check to go to war? The answer is Dick Gephardt.
Senators Joe Biden and Dick Lugar had, at the time in 2002, a more modest, bi-partisan war authorization bill that would have checked the president's power, at least a little, requiring him to report back to Congress before firing any Tomahawks at Baghdad.
The Biden/Lugar bill had the votes to pass, on a bipartisan basis. But then Dick Gephardt, in an attempt to appear presidential in a runup to his own White House bid, cut a secret deal with Bush ... and suddenly appears in a Rose Garden ceremony giving the president a war bill so expansive in its scope that it allows The Decider to unilaterally wage preemptive war against not only Iraq but any perceived threat.
We may yet end up in Iran because of Dick Gepardt's misguided presidential ambitions. But Dick's not done.
Today we discover that the former Democratic House leader is going to lead Big Coal into battle with the Democratic congress in an effort to block mandatory CO2 caps.
Check out this press release (spotted by Brad Plumer):
"Peabody Energy, the world's largest private sector coal company, has hired Dick Gephardt's firm to spearhead its drive to defeat efforts by Democrats to put caps on carbon emissions in a bid to combat global warming."
May history treat you harshly, Dick.