There Is Another Way to Protect the Troops, Mr. President

Roll Call reports that Sens. Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham are not going to knuckle under to the House Democrats’ effort to strip out their amendment barring release of the detainee abuse photos:

Both Senators said they were alarmed that a House-Senate conference committee on the supplemental war spending bill appears poised to eliminate language — inserted by the two Senators — that would block public disclosure of detainee abuse photos. The $90-billion-plus bill has been held up, in part, because House Democratic leaders have said they do not have the votes to pass it with the detainee photo provision included, because many liberal lawmakers have balked at the language.

There is something remarkable about the degree to which the liberal House leadership, even with the comfort of a large majority and the announced wishes of the White House, remains beholden to the netroot fringe of its party. As Graham remarks, “The only body that is off-script in my mind is the House…  Is the ACLU now in charge of the House of Representatives?” Well, yes. And even more remarkably, for all his vaunted powers of persuasion, Obama can’t seem to get his own party in line. Well, to be honest, he never tries very hard (e.g. stimulus drafting, the 9,000 earmarked supplemental spending bill). Maybe his heart isn’t in it.

But there is a solution, of course. Obama could sign an executive order accomplishing the exact same thing as the Lieberman-Graham amendment. Why doesn’t he? Maybe he’s more than willing to allow Pelosi to gum up the works and make sure his ACLU allies get just what they want. Otherwise, he’d end this circus and sign an executive order to prevent releasing the photos that he declared would endanger American troops.