No blank check.

For months, that’s what congressional Democrats promised: On funding the war in Iraq, no blank check for George Bush. The only way they would continue funding the war, they insisted, was to include a timetable, even a non-binding timetable, for bringing our troops home.

No blank check. Yet here we are, approaching Memorial Day. And what have Democrats agreed to on Iraq? Giving Bush a blank check.

Why? One reason, of course — and I understand this — is that Democrats don’t have enough votes. If only they had a veto-proof majority, this would never have happened.

I also understand that politics is the art of the possible. And this may be all Democrats can do about the war at this moment — without prompting another presidential veto.

But, sometimes, politics is also about standing up for what you believe in and what you know is right, even if you know you’re going to lose. Especially when the issue is important. And today there’s no more important issue than ending the war in Iraq.

The American people want an end to this war. In my opinion, it would have been far better for Democrats to stick to their guns, insist on a timeline and lose than give George Bush a blank check to continue his war with no end in sight.