It was a very close vote in the House. Not in the sense that the president’s veto was close to being overridden; rather in the sense that House Democrats are not really sure this is a winning issue for them.

Seven House Democrats abandoned their leadership and voted to sustain the president’s veto, while only two Republicans abandoned their president.

All the passion on this issue is coming from the crazy left, who dominate the primary process for House Democrats. Yet seven thought it was worth the risk of alienating their base and possibly inspiring a primary fight to vote with the president.

This was a pretty free vote, in the sense that nobody thought the president would have been overridden. It would have been easy for these seven to give one vote to the loonies. But they chose to side with a president whose approval ratings are stuck in the low 30s.

What that says to me is that the Democrats wanted to give one to their base, and want to get on to funding the troops, pronto.

And when the House Democrats do pass a relatively clean spending bill (with some possible compromise benchmark language), they should get a pretty tough go-over by the rabid pacifists who make up the bulwark of Democratic activism.

This entire exercise has been one great kabuki dance, but it is time for the dancing to stop and for the responsible legislating to begin. It is time to get a clean funding bill to the troops, without pork, without extraneous provisions and without language that would lead our enemies to conclude that we are getting ready to pack up and ship out of Iraq.