Friday, May 25, 2007

Democrats screw America

I’ve often said that the US elections last November made very little real difference to America because Congress still had a conservative majority as it has for at least a generation. The proof of that came today when the US Congress caved-in to Bush and passed a bill to spend extra money on Bush’s Iraq War—no timelines for withdrawal of US troops, no enforceable “benchmarks” that the so-called government in Iraq would have to live up to (since Bush is empowered to ignore benchmarks if he so wishes), absolutely nothing that will in any way bring an end to this disaster. Instead, Bush gets what he demanded all along. It’s a complete victory for him.

In the end, the whole thing amounted to exactly what the Republicans said it was: Political grandstanding. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said “The debate will go on.” Yeah, you tell them, Nancy! The Bushies will be quaking in their boots in fear of your fury. And, the Republicans haven’t changed since the election, either:

House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio choked back tears as he stirred memories of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. “After 3,000 of our fellow citizens died at the hands of these terrorists, when are we going to take them on? When are we going to defeat them,” he asked.

It’s the same tired rhetoric that the GOP has been peddling for years, lying that the war in Iraq is in some way related to the “war on terror”. That’s the same GOP, of course, that blocked implementation of the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, leaving America vulnerable to attack while they “choke back tears”. Give me a break.

Among Democratic Presidential candidates in the Senate, only Christopher Dodd pledged in advance to vote against the bill. Joe Biden said he’d vote for it. At the roll call, both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama voted no.

So why single-out Democrats? Because they promised things would be different. Republicans got America into this disaster, with Democratic support, of course, and they never said they’d change anything. So, I never expected anything of Republicans. In fact, Republicans won’t change unless the threat of losing their re-election bid forces them to.

Among Democrats, only Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid came even close to setting the right tone:

Senate Democrats will not stop our efforts to change the course of this war until either enough Republicans join with us to reject President Bush’s failed policy or we get a new president.

Those November elections clearly changed nothing. Despite polls showing that huge majorities of Americans oppose Bush’s war (including 80 percent of independents), absolutely nothing has been done to end it or to even exercise a teeny, tiny little bit of oversight—you know, as Congress is supposed to do.

It would seem that Emma Goldman was right: “If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal."


Jason in DC said...

If we were a parliamentary democracy, Bush would be gone. But we aren't one. The votes were not there to pass this bill over Bush's veto.

This is a win for Bush but for only right now. The Democrats will continue to push and, unless there is a miracle on the ground the in Iraq, Republicans will have no choice but to change their position or face being wiped out in the next election.

But here is what I believe is a truth that people need to recognize and that is Bush will be president until January of 2009. Only after he has left is there any real hope of ending the war.

Arthur Schenck said...

I agree with you on all of that. I think what annoys me so much is all the hype the Democrats spewed when they must have known that they couldn't really control Bush without republican support. As you noted, Republicans won't turn on Bush until they have to get re-elected.

Unfortunately, Bush will be in office as long as you say, which is why I have a ticker on my blog counting the days until the world is rid of him. I wish Congress would impeach the whole evil cabal, but they can't and won't, so it'll be business as usual with thousands of people—American and Iraqi—dying because Congress won't stand up to Bush.

DaveinSeattle said...

Arthur I don't normally read your blog but happened to link to it from Archerr tonight. I watch polls closely for job related reasons, and the number of Americans that want to withdrawl is far smaller than the Americans that want to feel "victory" has been accomplished before we leave. The issue is too complex to measure by a poll. Americans still need to have "victory" spelled out before there will be a committment to pull out entirely. You will see this topic evolvong. The Bush plan always had a withdrawl deadline, it wasn't open to the public and still isn't (but we are not off the projected target date). If the democrats felt they really had the support they would have pushed it. The election in November was not a vote against the war, more so than the public demanding a change in course, but not a withdrawl. We use simulation models to try to bring the polls together and take an accurate temp. but the reality is that polls are no longer an effective tool because they have been stolen by partisans on both sides.

Arthur Schenck said...

Thanks for stopping by, Dave!

You raised a lot of interesting points about polls in particular, and I mostly agree with you. I've noticed the increasing tendency for polls to be unreliable, and I'd love to find out why that is. I don't think it's just the partisans, though, because they've always tried to hijack polls or the polling process.

I know that one concern is the reliance that so many pollsters still place on landline telephones when so many people are switching to having a cellphone only. But there's got to be more to it than that, and I would love to see some impartial research into it.

Thanks again for stopping by!