Like most Americans, Memorial Day has mostly meant to me a day off from work, and a time when aging veterans shake down drivers for donations in return for a paper poppy. This changed after the Iraq War, when I started actually buying the poppies and even going out of my way to approach a guy standing outside an Eckerd drugstore so that I could make a donation and talk to him a bit. I guess we all deal with our guilt over this war in different ways.
This year, more than any other, Memorial Day feels like a Day of Atonement; a day when I feel there must be something I can do to atone for having even a scintilla of trust that the Democrats in the House and Senate would do the right thing. I wouldn't put up with the kind of treatment these Democrats have given us from a spouse; why on earth should I put up with it from the people who represent me in Washington? There comes a time when even the most battered spouse realizes that no, baby, it's not going to be different this time. In cases of domestic abuse, that spouse leaves at that point.
Yesterday only 14 Democrats had the courage to face their fears of David Broder, Bill O'Reilly, Tim Russert, and Karl Rove saying mean things about them. Among Senate Democrats, only Boxer, Clinton, Dodd, Feingold, Kennedy, Kerry, Leahy, Obama, Whitehouse, and Wyden, plus Bernie Sanders, voted against giving President 28% a blank check -- and I don't count Obama's and Clinton's votes as acts of courage, because they voted AFTER the measure already had enough votes to pass. Looking even worse are those who didn't even vote on this most important measure of the year, among them Chuck Hagel, who derailed his own "straight talk express" by voting to continue to allow Captain Codpiece to feed American young people into a meatgrinder, Chuck Schumer, who never met an excuse to speak into a microphone he didn't like until now, and Norm Coleman, who obviously isn't quite sure yet how a vote for continued funding would play against Al Franken's annual USO tours.
I expected this kind of craven action by Sen. Clinton, but despite his past association with Joe Lieberman, I had hoped that Obama would have shown more courage. Among the currently-sitting Senators running for president, this round goes resouncingly to Chris Dodd.
So what do Democrats who are tired of being abused by our own party do now? If we sit on our hands, are we, as Chris Bowers said last night, simply playing into the DLC's hands and turning the party over to them? The MyDD boys
have already decided that surrender = death, but rather than realizing that the two so-called frontrunners for the Democratic nomination only cast their votes after it was "safe" to do so, they're comforting themselves with Obama's and Clinton's post-vote statements. After all, without a role in Democratic politics, what is MyDD's raison d'être
? On the other hand, what good has the money we have donated and the sweat we have expended to elect Democrats accomplished? Jim Webb has over the past month succumbed to the "defunding the troops" rhetoric, though his web site
is not yet showing a statement explaining his vote last night. Jon Tester
's posted activity from yesterday omits the Iraq supplemental vote. No one was deluded that either of these guys were Bernie Sanders-type lefties, but after all of Webb's impassioned talk about ending our involvement in Iraq, to see him succumb to the "defunding the troops" meme is disheartening -- unless, as I opined last night, these guys know something we don't, something about which John Boehner may have spilled the beans last night -- that defunding the war effort will not bring the troops home, because the Psychopath-in-Chief WILL leave them there with no bullets, no weapons, no food, no water, and no uniforms -- leave them there high and dry to be massacred -- JUST so he can blame the Democrats.
When you put a psychopath in the White House, that's what happens.
But if the Democrats (and the Republicans for that matter) know this, why aren't they speaking out? Don't the American people have a right and an obligation to know about the Madness of King George?
Just for giggles, I decided to take a walk on the wild side, over to the "Only Slightly Batshit Insane" neighborhoods of Wingnuttia, to see what's being said, and found very little. Most of the wingnuts are still frothing at the mouth over Marauding Mexicans.
But this is Memorial Day Weekend, and after last night's vote, it seems appropriate to do something beyond putting some burgers on the grill and spending fifteen minutes in the local rah-rah war is great celebration that most Memorial Day parades represent.
For one thing, you could do what I'm going to do, and send an appropriately angry e-mail to the senators who sold you out and make it clear that they can no longer rely on your support as a result of this vote and will be supporting a primary challenger next time. (Yes, Messrs. Lautenberg and Menendez, I'm talking to you.) If you know a family who has a loved one in Iraq, do something nice for them this weekend. Send a USO care package
. Donate to IAVA
. Find another group
that sends packages, books, or letters.
We don't have to continue to blindly support the party that sold us out last night, but the effort to put an end to this madness goes on.
Labels: cowardice, Democrats, Iraq