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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Are the Democrats going wobbly?
Posted by Jill | 5:54 AM
I hate to start quoting Margaret Thatcher of all people, especially when it was Thatcher, not George H.W. Bush, who lusted to send troops into Kuwait in 1991. But it's beginning to look like the Democrats, living up to their reputation as a bunch of wusses, are going wobbly in the commitment they made to the American people last November to put an end to this war:

After weeks of refusing to back down to President Bush on setting a timetable on the Iraq war, House Democratic leaders soon will be in the awkward position of explaining to members why they feel they must.

Party officials said Monday the next war spending bill most likely will fund military operations and not demand a timeline to bring troops home, although it will contain other restrictions on Bush's Iraq policies.

On May 1, Bush vetoed a $124.2 billion bill that would have paid for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan through September as Bush requested, but demanded that troops start coming home this fall.

Democrats say they hope to send Bush a new bill by the end of the week he will sign, and troops in combat will get the resources they need without disruption.

"I'm frustrated" with the war, said Rep. Joe Baca, D-Calif., a member of the Blue Dog coalition, a group of conservative Democrats. "But we realize too we have a responsibility to fund our troops and make sure they have the right equipment."

But Democratic leaders first will have to sway a large number of Democrats who want to end the war immediately - or pick up enough Republican votes to make up for the losses. Earlier this month, 171 House members voted to order the withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq within nine months.

I don't know why Congressional Democrats still refuse to understand just what they're dealing with in the White House. I don't know why, with a party and a president who sent paid Congressional thugs to Florida to disrupt a vote count in 2000, who have spent six years praising a president who sat in a classrooom for seven minutes while people jumped to their deaths in New York, who took us to war on a lie and then tried to destroy those people who tried to expose that lie, who shoveled war funding into the pockets of a company that still pays the Vice President, and that turned the justice department into Disenfranchisement, Inc., the Democrats still insist on believing that Washington is this genteel place where people disagree, then make compromises, then go out for martinis. I don't understand why they didn't anticipate that this president would leave over 150,000 American troops in Iraq without food, water, clothing, or armaments that they need rather than capitulate to anyone or even admit that he was wrong. The President of the United States is a psychopath -- a man with no empathy, with no feelings, a man who believes not that the sun revolves around the earth, but that it revolves around HIM. This president is totally batshit crazy, and the worst thing the Democrats can do is capitulate and give him what he wants.

Do they honestly believe that the way to keep their seats is to continue the same cowardice they showed in 2002 when they voted to give this president the authorization to go to war in Iraq, deluding themselves to think that this guy, of all people, hadn't already decided to do just that? If I knew he was going to invade Iraq come hell or high water, why didn't they?

Almost four in ten Americans now favor impeachment of this president for his crimes, and yet Congress shows little inclination to do so. Gary Kamiya in Salon says it's because the Democrats in Congress are content to let Bush take his entire party down with him rather than provoke a backlash. But he's on to something here:

But there's a deeper reason why the popular impeachment movement has never taken off -- and it has to do not with Bush but with the American people. Bush's warmongering spoke to something deep in our national psyche. The emotional force behind America's support for the Iraq war, the molten core of an angry, resentful patriotism, is still too hot for Congress, the media and even many Americans who oppose the war, to confront directly. It's a national myth. It's John Wayne. To impeach Bush would force us to directly confront our national core of violent self-righteousness -- come to terms with it, understand it and reject it. And we're not ready to do that.

The truth is that Bush's high crimes and misdemeanors, far from being too small, are too great. What has saved Bush is the fact that his lies were, literally, a matter of life and death. They were about war. And they were sanctified by 9/11. Bush tapped into a deep American strain of fearful, reflexive bellicosity, which Congress and the media went along with for a long time and which has remained largely unexamined to this day. Congress, the media and most of the American people have yet to turn decisively against Bush because to do so would be to turn against some part of themselves. This doesn't mean we support Bush, simply that at some dim, half-conscious level we're too confused -- not least by our own complicity -- to work up the cold, final anger we'd need to go through impeachment. We haven't done the necessary work to separate ourselves from our abusive spouse. We need therapy -- not to save this disastrous marriage, but to end it.

Kamiya is saying what I've been saying for months -- that there seems to be a kind of "tipping point of evil" at which point its perpetrators in our government seem to be immune. The Bush Administration's crimes are so monstrous, and were so effective in duping the American people, that it calls into question our collective intelligence, not to mention our own collective insanity, to look squarely at the crimes against not just our nation but against humanity as a whole that our fears in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks allowed us to allow him to commit. To impeach Bush is to face up to our own complicity.

The question now is this: What are we going to do about it? We need to make it very clear that if these people don't find their guts, they might as well start packing up their offices, because we WILL recruit people who will do the right thing for the country, instead of what they think is right for their continued occupancy of their Capitol offices. If there was ever a time to be engaged, to get our representatives to remember they work for US, that time is now.


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