Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Would Democrats in Congress please end this war?

It looks like our recently elected Democratic Congress has decided to go soft on actually ending our stupid occupation of Iraq. Chris Bowers writes about his disappointment on MyDD:
It is hard for me to decide what pisses me off about this the most. It angers me to no end that Democrats are crushing aside a strategy, the Murtha plan, which has overwhelming popular support. The Democratic majority in congress, when considered as a whole, is clearly far behind the public on Iraq.

It also angers me that one of the main reasons Democrats are backing away, if not the main reason, is that Democrats are too scared of Republican talking points to do anything that might anger the Republican Noise Machine. Even though the public never did, Democrats on the hill bought so thoroughly into the "cutting off funding" for troops in the field line that they were too scared to do anything. Clearly, Democrats are far more scared of the Republican media machine than they are of the people who put them in power.

It further angers me that we won't even get a roll call vote on Murtha's plan, or on binding legislation to rewrite the AUMF. If they are not going to push for a roll call vote, I can only assume that there is no majority for Murtha's plan in the House. We need to know which Democrats are in opposition to it, but we are not going to. Instead of pushing members to support Murtha's plan, the leadership is dumping the plan altogether, and not even forcing the Democrats who oppose it to stand up and be counted. The leadership is covering for these cowardly Democrats, rather than leading them.
I feel Bowers' disappointment, too. When you can't get a Democratic congress to act in defiance of Bush on something that has enormous popular support, you get some idea of how broken our political system is. The emergence of the netroots left is a start of a correction, but there's a long way to go.

2008 should be, among other things, a year in which the netroots left supports primary challenge those Dems in congress who don't have the guts to stand up to the right-wing noise machine/Washington DC conventional "wisdom" even with the wind of popular opinion at their backs. There needs to be some consequence for this kind of spinelessness, otherwise our representatives will just drift along with whatever the "wise centrists" (why do they always seem to be warmongers?) think is the consensus.

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