Thursday, June 14, 2007

Pelosi, Reid and the Circular Firing Squad

Pelosi Reid

Many people in the Progressive camp are upset over the war-funding bill that passed a few weeks ago, thinking that they've been betrayed by overly cautious Democrats who are too busy reading tea leaves to "get off their collective asses and DO SOMETHING!" I couldn't disagree with them more.

While I would rather have a hard and fast timetable for exiting from Iraq, I just don't see how it's feasible to get everything we want while Americans still have a great deal of ambivalence about our exit strategy.

I see how it all looks: First Congress says; " Accept this timetable Dubya!," all the while knowing they will compromise after the inevitable veto. All for the lack of 60 veto-proof Republican votes. How will they regain their traction?

I have a sneaking suspicion that the war, as well as the hurricane season may have something to do with it.

The situation still continues to deteriorate in Iraq, and given the track record of the Bush outfit, this new gamble of giving arms to Sunni militias that previously fought us on the basis that they will fight al Qaeda is really Russian Roulette with 3 rounds in the barrel. Who says that they won't turn on the Shiite dominated government? Who says that they won't turn on us again? And what if they decided that al Qaeda can be an ally? Doesn't the whole project smack of desperation anyway?

And why is it that some people on the Left feel that it is their right to bully those of us who are not so extreme in our positions? So Pelosi & Co. can't get you everything you want. What many on the Left don't understand are the political realities we've all been confronting in general and in Congress in particular.

Democratic control over Congress is new and as yet not consolidated. Half of those 30 competitive House seats captured by Democrats went to centrists, some of whom like Nick Lampson or Tim Mahoney voted against Iraq troop withdrawal. These are people whose seats are virtually still in play, and are being targeted in 2008 by Republicans. They cannot just simply "vote their consciences" without at least taking into consideration the feelings of their constituents who may not all be so up in that about being Liberal. And what about Dems like Jack Murtha? What about the vets? How can you expect Jack Murtha to vote against funding for the troops?

And what have you, at the grassroots level been doing? Did you picket? Did you write letters, or e-mails? Did you at least call your Congressman? It's fine to bitch and crab about "sell out" politicians, but it's your job to really put on the pressure. Pelosi, Reid & Co. can only go so far. You have to take it the rest of the way.

I just had a look at's demographics of the U.S. House of Representatives. Did you know that there are only 2 registered Independents, that is - if you count Joe Lieberman as an "Independent" on the war. Of the Democratic Representatives in office there sits a majority of 285. Of the Republicans, there sits a minority of 250. There's only a difference of 37 votes between the two parties. Not enough to override a veto. Especially if the guy issuing that veto is a stubborn, moronic Republican. Where is the veto-proof majority?

The recent vote on illegal immigrants and the test vote on Alberto Gonzales proves my point. The illegal immigrant bill was the exception that proved the rule. Without those Republicans, not even an alliance between Reid and Bush could save the bill from defeat. Now comes the Iraq war, where Dubya and the G.O.P are thick as thieves. With Bush & Co. tag teaming the Dems, the only 3 options are to keep up the pressure on Republicans, impeachment of the Vice-President, and the defeat of those who chose to obstruct the passage of this bill. In my opinion, only the first option is viable. the other two will take until next year to do. Handy for the election, but how many will die in Iraq 'till then?

The More Liberal Than Thou faction seems to forget that in any democratic legislature, especially one so closely divided, politics is a game of numbers, based on who the Congressman represents, and whether or not your people can give that person a deal they could live with. And in a closely divided Congress, even the party in control has to make sacrifices. And like Woodrow Wilson and his failure to ratify the Versailles Treaty, those who are trapped in their ideology are doomed to sink in it.

I hear that in Officer Training School you learn one hard rule that applies to a representative democracy:

The enemy always gets a vote.

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