Friday, January 5, 2007
I watched several resurrected Democrats interviewed last night on television (two by Keith Olbermann -- Senator Jay Rockefeller, House Select Committee on Intelligence, and Rep. John Murtha), and I felt as if a chill wind had blown through a warm room.
I believe in Santa Claus, and in spite of my writing that there is no important difference between the Democratic and Republican parties when it comes to things that count the most toward our national survival, I shared the general feeling after the November election that we had voted resoundingly to end the Iraq war and get the American military out as quickly as they could turn their tanks around. I dreamed that the Democrats would sweep in like a tsunami and tumble the Bush policies into oblivion.
If there was one theme to the Democrats’ election campaigns other than “we have better morals than you do”, it was, “We’ll end the war and get out of Iraq!”
Well, what I heard and saw last night was pitiful waffling. I wanted something along the lines of, “Okay, Bush, you’re finished! We’re cutting all funding for your war that we have any control over, and we’re hobbling you so you can’t send more troops over there.”
I wanted to witness vein-bulging indignation, podium-pounding determination, and promises of quick and effective action. I wanted to watch Democratic generals leaping out of trenches waving their swords toward the White House.
Instead I heard weasely, hand-wringing, “What can we do’s?” and “Bush will find ways to do what he wants no matter what we do.” Worse, I endured wimpy, “We will take a thoughtful and measured view of what is best for our country; we will evaluate all the related matters with statesmanlike responsibility; we will not do anything rash or irresponsible.” Everything short of, “We will not do anything.”
Translation: “We’re frightened to refuse to fund Bush’s military disasters because we’ll be accused of not ‘supporting our troops’ and not being patriotic.” That’s the same reason the Democrats voted to enable the Iraq war in the first place, thus abandoning any high ground they might have occupied.
Further translation: “Politicians get into less trouble by doing nothing than they do by doing something. But look at the bright side: You can always count on us to say things that sound good.”
I truly hope that my first impression is wrong, and that the Democrats act on their mandate to get us out of Iraq swiftly and make it impossible for Bush to start any new wars, as by attacking Iran or Syria as Israel’s surrogate. I do not think that the House of Representatives and the Senate need be the limp wet rags those Democrats interviewed last night seem to think they are.
The main problem -- other than breath-taking ignorance of the world and its history on the part of most politicians of both parties – is that (sorry to repeat myself), democracy in the U.S. takes place at a giant job fair, with each election a tug of war which results in more lucrative jobs for the winners and their entourages than for the losers. The only thought of most politicians is to get and keep those jobs . . . the ONLY thought.
I know I shouldn’t vote if I know it doesn’t do any good, but it seems that by each election time I’m so angry at the incumbents and their lies and crookedness that I go to the polls just to vote against them so I don’t have to look at their faces for the coming term.
Let us hope that after the Democrats finish congratulating themselves and decorating their offices and collecting gavels that they actually do something about our foreign affairs mess.