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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Thomas Veil, May 27, 2007.
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Res ipsa loquitur.
It's been an especially bloody week in an especially bloody month. On Memorial Day, we are provided with an opportunity to ponder such things at length. So no wonder Bush is taking yet another, even deeper, public opinion hit. As for the Democrats, I think they accomplished all they were capable of accomplishing, with a slim majority. This is one of those rare time when I won't complain about them not having done enough. The complaints should be filed where they belong, with an inflexible president and all those loyal-to-a-fault Republicans.
I will. They could have at least made more of a show of it. They have the public support, but they're still acting like they're in the minority. The talking heads went to town on how the Dems don't support the troops, then Bush went and vetoed what they gave him, even though it was more than he'd asked for them, and they huffed and puffed and then many of them gave in. Yet they're still being chided as not supporting the troops for threatening to do what Bush did, but caving anyway.
They should be out there pounding the message to the ground, whether the MSM will listen or not. Like the story about the vehicle armor, or the known issues in Iraq ini the CIA report, or the millions of other things they could be going to town on. But once again, they're "taking the high road" and barely saying anything.
They still aren't getting that we want them to be angry, because they should be angry, because we're angry.
One does have to ask exactly who it is they think they are representing...
The moderates like I used to be when I didn't care and didn't vote.
I wasn't a Dem before Bush, and if they keep this up, I won't be after him either.
That's not exactly statistically true. This appears to be the new standard:
We're in our 9th straight month of at least 70 US deaths, and 6th straight month of at least 80 US deaths. Previously, no more than 2 months consecutive months of 80+ US deaths had occurred. In the past 8 months, there have been 4 months with 100+ US deaths. In the previous 43 there had been 3.
In the past week, 33 US soldiers have been killed. That's an average of 4.7 a day. That indeed is higher than the average, but considering a week is a small sample, that's within the new norms. For the past 8 months, 3.1 US soldiers have died per day. The average before this current 8-month period was 2.1 over 43 months.
Both IJ and solvs have good points.
After the veto of the original bill, the Democrats did not saturate the media saying that they were willing to fund the troops but it was Bush that was holding it up. They did not hammer out the message over and over that they had done what the people had asked of them, and that the Republicans (and some Democrats) were keeping them from overriding Bush's veto. The Democrats did not call for people to write angry letters to their congressmen who did not vote for a deadline to the war. They did not call for protests, even though the people wanted to be on their side. In short, there was an abysmal lack of leadership.
I'd have gone even one step further than solvs: I'd have said (though I doubt Congress would've gone along with it) that they should keep passing bills with deadlines, and let Bush keep vetoing them, and keep on telling the public that Bush was the one not supporting the troops, until the bastard was backed into a corner and had no choice but to sign off on a bill.
In fact, were I Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi, I would've wanted to draft an even more objectionable bill, with an even tighter deadline, knowing that Bush would veto it in a hot second...the idea being that after that, another bill with a more generous deadline might've looked like a compromise. But that would've required both some strategic thinking and some guts on the part of the Democrats, and we all know they are only half-equipped (at best) in those areas.
As IJ says, with the slim majority they got for the first draft of the funding bill, there's no way either of the above ideas would have flown anyway. The problem is that there are still plenty of gutless Democrats and pro-war Republicans who (thanks to gerrymandering) apparently still have the support of their constituencies. Maybe a Democratic propaganda campaign would have changed things and shamed more congressmen into taking the proper side. I just hope we don't have to wait until the 2008 elections to get a majority of Congress (or a president) that's willing to end the war. Too many American kids will pay for that delay with their lives.
I think we might be forgetting the infamous 1995 "government shutdown" during the Clinton years. The Republican Congress could not pass a budget bill that the president would sign. Few were better at working the media than Newt Gingrich, but he still lost -- and the Republicans ended up wearing it. Some may say that he won a moral victory, but if so it was certainly difficult to find amidst the political wreckage.
The tough thing for Democrats right now is that while public opinion polls are wholeheartedly against the war, Bush, etc., at the same time, only 12% are in favor of cutting off funding for the war. Without this step, what can the Democrats really do, given their small majority?
Good point, but in that shutdown Clinton has popular opinion at his back, which is why Gingrich's Congress came out on the short end of that confrontation. Here the anti-war Democrats have the popular support. So the results might not be the same.
You may be right, but we'll never know.
I'm not so positive he did, really. Recall, the Democrats had only just lost control of Congress in the big Republican sweep of 1994. Gingrich attempted the full court press in '95 because he took the previous year's victory as a popular mandate for his party and as a repudiation of Clinton. My point being, going legislative mano-a-mano with a president usually isn't a winning strategy, lacking a veto-proof majority (or at least something close). On this issue, the best the Democrats could hope for pragmatically speaking is a stalemate, for which they would take the blame.
But they let themselves take the blame, even when they cave.
I don't know. The media are forever tying to pick winners and losers, and the pols are throwing their regulation spitballs, but I say this is one of the times you have to block all of that out, and listen to the sounds inside your own head.
Is that where you get the material for your crazy rantings?
My secret is out.
Only the Democrats could sweep into office one term and sweep themselves right out the next. My prediction is a Republican president next time around if they don't shape up.
I find myself in the unusual position of defending the Democrats in Congress. Opponents of the war are not going to suddenly start voting for Republicans simply because the Democrats currently lack the votes in Congress to stop it. In fact the opposite message is received.
Yes- but you'll also have more people voting for neither or going third party.
If there were a truly viable third party, one capable of winning a majority, voting that way might accomplish an end to the war. But as long as the Democrats look like the only ones even remotely in a position to stop this, I think they'll continue to get votes.
The message is received only if it is pushed enough.
I don't like the idea that the Dems couldn't make a stand, but they need to be out there pounding the message that "Bush shot down funding for the troops, without enough votes to override the veto we needed to get the money to the troops so that more of our sons and daughters don't die due to lack of equipment or funds." Make sure that people know they are trying to end the war but cannot do that without the votes to override a veto.
Bush doesn't care about the troops and cutting off funding will not end the war, they'll find some way to get the minimum amount of money necessary to maintain the troops there, most likely at the cost of essential equipment and veteran's benefits, along with further extended tours. If he had cared about the troops he would have equipped them well before they were sent to Iraq. Rumsfeld's line about going to war with the army you have only holds true when you don't start the war. If you are going to start a war with a country you make damn well sure that your army is properly equipped before you fire the first shot.
If they're not out pushing this message they look like they just rolled over and only manage to piss off everyone.
I don't necessarily think so. I believe most Americans understand the political situation well enough. For those who don't, the Democrats will be tasked with explaining it, which should not be too difficult. I believe the really significant political battle for the voter's hearts and minds will be over whether any progress has been made in Iraq by allowing Bush to pursue his own unmitigated policy for another year. You can bet, no matter what happens, that the Republicans who voted to stay the course will claim success. The truth will be much harder to cover up this time, though. In fact I'm going to predict that the next time this comes up for debate in Congress, that even more Republicans will bail on the president.
It's not the stuff in my head I'm worried about.
No, I'll still begrudgingly be voting mostly Dem next time around, but if they keep this up, I won't be happy about it and I wouldn't be surprised if they lose again.
Fair enough. Rest assured, my allusion to mental illness was unintentional, unintentional. But I repeat myself repeat myself.
Don't worry, I'm not too worried about what's in your head either.
Unless I should be.
Calm yourself. There's nothing there.