Now What for Dems?

May 08, 2007 by susan
Cowboy George

Perhansa asks. We listen.

Barbara is still in Ireland. Susan is still in Mary Oliver land, having been to two magnificent readings in 14 hours. She took my head out of the political world and into the natural world, and I'm reluctant to come back. So thanks, Perhansa, for another post.
by Perhansa
Now that the Cowboy-in-Chief has made it clear that he will tolerate no conditions, dates, enforceable benchmarks or expectations on his war, and has exercised his veto pen, what do the Dems do now? Public opinion is a bewildering fog of ambiguity. Cleary, the majority are exasperated by the war and can see, despite the rosy rhetoric from the White House, only W, Dick, and Gen. Petraeus think this thing is "winnable". More.

At the same time, when asked, the "public" seems to want a timetable for withdrawal, but not too aggressive a timetable; they're afraid of the all-hell-will-break-loose warnings of apocalypse foretold by the administrations' boogey men. The Re-Pubs seem willing to try and distance themselves from W while out testosterone-ing each other with bold affirmations about not surrendering or allowing defeat (winning is now defined as not losing'"which means not leaving).

Harry and Nancy talked boldly after the veto, but without cover they're not going any further on putting the breaks on Incurious George. Short of mass protests on the order of the Vietnam era, I don't see this ending any time soon'"do you? Non-binding benchmarks'"what for? It reminds me of my former neighbor with whom I had an unspoken rule not to share a beer before noon. He'd show up in my backyard on a Saturday morning at 10:00am with a pair of Miller Lites and cheerily say, "It's noon somewhere in the world." The Iraqi's parliament will some day accomplish something and they'll call it a benchmark and say, "See, it was right not to pressure them." Or they won't.

Also, now that the firestorm of the US Attorneys has died down, Alberto looks like he'll get to keep his job even if he is an incompetent rat and the justice department is as politicized as everything that walks and breaths in D.C. George Tenet is an ass-covering coward. Condi thinks diplomacy is not being rude to Syrian and Iranian diplomats if they pass each other in the hall. The military and the White House are preparing us for a higher order of death and violence for the summer until we see if the surge is working. The Surge will work just enough to ask for more funding and more extensions for the troops because there isn't, nor will there ever be, a Plan K (we can quit calling it Plan B since we're already on Plan J at least). The NRA claims it wants to keep guns out of the hands of certified freakin' nut cases'"but that'd be most of them, so it's not going anywhere. And Scooter will get a pardon before W leaves office. Dick has blood clots in his leg and some non-functioning neurons in the brain. I'm trying to take the Buddhist approach here and see things as they are and not how I'd like them to be'

So what to do? I say W made his bed, soiled it, and wants to keep sitting in it soiling it some more. Let him. Let's make it absolutely clear this is George's War. The Iraq Study Group couldn't persuade him to change course. The generals on the ground couldn't persuade him to change course. The 2006 elections couldn't persuade him to change course. A Democratic majority in the House and Senate couldn't persuade him to change course. The surge is on for the summer no matter what anyone says or does. It's George's War'"it's time to hang this solely around his neck and let history judge. If we're still in Iraq in November of 2008 and conditions are no better, they'll be a Dem in the White House and a bigger majority in Congress. First order of business will be to extricate ourselves from George's War. That's been the pattern of the last forty years. History isn't on W's side. Countries with superior military power have lost two thirds of the wars over the past forty years to insurgencies (Robert Packer, Correlates of War Project).

In the meantime, what WILL ensure the Dems get elected in '08 is a real VISION and some RESULTS. The first hundred hours seems an eternity ago and didn't amount to much'"time to get it in gear. We need some real leadership, a sustainable plan, and some quick hits to address climate change. We need an energy policy that begins to extricate us from the dependence on Middle East oil. We need the minimum wage hike to actually becoming law. We need immigration reform. We need to balance the budget. We need to re-evaluate No Child Left Behind and the cash flow into "faith'"based" programs that practice hiring discrimination. We need health care reform. We need to tax reform. Take your pick. Two years from now the public will be asking the Dems, what have you done since we sent a message in 2006 we wanted change. What will our answer be?

We already know what the Re-Pub message will be in '08'"9/11, Terror, Iraq, Iran, military buildup, tax cuts, culture wars, etc. What else can they run on? Do they dare ever mention "values" again? Any talk of bringing more dignity to D.C. will light up the laugh meter. A successful leader knows how to pick their fights. The Iraq one is no longer winnable. This is George's War to win or lose. The next few months will decide its fate. The next fifteen months will decide the Dems fate in 2008. We can't count on the Re-Pubs losing, we have to win. We have to have a vision, a message, and some results, or a third party candidate will look better and better and we know who gets hurt by third party candidates. Time to roll up the sleeves and get to work on something besides George's War.

Posted in

Comments

Poet (not verified) | May 8, 2007 - 5:28pm

Perhansa i agree with your 'you made your bed now sleep in it" remedy as long as that means no more funding bills of any kind for that @#$&$#$ war. From what I understand about "defense spending" (what a euphemism that has become!)there is more than enough lard in the budget to keep the stupid thing going til 01/20/09.

Or course it might mean stalled development of the next generation of nukes, the weaponization of outer space, and a war with Iran, but what kind of down-side is that?

As far as platform planks for 08 are concerned i nominate:

Close Gitmo Now.

Restore habeus corpus now.

Stop extraordinary rendition and torture now.

Revoke the Patriot Act now.

Restore diplomatic relations with Cuba now

Less reactionary things (in other words what might we be for!)
should include:

Taking the lead in the reduction of greenhouse gases and other pollutants.

Development of sustainable alternative energy. Solar, wind, geothermal, and tidal are renewable and non-polluting examples. (ethanol is not sustainable unless you consider it a worthwhile goal to use up the last 6 inches of top soil in the midwest to keep the "happy motoring" culture going instead of feeding us when mechanized agribusiness no longer is viable (due to its dependence on petroleum fuel to run the machines and make the pesticides and fertilizer needed to grow its depleted goods.)

Single-payer health care similar to the systems in places like Britain, Canada, and Australia so that the emergency room is no longer the default health care system for poor folks.

Increased corporate income taxes so that the treasury rather than the executives and share holders receive a larger cut.

How's that for a start?

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Perhansa (not verified) | May 8, 2007 - 8:22pm

Sounds like there's plenty of work to go around and opportunities galore!

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Peter (not verified) | May 8, 2007 - 8:46pm

Why do you folks use so many words to say virtually nothing? Is it that "creative thing".?

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paul miller (not verified) | May 8, 2007 - 10:21pm

cheney is on DC Madam's list (6 words)

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perhansa (not verified) | May 8, 2007 - 10:42pm

We've been listening to the meaningless reams of drivel coming out of the Right for six long years too long...

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Perhansa (not verified) | May 8, 2007 - 11:03pm

I just got it Paul, you meant to be IRONIC...calling us creative. You were trying to point out the irony, like the pot calling the kettle black irony...
compassionate conservative...
axis of evil...
mushroom clouds and stockpiles of WMDs...
war as a last resort...shock and awe...war on terror
death tax...ownership society...privatization...
culture war...war on christmas...war on christians...white flag...swift boater...culture of life...intelligent design...faith based...family values...abstinence only...stay the course...stand up when they stand down...cut and run...support the troops...the surge...operation Iraqi freedom...they hate us for our freedom...the jury is still out...teach the controversy...I don't recall...
you meant using a lot of words to say absolutely nothing in THAT sense, right? Irony... tricky Paul, tricky! You fooled me there for a minute. You meant we pale in comparison when it comes to using language in a meaningless, high sounding way...

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susan | May 8, 2007 - 11:22pm

Perhansa, don't you mean "Peter"? Paul's our pal, Peter's our prick.

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paul miller (not verified) | May 9, 2007 - 9:18am

that's what I was thinking, Susan. Speaking of pricks, Big Time is in Baghadad, that ought to give a big ol shot of testoterone "surge" to our troops. In other overlooked news of the ironic the current President of Haiti met with the criminal who forced out / kidnapped the former President of Haiti on Tuesday, Bush of course has no sense of shame:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/globaldiplomacy/
Rock On! - beeutiful day in Minnesota today! good day to hang the luandry on the clothes line

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Perhansa (not verified) | May 9, 2007 - 10:20am

Peter, not Paul...sorry Paul...it was late and I was seeing red....my apologies. You're absolutely correct, I meant Peter.

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Perhansa (not verified) | May 9, 2007 - 10:25am

I don't know if any of you have read Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary, but I think we create a new and updated version of it by dissecting the language of the Right and coming up with the real definitions for the words they use...starting with compassionate conservative, ha!

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Peter (not verified) | May 9, 2007 - 10:49am

Peter, not Paul...sorry Paul...it was late and I was seeing red....my apologies. You're absolutely correct, I meant Peter.

Apology accepted. I can understand!!

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susan | May 9, 2007 - 11:14am

"Apology accepted. I can understand!!"

Peter, you usually understand so little. What happened?

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Peter the Prick (not verified) | May 9, 2007 - 3:45pm

Awww Shucks I don't know, i guess when you called me a "prick" it kinda hit me below the belt if you know what I mean,and then he said (or she said - have not figured it out yet) something about seeing red and yer all kinda of havin a rough go in life lately I thought it would be the best to pologize.

Fair enuf?

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Perhansa (not verified) | May 9, 2007 - 9:59pm

Who's on first? I was tired and seeing red (from laughing to tears at the irony) and the apology was directed to Paul (whom I mistakenly targeted in the reply).

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susan | May 9, 2007 - 10:35pm

No, you got it right. Paul deserved the apology, Peter took it. More "irony". This is Peter toying with us, in his -- endearing way.

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