You’ve Been A Bad Boy, No Allowance For You!
Yesterday was an historic day with Nancy Pelosi sworn in as the first woman Speaker of the House. Speaker Pelosi has made me proud to be a woman, now I hope she can make me proud to be a Democrat again.
I was thinking yesterday about how the Vietnam War changed this country’s view of what constitutes a winnable war, both militarily and politically. The way in which the Vietnam War was handled by our elected officials and the fallout from the multiple disastrous decisions made (and not made) along the way must have had at least some personal impact on Democrats now serving in Congress, and I wonder how that will influence their tactics when dealing with the Iraq occupation. History has proved that we should have stayed away from Vietnam and that once there, we stayed too long in an effort to avoid the inevitable. We now find ourselves in nearly exactly the same situation, but this time, we aren’t in uncharted waters.
We have the benefit of hindsight this time around and despite the constant flow of White House rhetoric designed to ignite the “American spirit” of never give up that our obstinate president mistakenly takes to mean a free pass for whatever imperial exploit he cooks up in his little head, the American people have had enough. We The People aren’t eager to repeat one of the biggest mistakes in our history as a country, and I’m starting to get the sense that Congressional Democrats are recognizing that they don’t either.
Cutting off funding for the war is the only power the Congress officially has that could stop this nightmare and Speaker Pelosi has said, like impeachment, that option is off the table. But she is no shrinking violet, nor is she unaware of how the failure of Congress to stop the Vietnam War could provide the perfect cover for pulling the only lever they have to end the Iraq occupation. Regardless of how Republicans may feel about John Kerry, his heartbreaking question to Congress almost 25 years ago strikes a chord in all of us, and sadly it is even more pertinent today, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?” When contemplating that question, Party affiliation doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. That’s where the American people are and Congress better get there quickly, but that will require some pretty gutsy moves by the Democrats. I know, it’s been a while, but ramp up slowly and it won’t be as painful as you might imagine.