Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Middle Of Washington DC Is Not The Middle Of The Country

I’ll give the Republican Party some credit, they may not know how to govern, but they sure as hell know how to hoodwink the media and the Democrats in DC into believing that their radical notions are “mainstream”.

The Democrats now control Congress and 63% of the American people want to see them bring an end to the occupation of Iraq and yet the winner in the standoff over continuing to fund the occupation is won by the discredited neo-cons led by a President with a 28% approval rating! And we wonder why more people don’t vote.

Sure, cutting off funding for the Iraq occupation is risky, but it’s not insurmountable. The risk is that the White House will beat Democrats over the head with the “you don’t support the troops” stick, but who cares? Aren’t they doing that anyway? And who the hell still believes the Bush administration on anything, especially the war?!

What the Democrats don’t seem to understand is that the American people are behind them. 63% of Americans want a timetable for withdrawal, exactly what the Democrats were attempting to do with the last funding bill that the President vetoed. 63% of the country isn’t the “anti-war base of the Democratic Party” no matter how many times Chris Matthews, Howard Fineman and the rest of the yak-heads say it. We are not a fringe group, that’s a term better applied to the 20 percenters still supporting this President and his disastrous war.

The problem is that the Democrats have bought into the rules of engagement that the Republicans set up while they were in power. We’re begging you, please, wake up! In case you missed it, you’re in power now, you get to make the rules, and for Christ’s sake, stop believing that you need Republican votes to win! You don’t. What you do need is to hold onto moderate Democrats and you need to sway Independents to win elections, but guess what? You’ve done that. You don’t have to convince voters that you’re on the on right side of this issue, you’re the only ones confused on this point.

Understand that the only people still supporting this war are 75% of Republicans! The moderates and Independents have already joined you so quit acting like the underdog! We’re all standing here, in the Middle, using our binoculars to see you, but you’re still a spot on the horizon to our right. Accept that you’ve been duped by the right wing fringe and start walking (sprinting) left toward the center. You are our Representatives and we’re waiting for you to represent us. All the distant yelling is coming from the middle, you’re just having a hard time hearing us from all the way over there.

21 Comments:

Anonymous tafka pb said...

Amen, sister. Excellent post.

The people apologizing for the Dems today keep pointing out that the neocons would have spun another veto as the Dems not supporting the troops.

Huh?

So, we deny them that spin, so they can use this result and spin it into "We won. The Dems are weak."

Same old story. The Dems are playing checkers, while Karl Rove is playing chess.

We have got to purge the DNC of the DLC, or we are doomed to perpetual GOP rule in this country.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Well, the most obvious problem is that there is a Conservative Media Bias. I'm sorry, I hear this nonsense about CNN being liberal and PBS being socialist, but I don't see it. CNN is rightwing and PBS is centre.

The Dems victory in November 2006 was marginal. The Senate could revert to Republican hands at any time and one has to remember than the Dems are NOT an organized political party. Some are rightwing by district tradition; some won tight races against Republicans and can't stray too far from the middle. (Liebermaus won against Lamont because the Republicans backed him: 50%-Lieberman, 40%-Lamont, and 10%-GOP.)

Sure, 65% of the country wants the troops brought home. But I'm still not speaking with the woman who changed her mind to support Bush on the day the invasion of Iraq began and denounced me as a Saddam-lover. I don't know if she's too embarrassed or what. But, after the failure to find WMD, the failure to be greeted as liberators, the failure to bring the troops home by Christmas, I've given up waiting for an apology. And I still look wistfully at her emails from January of that year and wonder what happened to make her switch.

Personally, I wouldn't mind if the World's Sole Superpower were reduced to an average military force. Nuclear weapons don't win wars. Neither does aerial bombardment. Infantry wins wars. And that's what Rumsfeld tried to do without in Iraq and it has failed. And because there are insufficient troops in Afghanistan, that war is being lost too. And an invasion of Iran? It would see several US aircraft carriers sunk by Exocet missles in the first half hour. A million troops pour over the border into Iraq and ...well, who knows what madness would happen then.

We will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Six Day War in a few days. It's a war that never really ended. America is fighting it right now. A forced Two State Solution is our only hope. And compensation to Palestinians for waving the Right of Return. But I expect riots in June. And I suspect the whole Middle East will erupt.

Say hello to $10/gallon gasoline.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous biloxi said...

Ok, David, you have my vote, on what you've written -

However, $10 gas, I don't know. I have heard that we're supposed to be in lines at the pump by Labor Day.

Has anyone tried to do business with a bank lately? I mean with some big number deposits? It's very interesting indeed.

Have LOTS of LIQUID money on hand.

Grow lots of food, and look at what's on the horizon for every human being:

food, water, air.

The entire planet is shifting into a place where the most valuable commodities are simple resources.

Get ready and the end of 2007, could very well mark the eleventh hour.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Messenger said...

My only observation about the Iraq war funding compromise is:

"Politicians Are Like Lovers. With Each New One That Comes Along You Think You're Getting Something Different."

Peace,
Cosmic

11:19 PM  
Anonymous drm said...

lgnd,

The problem with your view is the "63%" you quote do not support the "cut off funds and bring the troops home now" position. My question to the "cut funds and bring them home now" position is "What is your plan B" if doing that causes all hell to break loose. If your plan results in Al-Qaeda leaving Afghanistan and setting up shop in Iraq and resulting in a humanitarian blood bath. What is the Dems contingency plan for that?

Since you are so found of polls, Pres Bush may have low poll numbers but Congress's approval ratings are EVEN LOWER. Pretty funny that Bush is more popular than Congress.

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If 63% said there should be across the board 20 percent tax cuts, would you support it?

10:11 PM  
Anonymous G Jiggy said...

Ds couldn't swing the surrender vote? That's because Democrat "leaders" wouldn't know conviction if it bit them in the ass but they sure do know what to say to get elected. The simple fact is (in spite of any poll you wish to cite) that abandoning the troops would piss off ¾ of the population and guarantee a Republican controlled congress next cycle. Maybe you folks don’t know it but the polls you see & read and the polls that your “leaders” commission are two completely different things. They know what the scoop is and vote accordingly.

You people are such fools. You think your "leaders" actually care what you think. Not so, you are nothing but a check mark on a ballot easily manipulated by most any blather. Some say it's naiveté, some say it's stupidity. I say it's a little of both.

Say, how's that impeachment going?

9:18 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Boy, the neo-con nutters must be bored today.

drm, good to see you. I take it you made early parole.

Polling only tells you what was the question asked, how it was asked, and to whom was it put.

The war is very unpopular right now with the people who count most: the military. When the military can see the disconnect between what's happening on the ground and the WH rhetoric, BEWARE.

You know, there's an old Jack Benny movie, To Be or Not To Be, where he plays a cheap Polish actor tricking the Nazis. He hijacks an airplane and there are Nazi stormtroopers on it. But a fellow actor impersonating Hitler tells them to jump out of the plane; they do. Whenever I hear of the intense loyalty to Bush and Cheney, I think of that absurd scene.

You conservatives and Republicans need to do some inner searching, because I don't find you true to conservativism or republicanism. Do you even know the roots of those words? Or are you just using an existing base to invade the USA.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Newt 4 Pres said...

Interesting thoughts, Liberal Girl. I agree with most of your points, but not your premise that it's the Republicans that have somehow cajoled or tricked the Dems into backing off the war pullout. The Dems are big girls and boys and know what they're doing. This is a political calculation, plain and simple, and it isn't necessarily a bad one. The issue of the Iraq pullout is an issue separate from the justification or lack thereof (depending on your viewpoint) for going into Iraq in the first place, and regardless of how bad the situation is now, most people, apparently including the Dems in Congress, believe that it will worsen with a US troop pullout. So they have chosen to risk losing their base rather than risk being the party responsible for a true civil war and conflagration in the Middle East. Just my humble speculating.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Newt 4 Pres said...

One thing I want to clarify real quick so I don't get jumped on by the good people here...

When I say the Dems don't want to risk being responsible for escalated conflict, I mean the PERCEPTION of responsibility. If we know one thing about the from the last 5 years or so, we know that the ones in the middle, the so called moderates, vacillate terribly. Liberals have backbone, Conservatives have backbone, Moderates have NO backbone. They were in favor of action after 9/11, the majority of them were in favor of action in Iraq. When things got tough, they flipped a 180. If the Dems can achieve an Iraq pullout and things get worse, the Moderates will flip a 180 on them in the same way they did the GOP.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Newt 4 Pres said...

David, this is the first time I've heard that the Iraq war is unpopular with the people in the US military. Certainly there are those in the military that are opposed, but the consensus has been that the majority of the military are on board and see a benefit to it, despite bitter fighting and high cost paid in blood. Would you mind pointing me to a source for your statement?

10:41 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Dear me, Newt. The sands have shifted big time in the military since the surge began. Consider what poor Senator Lieberman faced on his surprise visit to Iraq: Soldiers who said they want to know when they're going home and who said they don't see any progress in the mission. Joe promptly went out and bought some sunglasses to go with his flak jacket, helmet and security guards.

But don't trust me. Read what was written in the Sun-Sentinal:Among roops, support for war fading.

I think we all know that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz ignored the Brass in the Pentagon when planning this thing. They ignored them when the occupation began. They ignored them when the civil war broke out. This White House was deceitful about the nature and purpose of this mission and now the troops just want to go home.

I should say it is becoming clear that liberal democrats are the ones who uphold the Constitution and the hopes and dreams of the Founders. The Republicans are too interested in lining their pockets and fulfilling obscure prophecies.

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

Newt 4 Pres said...
"One thing I want to clarify real quick so I don't get jumped on by the good people here...

Too late, here come the jump!

You are kidding about that "Newt 4 Pres" thing, right? Why would you choose a moniker supporting a moral imbecile and demonstrable hypocrite in a Party full of them?

Pleeez, give us some moral jujitsu on Newt the adulterer
serving his cancer ridden wife with divorce papers...IN THE HOSPITAL. Then, he hounds Clinton for lying about infidelity....SOOO predictably and reproducibly Republican.

Bet you'll be touting a 4 Fred
calling card as soon as Law 'n Order boy declares.

"Certainly there are those in the military that are opposed, but the consensus has been that the majority of the military are on board and see a benefit to it, despite bitter fighting and high cost paid in blood."

Lemme guess, a non-serving chickenhawk who hasn't a clue what troops are inclined to say, let alone prohibited from saying, regarding their mission. Never mind the disproportionate number of retired Generals who've spoken against the incompetence of this Administration

No, your perception of 'consensus' is refuted not just by fact but by common sense.

Did you see 60 Minutes this past Sunday? They followed an Iowa National Guard unit from their activation TWO FREAKIN' years ago to the recent announcement of
their 'extension' for another 120 days IN IRAQ.

The cameras recorded both the troops and their families' reactions to the announcement.

Talk about unhappy campers.

Where were the Repugs and THEIR president when it was clear that we needed more troops and an increase in military strength for the "Long War"?

Forget about it. NO sacrifice asked, none given by the architects and supporters of this fiasco.

Why aren't Bush's daughters Jen and Barbara driving Humvees or piloting helicopters in Iraq?

How about the Repug Congressman's sons and daughters of military age
not serving?

Nah, the 'cost' will never be high enough as long as it's not borne by the moral cowards, and their supporters, who created and support this disaster.

And you place your trust in Newt?

How about signing back on as "4 Shit"?

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Newt 4 Pres said...

Thanks for your comments david and dale h. David, you are a paragon of articulateness and politeness as usual.

Dale, I'm proud to support Newt as the closest thing to an unabashed Reaganite I can find in 2007. He's not perfect, but none of them are, non?

You appear to hold the belief that one must offer either themselves or a blood relative as a qualification to make military decisions. I can side with you if a draft were instituted, but given this is a volunteer army, I don't follow the logic. Would you mind elaborating for me on your justification for your principle?

Also, since you seem to view hypocrisy as a cardinal sin, I am curious as to your opinions on Clinton's military actions, Kosovo, Somalia, et al, as neither he, nor Hilary, nor Chelsea, served in the military. Is he also to be classified as a chickenhawk?

David, you may be right about Liberal Democrats being on the side of the founding fathers when it comes to foreign policy, but Hilary's "Nine Point Plan" and points about "excesses of the marketplace" and "irresponsible tax breaks" sound a little too much like Socialism for this conservative dude.

Ciao for now...

10:34 PM  
Anonymous dale H. said...

NEWT 4 Said:


"....I am curious as to your opinions on Clinton's military actions, Kosovo, Somalia, et al, as neither he, nor Hilary, nor Chelsea, served in the military. Is he also to be classified as a chickenhawk?"

Kosovo: 78 day long air war that belatedly stemmed "The Butcher of the Balkans" ethnic cleansing and led to his stint in the Hague. NATO authorized and supported operation. NO American lives lost. Google up "Republican opposition to Kosovo campaign" and familiarize yourself with what "support the troops" looked like in the spring of '99.

Somalia: Dubya's dad put us in.
Clinton fired his SOD after the "Blackhawk Down" fiasco.
Funny about accountability, not having seen any for the last six years, eh?

Desert Fox: Clinton's parting shot at weapons inspector blocking Saddam, DEC '98.
Later reports confirmed the crippling of what remained of Iraq's WMD capability.

So, aside from mostly successful military operations with Allied backing in the face of "wag the dog" crying Repugs, pretty much like Dubya, right?

Chickenhawk is an appropriate term for those who support the sending of other people's kids to fight without due consideration to either adequate preparation or costs.

It's the mindless support of military mis-adventure by those with no 'skin in the game' that I object to.


"Dale, I'm proud to support Newt as the closest thing to an unabashed Reaganite I can find in 2007. He's not perfect, but none of them are, non?"

He has ZERO chance. Though it would be fun to watch Hilary's campaign exact bloody revenge on one of their worst, most hypocritical enemies.

Do you really think that casting yourself as a "Reaganite" relieves you of any responsibility to hold all candidates up to careful scrutiny? Or that those who lecture us on moral values don't have some obligation to adhere to them, before taking others to task for their failings?

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Newt 4 Pres said...

Dale, this seems to be a shift from your original comment. Originally, it was a big issue for a "Repug" politician to preside over military action without offering their sons and daughters as sacrificial lambs, but now it's ok as long as there's "due consideration to either adequate preparation or costs." So it sounds like if the Iraq war hypothetically was a good buy, a bargain if you will, you wouldn't require Bush to offer up Jen and Barbara to the effort. Am I clear on that?

The Kosovo vs. Iraq comparison is one that I have found particularly interesting. Kosovo supported by the Dems and opposed by the GOP, Iraq supported by the GOP and opposed by the Dems. Seems to me that both sides are hypocritical. Clearly we're talking operations of very different magnitudes, and correct me here if I'm wrong, but we did lose American lives in Kosovo, and there were civilian casualties in Kosovo. I had believed that to the anti-war crowd, even one such instance was too many. Now there's an acceptable threshhold?

I see you offered us that Milosevic was responsible for ethnic cleansing and remind us that he was "the Butcher of the Balkans", as if Saddam was a choirboy. I often wonder if Bush had no oil ties and would just change his party affiliation if he would be praised as a humanitarian by the same people who now believe he makes Hitler look tame.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

NEWT 4 Said:

"The Kosovo vs. Iraq comparison is one that I have found particularly interesting. Kosovo supported by the Dems and opposed by the GOP, Iraq supported by the GOP and opposed by the Dems. Seems to me that both sides are hypocritical. Clearly we're talking operations of very different magnitudes, ...."

Uh, Huh. And a commensurately different magnitude of
hypocrisy. You give too short a shrift to the differences.

Even handed treatment of subject here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickenhawk_(politics)

To be clear, IF the pretexts for the war against Iraq had been 'sound'...i.e. "imminent danger" of WMD use against the the USA or transfer for purpose of same, then I believe the war would have been justified.

I'm not a pacifist and though I believe the use of armed force should be a last resort, I also believe that it is sometimes necessary.
OF course I regret civilian casualties and believe all effort should be taken to avoid them. Like having enough troops to successfully, quickly conclude and police a military action.


I also believe the attack on Afghanistan was appropriate. The diversion of troops from there before Bin Laden was killed or captured, together with the patently inadequate troop levels and planning for the aftermath in Iraq, strike me as criminally negligent actions. Throw in the Repug criticism of Clinton for lobbing cruise missiles into Bin laden's empty training camp
...not for 'missing' ...but for exaggerating the threat to divert attention from Monica and the ignoring of "blinking lights"
throughout the first 9 months of Dubya's presidency, and you've got a Party unfit to claim that they 'support the troops' or are strong on defense.

My chickenhawk 'threshold' of accusation is triggered by a combination of the disparity of sacrifice asked or shown in a conflict that clearly
requires more of both than anything Clinton attempted, and the lack of credentials by the MOST vociferous supporters of the war.

Most are the same as those who savaged Clinton over a casualty free and brief campaign. Look it up.
No American casualties. One pilot downed and rescued.

I left out the successful to this day peace keeping mission in Bosnia.

It should be a source of national embarrassment that so very, very many Republican office holders and pundits never got
any closer to a uniform then when they opened the door to buy cookies! At best their stance is unseemly, at worst chickenhawky!

And what's your call on how Iraqi war vets are going to 'break' when it comes time to vote? Please take into account multiple tours, extensions, inadequate armor, Walter Reed and a Republican sponsored bill for a smaller pay increase than the Dems proposed. Support the troops my ass!

" see you offered us that Milosevic was responsible for ethnic cleansing and remind us that he was "the Butcher of the Balkans", as if Saddam was a choirboy. I often wonder if Bush had no oil ties and would just change his party affiliation if he would be praised as a humanitarian by the same people who now believe he makes Hitler look tame. "

Doubtful. He'd still be reviled by Dems, Independents and non Kool-aid drinking Repugs.....that'd be 72% of us...... as dumb as a stump and as the most breathtakingly incompetent President of our lifetimes. Don't MAKE me come back with a list of particulars!

3:55 PM  
Anonymous david said...

I opposed Clinton's invasion of Kosovo. As dislikeable as Slobo was, the charges in Kosovo were trumped up. There were never the mass killings that were alleged. Certainly not the kind that happened in Bosnia. And attempts to pin Bosnia on Slobo failed because he wasn't in charge back then. And the Albania Liberation Army (aka KLA) were just as guilty of aggressive activity and ethnic cleansiing-- something the US troops would realize when peacekeeping in the area.

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Dale H said...

david said:

"I opposed Clinton's invasion of Kosovo. As dislikeable as Slobo was, the charges in Kosovo were trumped up. There were never the mass killings that were alleged. Certainly not the kind that happened in Bosnia. And attempts to pin Bosnia on Slobo failed because he wasn't in charge back then. And the Albania Liberation Army (aka KLA) were just as guilty of aggressive activity and ethnic cleansiing-- something the US troops would realize when peacekeeping in the area."

I understand from previous posts how your skewed view of America and your distaste for the use of military force for ANY reason could lead you to factual errors.

http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2006/12/14/yugosl14800.htm

"Although Milosevic was never convicted, evidence exposed at his trial showed how Belgrade orchestrated the vicious wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo,” said Sara Darehshori, senior counsel in the International Justice Program at Human Rights Watch. “The Milosevic trial also shows how to manage – or not – future prosecutions of high-ranking officials for crimes of huge magnitude.”

The 76-page report, “Weighing the Evidence: Lessons of the Slobodan Milosevic Trial,” examines key evidence introduced at trial, the most comprehensive account to date of the conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo. The report finds that the trial revealed how leaders in Belgrade and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia financed the wars; how they provided material to Croatian and Bosnian Serbs; and how they created administrative and personnel structures to support the Croatian Serb and Bosnian Serb armies. The report traces the mechanisms, some of which were previously secret, by which Belgrade fueled the conflicts."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosovo_War

"The exact number of Albanian civilians killed is unclear. Some mass graves were also found in Serbia itself, on Yugoslav military bases or dumped in the Danube. The total number of Albanian dead is generally claimed to be around 10,000 although several foreign forensic teams were unable to verify the exact amount [24] (PDF). One explanation is that some of the largest mass graves were cleared before the war's end in an apparent effort to obliterate potential war crimes evidence. As of July 2001, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) had exhumed approximately 4,300 bodies believed to have been victims of unlawful killings by Serbian and Yugoslav forces in Kosovo. This is certainly less than the total number of those killed by government troops. Most importantly, there is incontrovertible evidence of grave tampering and the removal of bodies by Serbian and Yugoslav troops; between 1,200 and 1,500 bodies were destroyed at Trepca mine. [25] As of July 2001, the Serbian authorities had announced the discovery of four additional graves in Serbia with as many as 1,000 Kosovar Albanian bodies. [26]

A study by The Lancet (PDF), Vol 355, 24 June 2000, estimated "12,000 (95% CI 5500 18 300) deaths in the total population."

7:34 PM  
Anonymous david said...

dale h, Slobo was a disagreeable man and he undoubtedly committed crimes that would see him put behind bars for life, but the reasons for the Kosovo War were bogus.

You may recall that at the time Albright and Clinton were talking about 100,000+ Albanian Kosovars having been 'disappeared' and talk of genocide and ethnic cleansing. This turned out to be untrue and most of those killed --that figure of up to 12,000-- were killed after the Kosovo war started.

The demonization of Slobo conveniently lets NATO countries off the hook and distracts from the crimes of the Croat fascists, the alQaeda network, and the CIA-sponsored KLA. As time passes, I think you'll find the situation in Serbia was more cloak and daggers.

8:45 AM  
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3:42 AM  

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