Friday, 25 May 2007


Unfortunately there is nothing else to call it.

It's being said a million times in a million ways - and hopefully the media and the Democratic leadership will wake up to the fact that it's not just the "loony left" who want to see Congress stand up to this Administration and insist that we begin exiting from their insane and failed military boondoggle in Iraq.

An accidental similarity in title of one of my posts of a year ago with a recent opinion piece by Mark Buchanan published by the New York Times, has led me to that article which seeks to explain the disconnect between the media's "conventional wisdom" about the feelings of the American people and the breadth and depth of what they really feel. It's an interesting read, but with the Times odd policy of making opinion available only by subscription, I can point you instead to this reproduction of it.

I try to regularly watch Washington Week in Review, largely because it keeps me in touch with the DC pundits' "conventional wisdoms", but I frequently bristle at what they choose to cover or ignore, and at the characterizations of perfectly reasonable beliefs as being "fringe". Dan Balz is particularly nauseating - but I digress. Of course if you pay attention to the sponsors of this "public television" offering, one quickly sees big oil, big agribusiness, and military contractors. Who are we kidding? Brancaccio's NOW and anything Bill Moyers does in contrast is funded solely by foundations or socially conscious businesses.

So I sit here heartsick and dismayed that the Democratic leadership was so gutless that it could not come back with a bill that mandated a sane exit as a contingency to funding. It's even more sickening that so many Democrats voted for this capitulation - both in the House and the Senate.

Certainly I called both my Senators (Murray and Cantwell) to express my dismay, and my Congressman (Inslee) to applaud his courage.

Still, I think it is important not to come unhinged. By all means, let us point out that people are dying due to these decisions, but let us be aware that this is but one vote, and our continued engagement can still play a role in subsequent votes. I am not abandoning the Democrats over this, nor will I drop out. The voice of dissent is growing. To use it effectively we must continue to be involved - not drop out in disgust.

The Democratic leadership has sadly ceded the Republican talking point that a vote against an unreasonable funding resolution is a vote against the troops - we must not cede the talking point that only the leftwing fringe would do otherwise. That is provably not the case, but the more of us who come unhinged, the easier it will be for the opposition to paint us as such.

Choose hope - stay resolute - adopt a calm anger

We are here to stay.

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