FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Democrats Shift into Reverse

by SHARON SMITH

PUBLIC OPINION is turning against the Iraq war and the political status quo in Washington.

A June Gallup poll found a clear majority–59 percent–of respondents wants a full or partial withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. An NBC/Wall Street Journal opinion poll on May 19 revealed an “angry electorate” fed up with Washington’s politics-as-usual. “The public is exceptionally displeased with the Congress,” noted pollster Peter Hart.

This warning was not lost on politicians holding their fingers to the wind, judging from the recent flurry of activity on Capitol Hill. Calls for an Iraq exit strategy, however tepid or timid, have been echoing through the halls of Congress.

On May 28, 128 members of the House voted to support California Rep. Lynn Woolsey’s non-binding amendment that the president “develop a plan as soon as practicable…to provide for the withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from Iraq.” Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) introduced a similar resolution in the Senate.

In another non-binding resolution, former Democratic presidential hopeful Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) united with North Carolina Republican Walter Jones (best known for imposing “freedom fries” on the House cafeteria in a fit of patriotic zeal in 2003), requesting that Bush start withdrawing U.S. troops by Oct. 1, 2006.

Rep. John Conyers from Michigan is demanding a congressional investigation into impeachable offenses that occurred when Bush lied his way into invading Iraq, based on evidence from the now-infamous “Downing Street memo.”

These developments are certainly welcome after the Democrats maintained a disciplined silence as they fell into line behind pro-war John Kerry in the 2004 election. But Democratic Party powerbrokers show no sign of embracing an oppositional role. If anything, they are moving further into reverse.

In an “open letter” to the party, the (Clintonite) Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) argued, “winning the war on jihadist extremism will be the Democratic Party’s first priority this year and every year until the danger recedes.” All the leading Democratic presidential contenders for 2008–including Sens. Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton and Evan Bayh, along with John Kerry’s running mate John Edwards–have joined a faction boldly declaring itself the “National Security Democrats.”

As Matt Taibbi described in the New York Press, “The position of the ‘National Security Democrats’ is that the party should be ‘more open to the idea of military action, and even preemption’…Additionally, the Democrats ought to reconsider their traditional stance as an opposition party and learn to embrace Republican heroes like Ronald Reagan.” (Wait. Didn’t Kerry already do that?)

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) executive committee’s June meeting also shed light on the party’s chosen path.

Shortly before the Iraq war, Howard Dean propelled himself to the antiwar forefront by arguing to the DNC, “What I want to know is why in the world the Democratic Party leadership is supporting the president’s unilateral attack on Iraq?”

More than two years into the occupation, Dean, now the DNC’s chairman, didn’t mention the Iraq war at all. Instead, Dean stressed the party’s message should make “it easier for parents to teach their kids right from wrong.”

DNC executive committee member Judith Hope argued for finding “common ground with faith-based voters” by creating a task force on “violence and sexual immorality which has permeated our entertainment industry.” (Hold on. Didn’t Al and Tipper Gore already try that?)

The party’s rising star, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), chose Father’s Day to deliver the Democrats’ message on “teaching kids right from wrong.” In a sermon to a Black congregation in Chicago, Obama ridiculed men in the Black community as too immature to take responsibility for their own actions and set a proper example for their children.

Obama told worshippers, “There are a lot of folks, a lot of brothers, walking around, and they look like men … they might even have sired a child … But it’s not clear to me that they’re full-grown men.”

The Bush administration’s house of cards should be collapsing along with Bush’s plummeting ratings in the court of public opinion. If it isn’t, the Democratic Party is to blame.

SHARON SMITH’s new book is Women and Socialism. She can be reached at: sharon@internationalsocialist.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

December 07, 2016
Michael Schwalbe
What We Talk About When We Talk About Class
Karl Grossman
The Next Frontier: Trump and Space Weapons
Kenneth Surin
On Being Caught Speeding in Rural America
Chris Floyd
In Like Flynn: Blowback for Filth-Peddling Fascists
Serge Halimi
Trump, the Know-Nothing Victor
Paul DeRienzo
Flynn Flam: Neocon Ex-General to Be Trump’s National Security Advisor
Binoy Kampmark
Troubled Waters: Trump, Taiwan and Beijing
Tom Clifford
Trump and China: a Note From Beijing
Arnold August
Fidel’s Legacy to the World on Theory and Practice
Dave Lindorff
Is Trump’s Idea To Fix a ‘Rigged System’ by Appointing Crooks Who’ve Played It?
John Kirk
Cuba after Fidel: Interview with Professor John Kirk
Jess Guh
Repeal of Affordable Care Act is Politics Playing with the Wellbeing of Americans
Eric Sommer
Team Trump: a Government of Generals and Billionaires
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Reactions to the Death of Fidel Castro
John Garvey - Noel Ignatiev
Abolitionism: a Study Guide
Clancy Sigal
Caution: Conspiracy Theory Ahead!
December 06, 2016
Anthony DiMaggio
Post-Fact Politics: Reviewing the History of Fake News and Propaganda
Richard Moser
Standing Rock: Challenge to the Establishment, School for the Social Movements
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Warmongering 99 – Common Sense 0: the Senate’s Unanimous Renewable of Iran Sanctions Act
Norman Solomon
Media Complicity is Key to Blacklisting Websites
Michael J. Sainato
Elizabeth Warren’s Shameful Exploitation of Standing Rock Victory
David Rosen
State Power and Terror: From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock
Kim Ives
Deconstructing Another Right-Wing Victory in Haiti
Nile Bowie
South Korea’s Presidency On A Knife-Edge
Mateo Pimentel
Some Notes and a Song for Standing Rock
CJ Hopkins
Manufacturing Normality
Bill Fletcher Jr – Bob Wing
Fighting Back Against the White Revolt of 2016
Peter Lee
Is America Ready for a War on White Privilege?
Pepe Escobar
The Rules of the (Trump) Game
W. T. Whitney
No Peace Yet in Colombia Despite War’s End
Mark Weisbrot
Castro Was Right About US Policy in Latin America
David Swanson
New Rogue Anti-Russia Committee Created in “Intelligence” Act
George Ochenski
Forests of the Future: Local or National Control?
December 05, 2016
Bill Martin
Stalingrad at Standing Rock?
Mark A. Lause
Recounting a Presidential Election: the Backstory
Mel Goodman
Mad Dog Mattis and Trump’s “Seven Days in May”
Matthew Hannah
Standing Rock and the Ideology of Oppressors: Conversations with a Morton County Commissioner
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
#NoDAPL Scores Major Victory: No Final Permit For Pipeline
Fran Shor
The End of the Indispensable Nation
Michael Yates
Vietnam: the War That Won’t Go Away
Michael Uhl
Notes on a Trip to Cuba
Robert Hunziker
Huge Antarctica Glacier in Serious Trouble
John Steppling
Screen Life
David Macaray
Trump vs. America’s Labor Unions
Yoav Litvin
Break Free and Lead, or Resign: a Letter to Bernie Sanders
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail