FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Democrats and the Precipice

by JOSHUA FRANK

Can you really oppose the occupation of Iraq and still call yourself a Democrat? I’m not so sure. The majority of Washington Dems continue to applaud Bush’s invasion of Iraq as well as his debauched crusade against terror. A few antiwar voices have echoed though Democratic corridors, but none have produced any genuine shifts in ideology, let alone direction. Nor will they.

It wasn’t long ago when a handful of activists hailed Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s bid for the White House as worth fighting for. He seemed to oppose the war in Iraq and even offered a plan to get troops out quicker than any of the Democratic frontrunners. People were hopeful their support for Dennis would make an impact on the presidential race — and maybe even pull the Democratic Party in their direction. It never happened. Two years have now past and those who handed out fliers and buttons for Kucinich have nothing to show for their efforts.

So, why are Dennis Kucinich and his most loyal supporters still Democrats?

That’s a question I wish someone would answer. As far as I can tell, the reason the Dems can’t stand up to Bush is that they actually believe in this foolish war. They aren’t afraid or spineless, as so many claim — they just support the president and his imperialist ventures. If Kucinich opposes the occupation, as he and his supporters have said over and again, then why is he still a member of a party that overwhelming backs it? Where the hell has he been, anyway?

Sorry Big D, whatever you are doing out there it’s not working all that well. Your party doesn’t need you. A new one does.

The same can be said for Rep. John Murtha, who was all but laughed out of office by his Democratic buddies when he put forward his strategic redeployment plan a few months ago. Even Rep. Cynthia McKinney, who courageously cast her vote for immediate and unconditional withdraw from Iraq, is still a Democrat. Why? McKinney would be better off jumping ship and throwing her weight into building a real alternative to business as usual. How can someone with such a keen understanding of what’s really going in this world remain a Democrat?

Cynthia, if you really want to end this war, why don’t you help give birth to a new party instead of attempting to resurrect a dead one?

Then, of course, we have the new progressive superman, Senator Russel Feingold, a hopeful 2008 Democratic presidential nominee. Like Kucinich of 2004, Feingold is being lauded as our last best hope for defeating the Republican demagogues. But ol’ Russ isn’t finding much sympathy from his fellow Democrats these days.

Last week Feingold introduced S. Res. 398, which calls for the “censure” of the president over his illegal wiretapping incursions. Such a plea was long overdue. All leading Democrats immediately took cover, dodging any sharp-shooting questions about the resolution. As of March 21, not a single leading Senate Democrat had come out in support of the bill. Feingold stood alone.

So, what are you doing Russ? Why are you still a Democrat, anyway?

And there’s your biggest problem. Feingold’s fight to restore integrity in Washington (if there ever was such a thing) is hindered by his party allegiance and reluctance to break rank. The same can be said for every other DC Democrat who is willing to criticize Bush, including Rep. John Conyers. At the end of the day Conyers, like Feingold, McKinney and Kucinich — is still a member of a party that supports the occupation of Iraq and Bush’s war on civil liberties.

Whatever they say won’t change that. Worst of all, when push comes to shove, and the Democrats nominate another pro-war candidate, all their causes will be sidelined. Party loyalty will matter more than the mounting death toll in Iraq.

I hate to say it, but that kind of bullshit will never end a war.

JOSHUA FRANK edits the radical news blog www.BrickBurner.org and is the author of Left Out! How Liberals Helped Reelect George W. Bush, published by Common Courage Press (2005). Josh can be reached at BrickBurner@gmail.com.

 

 

 

JOSHUA FRANK is managing editor of CounterPunch. His most recent book is Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, co-edited with Jeffrey St. Clair and published by AK Press. He can be reached at brickburner@gmail.com. You can follow him on Twitter @joshua__frank

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

Weekend Edition
September 23, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Meaning of the Trump Surge
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: More Pricks Than Kicks
Mike Whitney
Oh, Say Can You See the Carnage? Why Stand for a Country That Can Gun You Down in Cold Blood?
Chris Welzenbach
The Diminution of Chris Hayes
Vincent Emanuele
The Riots Will Continue
Rob Urie
A Scam Too Far
Pepe Escobar
Les Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes, Obfuscation and Propaganda in Syria
Timothy Braatz
The Quarterback and the Propaganda
Sheldon Richman
Obama Rewards Israel’s Bad Behavior
Libby Lunstrum - Patrick Bond
Militarizing Game Parks and Marketing Wildlife are Unsustainable Strategies
Andy Thayer
More Cops Will Worsen, Not Help, Chicago’s Violence Problem
Louis Yako
Can Westerners Help Refugees from War-torn Countries?
David Rosen
Rudy Giuliani & Trump’s Possible Cabinet
Joyce Nelson
TISA and the Privatization of Public Services
Pete Dolack
Global Warming Will Accelerate as Oceans Reach Limits of Remediation
Franklin Lamb
34 Years After the Sabra-Shatila Massacre
Cesar Chelala
How One Man Held off Nuclear War
Norman Pollack
Sovereign Immunity, War Crimes, and Compensation to 9/11 Families
Lamont Lilly
Standing Rock Stakes Claim for Sovereignty: Eyewitness Report From North Dakota
Barbara G. Ellis
A Sandernista Priority: Push Bernie’s Planks!
Hiroyuki Hamada
How Do We Dream the Dream of Peace Together?
Russell Mokhiber
From Rags and Robes to Speedos and Thongs: Why Trump is Crushing Clinton in WV
Julian Vigo
Living La Vida Loca
Aidan O'Brien
Where is Europe’s Duterte? 
Abel Cohen
Russia’s Improbable Role in Everything
Ron Jacobs
A Change Has Gotta’ Come
Uri Avnery
Shimon Peres and the Saga of Sisyphus
Graham Peebles
Ethiopian’s Crying out for Freedom and Justice
Robert Koehler
Stop the Killing
Thomas Knapp
Election 2016: Of Dog Legs and “Debates”
Yves Engler
The Media’s Biased Perspective
Victor Grossman
Omens From Berlin
Christopher Brauchli
Wells Fargo as Metaphor for the Trump Campaign
Nyla Ali Khan
War of Words Between India and Pakistan at the United Nations
Tom Barnard
Block the Bunker! Historic Victory Against Police Boondoggle in Seattle
James Rothenberg
Bullshit Recognition as Survival Tactic
Ed Rampell
A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits
Kristine Mattis
Persnickety Publishing Pet-Peeves
Charles R. Larson
Review: Helen Dewitt’s “The Last Samurai”
David Yearsley
Torture Chamber Music
September 22, 2016
Dave Lindorff
Wells Fargo’s Stumpf Leads the Way
Stan Cox
If There’s a World War II-Style Climate Mobilization, It has to Go All the Way—and Then Some
Binoy Kampmark
Source Betrayed: the Washington Post and Edward Snowden
John W. Whitehead
Wards of the Nanny State
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail