The defining moment of the disastrous and laughable presidential campaign of John Kerry for president came when he tried to explain his vacillating and spineless position on the Iraq War, saying, of an earlier war funding appropriations bill “I voted for the bill before I voted against it.”
That sleazy, two-faced, slippery effort to have it both ways, to give himself the ability to tell some voters he was “supporting the troops” while telling others he was “against the war,” sank his candidacy faster than any swiftboat cannonfire could have hoped to.
Now Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and a whole slew of so-called Congressional progressives, are trying the same gambit. Pelosi and Reid, too timid to seriously confront President Bush and call a halt to the disastrous war on Iraq by simply refusing to fund it, have orchestrated a bill that provides the president full funding to carry on with the killing for the rest of his term, while allowing those of them who have to confront anti-war voters to claim they voted against their own measure.
“I will vote against this bill,” says Pelosi, who personally crafted this cave-in to Bush and Cheney.
The whole Democratic Party caucus in Congress has morphed horribly into John Kerry clones.
They will be voting against the war funding bill that they engineered, knowing that with Republican support, the bill will pass and go to the president with no strings attached.
The Iraq War is now fully a Democratic War. The hand-off is complete, just as the handoff of the Democratic Vietnam War was handed off to Richard Nixon and the Republicans in 1968.
One can only hope that the Kerrycrats, including Pelosi, Reid, and the rest, will suffer the same fate as did presidential candidate John Kerry, in the coming primaries and the 2008 general election.
Voters remember: It’s not what candidates say; it’s what they actually do, or don’t do.
DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His n book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s newest book is “The Case for Impeachment“,
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org