FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Democrats Shift into Reverse

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:
September 25, 2018
Kenneth Surin
Fact-Finding Labour’s “Anti-Semitism” Crisis
Charles Pierson
Destroying Yemen as Humanely as Possible
James Rothenberg
Why Not Socialism?
Patrick Cockburn
How Putin Came Out on Top in Syria
John Grant
“Awesome Uncontrollable Male Passion” Meets Its Match
Guy Horton
Burma: Complicity With Evil?
Steve Stallone
Jujitsu Comms
William Blum
Bombing Libya: the Origins of Europe’s Immigration Crisis
John Feffer
There’s a New Crash Coming
Martha Pskowski
“The Emergency Isn’t Over”: the Homeless Commemorate a Year Since the Mexico City Earthquake
Fred Baumgarten
Ten Ways of Looking at Civility
Dean Baker
The Great Financial Crisis: Bernanke and the Bubble
Binoy Kampmark
Parasitic and Irrelevant: The University Vice Chancellor
September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will There Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail