Let us start with the biggest lie of all, that the Democrats cannot end the war, are unable to do it, do not have the power to do it. Big, big, big lie. Bush is now asking for another $127 billion to “stay the course.” If either the House or the Senate refuses to pass that request, the war cannot be prosecuted. It only requires a simple majority in one chamber House or Senate. That is it. The power is there. In the face of this grammar school fact, it is amazing to hear the pundits prattle on about Bush being in charge, that it takes 60 votes to get things done in the Senate, etc., etc.
Let’s take it one step further. Do the Democrats want to “stand up for the troops”? OK, let them hand Bush the McGovern bill or its like which provides funds only for the safe and speedy withdrawal of troops. That requires a simple majority in two Houses of Congress. Let Bush veto that. But do not expect the Democrats to take such a course. The election was rigged by Rahm Emanuel in favor of pro-war Democrats, and the beating which John Murtha took at the hands of Hoyer, Emanuel and others is evidence that the war party is firmly in control of Dem foreign policy and will do nothing to end the war. In fact Emanuel wants to raise at least 100,000 more troops.
An end to the war is what 60 per cent of the voters wanted in the election of 2006, and the desire for it grows by the day. What are we to do, then? Simple. We can work now on mounting a third party challenge to the Democrats in 2008. The platform of such a challenge would be simple. We are against war and the police state; these are the over-arching issues of the moment and we shall not compromise on them for any reason. The current test of these principles is Iraq. If all troops are out of Iraq by November, 2008, then our issue is gone and we cannot expect to win. If the U.S. remains in Iraq, then we may or may not win but the Democrats will have to confront us; we may defeat them or we may spoil the election for them. But either way, we will be a force to be reckoned with.
How to begin? We must have some nationally known leaders who could start the ball rolling. I can think of Kevin Zeese, Ralph Nader, Ron Paul, Justin Raimondo, Lew Rockwell, Alex Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair, Cindy Sheehan, Lila Lipscomb, Patrick Buchanan, perhaps even maverick Democrats like Cynthia McKinney, Maxine Waters, James Webb, Jack Murtha or Carol Shea-Porter – or maverick Republicans like Chuck Hagel, who, Lieberman-like, might declare their independence even while “caucusing” with one of the war parties. There are endless possibilities. First would come some private meetings. Next a national conference could be called, hopefully within months. Out of this would come a movement to publicize the existence of this nascent movement and party, raise funds, bird dog the pro-war Democrats, expose those Democrats who pretend to be antiwar, all in preparation for November 2007. (That’s right, 2007). At that point if the U.S. is not completely out of Iraq, a full scale run for the presidency and for some Congressional seats would be started. (An especially good Congressional target would be the Coleman/Franken race in Minnesota since both are hawks.) Hopefully many Greens and Libertarians would join in and commit themselves to running a consensus set of candidates in 2008. This is a two-year strategy. But we must begin now. This will allow the idea to germinate and build as the Democrats show again and again that they are the other War Party. With every sell-out, the movement will grow. Importantly, the Democrats will not be able to say they were not warned. They will have plenty of time to act and prove us wrong. They now have the power to end the war. If they fail to do so, what good are they?
This strategy can only apply to the Democrats since the Republicans in the person of McCain or Giuliani or Romney are all openly committed to fight on in Iraq. The Democrats are pretending to be the Party opposed to the war. Let us take them up on that. As Condi Rice might say, “The Democrats have some choices to make here.” Nor should the Democrats complain about this choice forced by potential “spoilers,” since they just took the Senate because of a Libertarian “spoiler” in Montana. They have not objected to this tactic for success.
This is a win-win strategy. If the Democrats extract US forces from Iraq in a year’s time, then we have won. If not, then we have started a new political movement, which realigns many forces in preparation for future battles against the War Parties. Victory is inevitable, perhaps suggesting a slogan: “To the spoilers belong the victories.”
John V.Walsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
He suggests that the new movement be called “The Spoilers Party,” which might reduce the pundits to complaining that “those Spoilers are just a bunch of spoilers.”
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