FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Are the Congressional Democrats Spineless?

 

The Associated Press released a report on March 8^th detailing Democrat leader Nancy Pelosi’s plan to force the Bush administration to withdraw US troops from Iraq by Fall 2008 (pretty close to the time John Kerry, in his failed 2004 presidential bid, promised to withdraw them after a surge of 40,000 troops).

According to UN estimates, that means US forces will kill another 60,000 innocent Iraqi men, women and children by the proposed September 1, 2008 deadline. This of course assumes that the level of violence in the next two years does not increase over the level of violence in the last two years. An assumption that is more and more tenuous.

The bill being presented by the House Democrats goes even further than killing another 60,000 people in Iraq; it adds another $1.2 billion to President Bush’s request for the continuation of the war in Afghanistan.

Rephrasing the Democrats startling challenge to President Bush would look something like this: “we demand that you only kill 60,000 more innocent people in Iraq. We further demand that you limit the deaths of American soldiers to another 1,800 and that the number of morbidly wounded soldiers must not exceed 30,000; then you must stop the war. Since we know this is going to be a difficult decision for you Mr. President, we will help you out by allowing you to kill another 10,000 more people in Afghanistan”.

Since the Democrats were clearly elected with a mandate to end the war and, given that President Bush will surely veto this legislation anyway, why would the Democratic leadership propose legislation that would kill another 60,000 innocent Iraqis and 1,800 Americans before finally bringing the war to an end? The Associated Press report suggests that this was a compromise bill that would satisfy “liberal Democrats” reluctant to vote for continued funding without driving away “more moderate Democrats”. The Democratic leadership fears that without a united party they would suffer an embarrassing defeat when the legislation reaches a vote later this month. Does this make any sense at all?

If the Marketing vice president wants his company to introduce a new product in six months but Finance and Operations are opposed to such an introduction they may be able to reach a compromise date for the introduction of the new product. With this kind of compromise a win-win situation can be created and nobody is going to die or become morbidly wounded as a result.

Organizations, regardless of their raison d’être, must have stated goals and a strategy for achieving those goals. The strategy is formulated after evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of various alternatives. What no organization wants to do in strategy formulation is sacrifice the long run on the altar of the short. No organization wants success in the short run if it means disaster in the long run. The congressional Democrats have decided that they would rather sacrifice the lives of innocent Iraqis and Americans than risk losing the war as an election issue in 2008. This is what happens when organizations operate without values, vision, a clear sense of direction and effective leadership. They lose the ability to identify, evaluate and set clearly achievable goals.

The Democratic House has drafted legislation which has no chance of surviving a presidential veto and at the same time does not meet the hopes and aspirations and demands of the overwhelming majority of the American voting public. They have however drafted legislation that makes them feel good. Somehow or other the so-called “liberal Democrats” are going to be happy about supporting a bill which would kill 60,000 Iraqis and 1,800 Americans because the bill will not alienate the “more moderate Democrats”.

It is difficult to determine which group of Democratic legislators is more odious; the “liberal Democrats” who purport to want an immediate end to the Iraqi war but will compromise by letting another 60,000 people die in the name of party unity or the “more moderate Democrats” who have no problem murdering another 60,000 Iraqis so that they do not give the impression that they are tying the hands of the military commanders.

This bears repeating. The congressional Democrats know that President Bush will veto this proposed legislation but he could not veto legislation that did not provide the additional funds necessary for the continued prosecution of the war. Furthermore, even if the congressional Democrats in the House failed to pass legislation that would cut funding for the war, the Senate Democrats could filibuster legislation requiring its continued funding. It would only take 41 of the 51 Senate Democrats to accomplish this effective ending of the war!

Democratic Party loyalist themselves have often suggested that the congressional Democrats are spineless; that they fear a real confrontation with the Republicans and that this explains why the Democratic Party has drifted so far to the right as to be no longer recognizably different from the Republican Party.

In order to be “spineless”, however, the congressional Democrats would first have to have some concept of courage or morality. There is no evidence in the decision-making process of the congressional Democrats that questions of courage or morality are ever even considered. Terms like “good” and “evil”, “courageous” and “spineless” are applicable only to those who permit conscience to enter into the decision-making process. Conscience is clearly not a metric evaluated by the congressional Democrats in their strategy formulation process. The only variables considered worthy of evaluation by the congressional Democrats are party unity and the vote-getting utility of a continued war on their 2008 congressional and presidential election aspirations. There are many words which might aptly describe the Congressional Democrats but certainly not “spineless”. One must question, however, whether those who continue to vote for the Democrats year after year are indeed themselves invertebrate.

When the Democrat Party workers start trolling for votes a year and a half from now they will tell the nibblers to “hold your nose and vote for the Democrats. After all, what are you going to do, vote for a Republican?” The appropriate response should be “no, I won’t vote for Republican but I can no longer associate myself with the bottom feeders called Democrats. I’ll vote for an independent candidate or perhaps a Green Party candidate. I will stand with Martin Luther King and remember that “there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic nor popular but we must take it because our conscience tells us that it is right”.

You’ve been hoodwinked. You’ve been had.
You’ve been took. You’ve been led astray, run amuck.
You’ve been bamboozled.

–Malcolm X

John Murphy is the independent candidate for House of Representatives in the 16th Congressional District of Pennsylvania. He has been endorsed by Michael Berg, Peter Camejo, Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader and Howard Zinn. He has been endorsed by two county level Green Parties, two county level Libertarian Parties, the Pennsylvania Reform Party, the New American Independent Party of Pennsylvania and the GDI among others. He is also one of the founding members of the Pennsylvanian Ballot Access Coalition , working to change ballot access laws in Pennsylvania. He can be reached at: johnamurphy@comcast.net.

 

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
March 27, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Bailouts for the Rich, the Virus for the Rest of Us
Louis Proyect
Life and Death in the Epicenter
Paul Street
“I Will Not Kill My Mother for Your Stock Portfolio”
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The Scum Also Rises
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Stimulus Bill Allows Federal Reserve to Conduct Meetings in Secret; Gives Fed $454 Billion Slush Fund for Wall Street Bailouts
Jefferson Morley
Could the Death of the National Security State be a Silver Lining of COVID-19?
Ruth Hopkins
A Message For America from Brazil’s First Indigenous Congresswoman
Kathleen Wallace
The End of the Parasite Paradigm
Anthony DiMaggio
Misinformation and the Coronavirus: On the Dangers of Depoliticization and Social Media
Andrew Levine
Neither Biden Nor Trump: Imagine Cuomo
David Rosen
God’s Vengeance: the Christian Right and the Coronavirus
David Schultz
The Covid-19 Bailout: Another Failed Opportunity at Structural Change
Evaggelos Vallianatos
In the Grip of Disease
Edward Leer
Somebody Else’s World: An Interview with Kelly Reichardt
Robert Fisk
What Trump is Doing in the Middle East While You are Distracted by COVID-19
Daniel Warner
COVID-19: Health or Wealth?
Thomas Klikauer – Norman Simms
Corona in Germany: Hording and Authoritarianism
Ramzy Baroud
BJP and Israel: Hindu Nationalism is Ravaging India’s Democracy
Richard Moser
Russia-gate: the Dead But Undead
Ron Jacobs
Politics, Pandemics and Trumpism
Chris Gilbert
Letter From Catalonia: Alarming Measures
Richard Eskow
Seven Rules for the Boeing Bailout
Jonathan Carp
Coronavirus and the Collapse of Our Imaginations
Andrew Bacevich
The Coronavirus and the Real Threats to American Safety and Freedom
Peter Cohen
COVID-19, the Exponential Function and Human the Survival
César Chelala - Alberto Luis Zuppi
The Pope is Wrong on Argentina
James Preston Allen
Alexander Cockburn Meets Charles Bukowski at a Sushi Bar in San Pedro
Jérôme Duval
The Only Oxygen Cylinder Factory in Europe is Shut down and Macron Refuses to Nationalize It
Neve Gordon
Gaza Has Been Under Siege for Years. Covid-19 Could Be Catastrophic
Alvaro Huerta
To Survive the Coronavirus, Americans Should Learn From Mexicans
Prabir Purkayastha
Why the Coronavirus Pandemic Poses Fundamental Challenges to All Societies
Raouf Halaby
Fireside Chatterer Andrew Cuomo for President
Thomas Drake
The Sobering Realities of the American Dystopia
Negin Owliaei
Wash Your Hands…If You Have Water
Felice Pace
A New Threat to California’s Rivers:  Will the Rush to Develop Our Newest Water Source Destroy More Streams?
Ray Brescia
What 9/11 Can Teach Us About Responding to COVID-19
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
The Covid-19 Opportunity
John Kendall Hawkins
An Age of Intoxication: Pick Your Poison
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Propaganda Virus: Is Anyone Immune?
Nicky Reid
Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 1: Dispatches From a Terrified Heartland
Nolan Higdon – Mickey Huff
Don’t Just Blame Trump for the COVID-19 Crisis: the U.S. Has Been Becoming a Failed State for Some Time
Susan Block
Coronavirus Spring
David Yearsley
Lutz Alone
CounterPunch News Service
Letter from Truthdig’s Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer to the Publisher Zuade Kaufman
CounterPunch News Service
Statement From Striking Truthdig Workers
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail