Democrats & Liberals Archives

Republicans are correct about one thing

The Democratic overnight session forcing Republicans to engage in a real filibuster was more theater than substance. Nonetheless it was theater which afforded the Democrats the opportunity to show the 60% of Americans who believe that funding of the war SHOULD be tied to deadlines for withdrawal, that they- Congressional Democrats - finally get it.

A lot of the commentary from pundits about the war and American opinion misses the point, but when you hear that the Congress is "tone-deaf" or that they are "behind the American public" on this issue, that's essentially correct. Back in late May, the Congressional Democrats in both houses capitulated, and gave Bush pretty much the funding bill he wanted, instead of relentlessly insisting on including a deadline, and forcing Bush to continually veto funding in order to avoid any deadline. The erroneous thinking was that the public would ultimately blame Congress in such a standoff which risked resulting in the troops not being funded at all. My argument at the time was that among the majority who oppose the war, Bush would take the blame in such a standoff. The contrary view seemed to be based in part on public reaction following the government shutdown of 1995 in which Clinton would not sign a bill with Republican conditions he did not want, and the government temporarily shutdown. The public blame at the time went to Congress. I say such reactions depend on the particulars, and the recent CBS/NYT poll suggests a majority of Americans would have approved of Congress insisting on deadlines in May, in spite of April polling which suggested the opposite. Clearly the Democrats' lack of spine in standing up to Bush is the major factor in bringing Congressional approval levels so low.

Now let me be perfectly clear. Majority opinion does not make that opinion correct. In February 2003 I was part of a vocal minority within America opposing our invasion of Iraq. We were correct.

If some action is right, then time will vindicate standing firm in spite of public opinion. Bush still hopes for such historic vindication in spite of all evidence and common sense which suggest otherwise. In May the Democrats did not need to fund this madness, and should have stood firm because it was right, not because the public would approve. Instead they guessed about public opinion, and allowed Bush to deepen the quagmire without conditions. Now that they are down to the low 20s in public approval, maybe they're finally getting it.

Bringing cots into the Senate chamber was most definitely political theater. It was welcome theater, and long overdue.

Posted by Walker Willingham at July 19, 2007 10:10 AM
Comments
Comment #226858

I agree Walker. It was most welcome theater. I hope it was a sincere effort. Not merely staged to temporarily appease us. What bothers me is that I still am not convinced of their sincerity in pursuing the mandate presented them. I truly hope they realize the importance of fulfilling that agenda. Time will tell.

Posted by: RickIL at July 19, 2007 10:45 AM
Comment #226859

Good article Walker.
I agree that they should not have provided funding in May if they really believed what they were doing was the right thing.
Hopefully, 08 will give them a better clue as to what the people really want. Not a simple majority, but a real mandate on which path the people want this country to go.
I doubt it, but I hope.

Posted by: kctim at July 19, 2007 10:55 AM
Comment #226867

Good thing/Bad thing.

Good thing. Dems FINALLY got up off their flat asses and did something. As hokey and theatrical as it was, at least they did something.

Bad thing. We STILL don’t have a funding bill and Reid has pulled it again.

Posted by: Jim T at July 19, 2007 12:13 PM
Comment #226872

Democrat political leaders are pretty smart. While they continue to drop in the polls, their coffers are being filled by the stodges who believe them. Same old song, new lyrics. Listen to what I say, not at what I do. The recent Rassmussen Poll put their public approval at 14% but their silly antics continue to bring in the bucks. P.T. Barnum would be impressed. I do understand that liberals are anxious to throw money at someone to achieve their goals and I wonder how long it will be before they wake up. Every Democrat candidate for President is pandering to the liberal wing of this great party for the money. The moderate center of the party is not willing to throw in with this lot yet. Perhaps the polling data looks good when measured by dollars, but will the nominee really have support from the entire party and the huge independent vote? I doubt it.

Posted by: Jim at July 19, 2007 12:42 PM
Comment #226876

Walker Willingham- I totally agree with your
assessment on the lack of courage on the War
effort. I would also apply the same ideas as to
their fumbling attempt, at diligently bringing all
those people who refused to fully answer questions,
an rejected subpoenas in the justice Department
debacle. Like you say Walker, just putting their
finger up in the wind to decide it’s direction, does not
display courage, nor honor.

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 19, 2007 1:03 PM
Comment #226877

“but will the nominee really have support from the entire party and the huge independent vote”

They will if the Reps throw up another Bush clone.

Posted by: kctim at July 19, 2007 1:05 PM
Comment #226884

As immensely satisfying as it has been,
this was more than just political theater. Doing it this way rules out the possibiity of introducing non-binding amendments lacking deadlines. It leaves Republicans with no cover, and on record. Perfect.

Keep doing this, Senator Reid, keep doing this.

Posted by: phx8 at July 19, 2007 2:26 PM
Comment #226932

Personally, I love it. Let the Reps filibuster until their vocal cords pop. Heck, lets see if any of them have the stones to break Strom’s record. That will be GREAT theatre.

L

Posted by: leatherankh at July 20, 2007 9:06 AM
Comment #227005

A few things:

1) I was feeling sorry about Al Gores kid. Was looking at a picture of him, he was caught with a car load of drugs for personal use doing 100 mph. I feel sorry for anyone who has lost their life to drugs. Maybe, just maybe, Al Gore should stop promoting himself with his junk science tour and try to go home and save his kid. But the kid was probably lost because good old Al couldn’t be bothered to spend the time with him anyway. Yeah I’m being hard on Al, it’s his job not the governments to raise that kid right.

2) I was disappointed to read about a bit of corruption that Nancy Pelosi and Murtha got caught in. A pork bill they got trying to pass to hand a million dollars to someone who had put money in Murtha’s campaign. And even when the utter corruption of it was exposed…they went ahead and did it. See why I told you that the democrats would “not end the Republican Culture of Corruption”?? Reid, Pelosi, Murtha, Clinton, they are all corrupt through and through. The corrupt do not end the culture of corruption that they profit from.

3) Poor old Hillary and that “vast right wing conspiracy”. She laid an election year trap. She was going to force the military to publically expose their retreat plan to the public and to Al Qaeda. Something unheard of. The plan? Well, if there is no plan she can blast Bush and “neocons” for not having one. I heard her try that approach today. And if they did have one, she could wave it about to demoralize those she opposes, as well as our troops. She was all set to pounce, no matter what they did she was going to use it to her advantage. But they did something unexpected, they told her it was inappropriate to expose such plans in public. Oh my the outrage. Someone slapped her down and she now has to save face. The Clintons believe that if someone points out you were selling pardons…..you very quickly expose them as whore mongers or whatever dirt you can get on them and toss so much crap in the air that the lib press has an excuse to no longer talk about the truth about her that was exposed. And so that little election season drama is playing out.

4) And just a final thought. 7 months into the Democrat party regime. Massive corruption and spending. No balanced budget. No Fix for social security. No fix for Medicare. No national health care. No Secure boarder to the south. No end to lobbying corruption. And the public now things less of the democrat congress than they do of Bush.

5) In my opinion, you folks should be doing more than just smearing “republicons”. You should be openly talking about what your side is not doing and pushing them to do it. To work on the major domestic issues of our time.

Posted by: Stephen at July 21, 2007 1:22 AM
Comment #227011

Being a spinster is tolerable, although I find
using All Gores son in your yellow journalistic
rant, totally unacceptable!

Posted by: -DAVID- at July 21, 2007 3:33 AM
Comment #227047

Walker, well said. I agree completely, but since the Republicans don’t know how to do anything but be rabidly partisan, and arrogant and totally undiplomatic in their attitude toward Democrats, I think it’s time for the Congressional Dems to really show some integrity and spine by cutting the funding for their disastrous, insanely expensive, utterly failed war.

Rightwing Stephen,
I really wouldn’t worry about Al Gore’s son too much. Yeah, he’s a twenty-four year old who got caught smoking weed and doing some assorted prescription medications, and got pulled over for driving too fast under the influence, but I wouldn’t write him off so fast, and unnecessarily lambaste his father. After all, George W. Bush was also a drug addict until he was forty, and an alcoholic who was convicted, and plead guilty to a DUI when he was thirty. The GOP called that a “youthful indiscretion” when that news came out. And wouldn’t you know it, his father was also a vice president and president of the United States, and yet Dubya eventually managed to clean himself up and was later “elected” president, too.
Oh, and since Dick Cheney has not one, but two drunk driving busts on his record, perhaps we should expect great things lie just ahead for Al Gore III.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 21, 2007 7:52 PM
Comment #227180

I dont much like Al gore, but what his son did is no indication or reflection on Al. We all make choices everyday and we each need to be self responsible for them. I never bought that whole “empowerment” argument when it comes to poor personal choices. That being said, kids will be kids. Kids learn from taking responsibility for their actions and paying the associated cost.
Adreienne: Times have changed with regards to DUI. Texas, i believe , was the last state to outlaw the open container and in the 80’s it was not illegal to drink and drive. it was illegal to DUI. Boy that has sure changed. Its a serious crime now.
I got pulled over in a small town ( I lived in) in Texas in 79 or 80 with a keg in my hatchback and two guys sitting on either side of it , legs hanging out the back, passing full cups foward. The Officer took my license and told me he would be at my house in 10 minutes to return it. The suggestion was i had better be there. Thats only one of several stories i have of drinking and driving in 80’s Texas. Today, since the crime is so serious, the consequences need to be apporpriate. Just a note on how the perception has changed since Bush got his in 76.

Posted by: John in Texas at July 23, 2007 2:54 PM
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