As yesterday’s debate in the Senate stumbled aimlessly for hours without conclusion, there were moments of clarity from unexpected sources:
“If you believe that this new strategy is flawed or that our cause is hopeless, then vote to stop it. Vote to cut off funds. Vote for a binding timeline for U.S. withdrawal.” ~ Joe Lieberman (I)
Here, here. Of course Joe was making a completely different point than what this soundbite implies. The rest of his mutterings affirmed his well known affection for the Bush Doctrine and his purpose was to help Republicans in the senate quash an open and substantive debate.
The debate that Democrats are attempting to hold in the senate has already been held in the rest of the country. Though you wouldn’t know it by the news reports, the American people have made an overwhelming and durable decision that the war in Iraq does not serve the interests of our soldiers, our security, or our country. Poll after poll bears this out. And yet Congress still feels a need to have a debate. They are so far behind the people they purport to serve that they can’t even see us in the distance.
This representational disconnect is all the more perplexing when you consider that our representatives have just emerged from a campaign that was utterly devoid of ambiguity. November 7, 2006, was a rebuke of the Bush administration due almost entirely to their stubborn insistence on prosecuting this unnecessary, unpopular, and counter-productive war in Iraq. The Republican Party lost both chambers of Congress because the people were sick and tired of suffering the loss of human life and national honor. But now, with the Democratic victors in Washington, the people are still waiting for leadership.
The Democratic Party would be wise to heed Sen. Lieberman’s advice. We need a vote NOW to STOP the war. The people have made their decision and it is time for our servants in Washington to pay attention to US. Ignore the pundits and the liars who have been wrong for four years running. Ignore the media that continues to promulgate myths from decades past. Ending the war does not mean we don’t support the troops. Ending the war does not make us weak on defense. To the contrary, it strengthens our defensive position by allowing us to deploy the troops in the real war against terrorism for which Iraq was never the central front.
If the newly minted Democratic Congress is not able to follow the instructions we gave a mere three months ago, then it is not just the war in Iraq that is hopeless. We need to start worrying about the viability of Democracy. How much louder do we need to shout? It isn’t that they can’t hear us, it’s that they don’t want to. But they know we can hear them. Even Sen. Lieberman knows that:
“…we are being heard across America by our constituents, who are wondering if their Congress is capable of serious action, not just hollow posturing.”
But, sadly, Jon Stewart makes the most cogent observation in response:
“Turns out they weren’t even capable of hollow posturing.”
Vote to STOP the war!