Monday, March 13, 2006

Law and Order Democrats

Sen. Russ Feingold has a short, effective explanation up at dailykos of his call to censure President Bush. I think it's particularly meaningful that Feingold begins by reminding us of how we all felt on September 11, 2001. I think the right wing (i.e., not all Republicans, and not all conservatives) doesn't necessarily appreciate just how supportive millions of Americans who hadn't voted for him felt toward President Bush then.

I didn't vote for him, and I viewed him as an embarrassment. In the first few days after September 11, 2001, President Bush disappointed me because he wasn't tough enough. Remember? His very first outings were tentative and meager. He didn't yet appreciate the scope of what had happened. He spoke in terms that were criminal, rather than martial. I was enraged. I wanted vengeance. I wanted hell unleashed.

Finally, after almost a week, either someone made things clear to Bush or the impact of coming here to New York genuinely hit him. He vowed that America would respond mightily and I was behind him all the way. He gave the Taliban a chance to turn over bin Laden and, when they failed to do so, he waged war on them. And I was behind him all the way.

Let me repeat that for emphasis: I backed President George Bush, wished him well and cheered his war on Afghanistan.

That's what the right wing doesn't get. Criticism of Bush from the left doesn't come (primarily) from radicals, people constitutionally incapable of backing him. It comes from mainstream people on the left -- who've even crossed party lines on occasion -- who were willing and eager to put aside their partisan (or non-partisan) assessments of Bush in order to support him as our president in a time of war.

Ideally, I'd prefer that Bush were censured, impeached, convicted, imprisoned not just for lying to the American people to mount an elective war that has killed 2,300 American soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis, but for the dereliction of duty he displayed in NOT mounting the war necessary not just to roust the Taliban, but to accomplish the entire point of rousting the Taliban: Capturing Osama bin Laden. There are millions of Americans just like me who don't mind that American troops are deployed overseas -- We just wish they were in Afghanistan and Pakistan, wrapping up the War on al Qaeda, rather than in Iraq, perpetuating the definitionally-unwinnable War on Terror.

But I don't know that we have the body of evidence we need for that.

We do, however, have the body of evidence we need to convict President Bush of wiretapping. Namely, his confession. President Bush won't be convicted, of course. He won't be impeached. He won't even be censured. But just because you know your position won't rule the day doesn't mean you ought not stand by it. It's not going through the motions, it's not even futile. It's denying those who would defend President Bush the ability to claim that no one disagrees with them, that no one cares. If we can do nothing else, we can do that at least. Call, e-mail or write your senator. Let them know we want a party of law and order.


Anonymous said...

Your holier than thou bullshit is so transparent it makes me want to puke. Did you write such insightful thoughts about CLINTON'S lies, illegal activities, and bullshit? I doubt it. All these things you speak so stridently about...if they were happening with a Democrat in office, you wouldn't make a peep. At the end of the day, all you want is "your team" back in power, so they can repeat all their failed ideas of the past (again).

All I'll say is: Please please PLEASE support Hillary. Please make HER your candidate in '08. Please.

Anonymous said...

<< Let them know we want a party of law and order. >>

And what will YOUR party do? What are some of your ideas to fix things? What is YOUR plan to make America better? Whoops, I don't have any. All you can do is bitch and moan about the Bush administration.

Um, over the past two Presidential elections, have you actually NOT LEARNED that crying "Bush sucks" isn't going to get you a victory? Are ya sure you wanna just keep on bashing? Because if you want change, maybe you and your ilk should start tossing out some IDEAS. Offer something better.

Just an idea.

ceej said...

"At the end of the day, all you want is "your team" back in power, so they can repeat all their failed ideas of the past (again)."

Surely the point about "your team" isn't a criticism, since this is exactly your view ('my guys keep winning,' yada yada yada), except for a different team. And yes, Clinton's policies were failures -- a great economy and the thwarting of terrorist attacks in the U.S. were getting tiresome.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes. Ol' Clinton was just "thwarting" attacks left and right, wasn't he?

DoctorBoogaloo said...

Strident right-wingers (all of whom seem to go by the name of 'anonymous')always mention Clinton's name when the debate concerns the here and now. Is it just a matter of backward thinking or do they have their heads so far up their rear ends they don't know what year it is?

Anonymous said...

We know what year it is. Are you really so slow that you don't understand the point we're making when we reference Bill Clinton? Let me try to say it simply for you.

Most of the liberal outrage at President Bush is insincere.

In reality, it's outrage from liberals because liberals are completely out of power. Therefore, you spend your days trying to exploit any negative morsel you can find to slam George Bush.

When we bring up Clinton, our point is, you could have found just as many morsels to become "outraged" about regarding him. THAT is why we bring up Clinton -- to shine a light on your true motives. Now do you understand?

Also, to the douche bag who implied that 9/11 was all George Bush's fault, let me help YOU understand something, too. 9/11 happened only months after George Bush took office. Do you really think Bin Laden started planning it AFTER Clinton was out? Or do you think maybe Bin Laden was planning it and making all the preparations WHILE Clinton was in office?

Think about it. Think about who was actually running America while most of 9/11 was conceived and planned.

Hint: it wasn't anyone named Bush.

DoctorBoogaloo said...

Hey look, it's Jeebus and Dubya come to smite them 'evil doers'.

Er.. nope. Just the Red States with legisilation.

Anonymous said...

Oh, DoctorBoogaloo, you are so witty! Just your name alone "DoctorBoogaloo" shows such creativity and humor. Your antics cut straight to the funnybone!

Gail (germtan) said...

Jonathan, your post of March 13 is spot on. You've said exactly what I feel (no surprise there) about the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and about how it has all played out since then. We are not radicals. Some of us are even downright conservative in some of our thinking.

And Anonymous, whoever you are, you should be aware that those of us in the heartland are simply fed up with the lack of honesty and integrity from this president. His inability to speak the truth has had the effect of nails on a chalkboard. There are over 50 vets running as Democrats for Congress around the countrty this year and there are a lot of Republicans showing up at their rallies. The reasons are numerous; some are fed up with Bush's fiscal irresponsibility, some are fed up with the Iraq war, some with the "culture of corruption," and almost all are yearning to vote for someone with honor and integrity.

There's a guy in PA who's running by the name of Chris Carney who is an Iraqi vet. He was a senior intelligence analyst who served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense and he was part of a core group of military-intelligence officers who studied the Iraqi insurgency over the past three years; they have been frustrated by the Bush Administration's failure to bring adequate force to meet the challenge. He recently told his audience at a rally "We told them there was going to be an insurgency. Did they prepare for it? No. We need to know why they didn't. Why wasn't Congress asking the tough questions about this war? Where was [the present Congressman] Mr. Sherwood?"

When asked what he, Carney, would do now in Iraq as a Congressman, his answer was that he'd withdraw one American battalion for every Iraqi battalion ready to fight. President Bush says there are 50 Iraqi battalions ready.

But there really aren't 50 Iraqi battalions ready to operate independently; in fact, according to the U.S. military, there ISN'T EVEN ONE! But the thing is, Bush claims there are 50 and Carney believes we're not going to have an honest conversation about the war until the President is held accountable for the things he says.

Carney is a moderate Democrat as are many of the vets running for Congress this year. They are not so much anti-war as they are anti-Bush. They are furious about the lack of preparation for the war, the insufficient troop levels and the lousy equipment. They are sick of the lack of accountability and sick of the status quo in Congress letting this administration off the hook when it comes to this war.

Most of us are completely fed up with this congress too. Congress has the responsibility to forcefully express the will of the American people to the president. Unfortunately, the current Republican majority will not allow this courageous statement.

Will it change this November? I don't know. I only know that America is no longer America.

Anonymous said...

Well, Gail, you certainly have voiced a lot of complaints. What are your fixes? When will you libs GET that whining and bashing the Bush administration isn't going to get you your power back?

Actually, I should keep my mouth shut. You libs keep on whining and Bush bashing. We'll keep winning elections.

Gail (germtan) said...

Anonymous,I'm always amused that when someone talks about reality, it's labelled complaints. But I do have some fixes:

1)The first thing we as Americans need to do is replace most of Congress. Jonathan is correct when he says to write, call or email your reps. But they're not listening. I'd go further and say join a campaign this year and work toward electing someone who is going to be fiscally responsible and who will hold this administration accountable.

2)In Iraq, we need to concentrate on security and economic development in the 14 of 18 provinces that are already stable. Get NATO or UN forces in there to help with the security piece. I don't think it should continue to be a US burden only any longer as far as lives and treasure are concerned.

3) Also in Iraq, the administration and military need to begin a discussion about possible partitioning to share the power among the different factions.

In the long run, the Iraqi people will actually have to construct their own government. The sooner we leave, the faster they'll go about getting the government they want. But getting the government "they want" means the factions will do anything to be the one in power (civil war). If there's a way the power can be partioned, we need to work toward that.

4) Donald Rumsfeld needs to be fired for incompetence and gross negligence.

5)I'm not crazy about a complete withdrawal from Iraq but I do agree with Chris Carney's idea that if Bush is going to say we have 50 Iraqi battalions ready, then it's time to start withdrawing one of our battalions for every Iraqi battalion that's truly battle-ready.

(I also believe it's going to be hell on earth when we leave, whether it's now or in 5-10 years. It's a process Iraqis have to go through on their own. The only thing we'll accomplish by staying longer is to shed more of our own blood and postpone the Iraqis day of reckoning.)

6)Get rid of the tax cut. We can no longer afford it. At this time, it's irresponsible and unethical. Just last week the Senate pushed through the law allowing the ceiling to hit $9 trillion so that we can borrow more and so that taxes won't be raised. Bush signed it last Tuesday. This debt limit increase was the fourth of his presidency, totaling $3 trillion in deficit spending.

The federal government was about a week away from being unable to pay its bills – literally. Waiting for Congress, the treasury has been moving money around, even borrowing from federal worker's retirement funds.

"It was an embarrassing vote for Republicans, since they control the decisions on taxes and spending that led to all this debt. But it also had to be done so the government could go out and borrow more money to pay its bills."

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