But this is no comedy. This is nothing but a tragedy. And, for some reason, Bush still seems to be holding all the cards. Oh wait, I just remembered: The Dems joined in empowering Bush by giving him the blank check to begin this madness over four years ago. Yeah, you remember those days, when Leahy was proudly attending the signing ceremony of the USA Patriot Act (with his camera, too!) and vast majorities of both parties were jumping at every opportunity to give Bush whatever he wanted. Ah, what a party!
But now the nation is waking up in the house where one hell of an unruly party took place the night before. Yeah, you know the deal, the place is trashed, it stinks, you kinda-sorta remember most of what happened no matter how much you try to forget, and then you roll over to the person you’re pretty sure you committed unwavering love for and yet you can’t quite remember his or her name now that the morning light is hitting your swollen neck. Ouch.
Deal with it America. We fucked up. And, worse, we’ve got one hell of a hangover.
So, let’s see, how about a call for help? Yep. That’s what we need. Because the first thing that we’ll hear on the other end of the phone is that we should just admit that we have a problem. Hell yes, we’re ready for that.
Hello, War Anonymous, we’ve got a problem!
Ah, that felt good. Okay, now we’ve got to admit that we’re powerless with this problem, we cannot control our silly urges to fight anyone anywhere no matter the consequences, and we need to make amends, admit our mistakes, seek help and forgiveness and – most of all – stop the war making right now. If it helps, you can even put a little chip in the nation’s pocket that says: You’re not alone, you did this in Vietnam, too.
Unfortunately, we’re not getting that kind of straight talk from anyone but about a dozen lawmakers in the U.S. Congress. Because they were the only twelve or so people who understand that the U.S. must stop this war and stop it now, as in: Not another drink – er, dime. Period.
The vast majority of the Dems, including Vermont’s own confused little puppy of congressman, Peter Welch, continues on the path of co-dependency where they seem to think that letting Bush go from unlimited drinking – damn, there I go again, make that: war making – to a scaled down kind of war making is an okay path. Good luck with that.
And so they passed a plan today to kinda-sorta demand that Bush begin to slow down a little bit and – perhaps – get his war making under control in a year and half or else….wait, there really wasn’t an “or else” to any of it, was there? Never mind. But, just to show how “serious” they were about getting Bush to curtail his war making addiction, they also included an extra eight ball – damn, I’m sorry, make that, $124 billion – to help him address his problem and simply “to begin” to end this national nightmare.
Like I said, this should be a comedy. But, again, it’s not.
Today, as the U.S. House voted 218-212 to provide Bush with more war money but pretend it was about the beginning to the end of the war addiction, no one in the Democratic leadership believed that their plan had a chance in hell to become law. This bill and the vote on it was, as they say, theater, because Bush – not to mention the Senate – won’t have anything to do with it.
Bush himself took the White House podium only about 45 minutes after Pelosi was seen gushing with pride over the bill’s passage to say the words his minions have been saying since this bill was first broached: “This bill has zero chance of passing.” Oh, how the Dems have perfected the art of doing nothing and feeling good about it, huh?
And then I remembered, this IS what the Dems do best: Try kinda-sorta hard and lose. In fact, this whole episode reminds me of the Kerry campaign. Yeah, you remember that, don’t you: Kerry tried, Kerry confused and Kerry lost. Yep, they’ve got that one down pat, don’t they?
Meanwhile, Bush, Cheney and the Republicans just go to the podium and say: Fuck off. At least it’s clear.
And so it goes. Over and over and over again.
But at some point the Dems have got to realize that, if their watered down bullshit can’t survive more than 45 minutes before Bush says “go to your room,” they’ve got to start coming up with some declarative statements and positions of their own. If Bush wants a standoff, give him one – but, this time, make your position a position of strength, you dopes.
At least a dozen Dems in the House tried to do that today by standing up and declaring that they wouldn’t vote for another dime for this war. That way, you see, the war wouldn’t become their war. They played the Bush/Cheney/Rove game of going all the way, doing what they truly believed, and voting from their hearts. And you know what, they ended up as the only true winners in all of this because of it. The rest – including Peter Welch – were caught playing the worst kind of politics: Compromising even when you knew you were going to lose. Oh yeah, that’ll show ‘em!
Now that it’s clear the Congress and the White House are not able to seek the help they need to stop this war-making addiction, it’s time for the people to take the lead. To be blunt, the peace movement needs to wake-up, stop getting caught up in the Dem leadership’s enabling routine, and revving up the grassroots with the kind of energy and focus that the grassroots is clearly waiting for. Wait, what do they call that? Oh yeah: democracy. You know, where THE PEOPLE lead.
I’ll see you in the streets, my friends.