Thursday, March 22, 2007

News Flash: Welch Proves That, Indeed, There Wasn’t Much Difference Between Him and Rainville As He Votes to Give $120 Billion to Bush For More War

Sorry, long headline. But it’s what I wanted to say. I just received notification that Congressman Welch will be speaking and voting in favor of the war-funding bill this afternoon. This is not a surprise. It was clear in his embarrassingly dizzy double talk with the activists that occupied his office yesterday that he was going to be voting this way. Just as it was clear that he didn’t have the political guts to just come out and say it, instead hiding behind the very thinly-veiled claim of not having made up his mind yet. Yeah right. And let us know when Santa will be coming back down the chimney…

Peter Welch spent 18 months bombarding Vermonters with how different he was going to be in D.C. when compared to his opponent, Martha Rainville. But Welch didn’t look all that different when he was lined up like an eager schoolboy trying to get Bush’s autograph at the State of Union address. And he certainly doesn’t look all that different now that he’s voting to give Bush, Cheney, and the entire GOP war machine another $120-plus billion to carry on with this war until at least the Fall of 2008.

We all know why Peter’s voting the way he is on this: He’s trying to climb the hierarchical ladder of the D.C. Dems. From day one, Peter’s been sucking up to Pelosi, even when that sucking up means almost instantly backpedaling on the campaign pledges that he made only a few short months ago. While he may not remember those pledges, promises and distinct differences he tried to make between himself and Rainville and the Republicans, we do. And we will continue to remember those differences until November 2008.

With his vote to provide more money to the Bush war, this becomes Peter Welch’s war, too. He – and the Dems – can no longer get away with the insincere slogans about this being Bush’s war and only Bush’s war. Because, from the beginning and right up to today’s vote, the Dems (now including Peter) have been giving it one congressional approval after another.

The most laughable thing we heard yesterday from Welch as he tried to spin us dizzy with his nonsense about not having made up his mind or the Orwellian jargon about how “funding the war is about ending the war” (yeah sure, Peter), was his claim that “no one in Congress opposes this war more than I do.”

Well, Peter, as you go to the floor today with your Pelosi-approved script with more of the same nonsense you uttered yesterday, consider these words from just one of your peers, Rep. John Lewis of Georgia:

Tonight, I must make it plain and clear, that as a human being, as a citizen of the world, as a citizen of America, as a member of Congress, and as an individual committed to a world at peace with itself, I will not and cannot vote for another dollar or another dime to support this war.

Now that, Peter, is anti-war rhetoric AND anti-war action. And Lewis will be joined by many more Democrats who aren’t just talking the talk of peace, but walking the walk of peace, too. Unlike Vermont’s Peter Welch, these folks will be sending the message that so many citizens of Vermont, the U.S. and the world want from this congress: They will be voting against anymore funding for the war.

But Peter will keep talking. And explaining. And pretending. And hoping that Bush will deliver on the “benchmarks” and “deadlines” included with the $120 billion check from congress. Good luck with that.

And so, on that Tuesday night in November 2008, when the last of the Welch campaign staff is drying their tears and wondering how in the hell their boss became only the second congressman in Vermont in decades to serve only one term, I’m betting that one of the first things they’ll think about was Peter’s vote for more war funding on March 22, 2007.

Congrats, Peter. You’re now the proud owner of a disastrous, illegal and unpopular war. Wear it well.