Now, let’s play the game of Monday random blogging.
First up is the news that Vermont Rep. Peter Welch is off to Iraq this week. Let’s face it, these trips are stupid, stupid and stupid. What in the hell does a congressman like Welch think they’ll be able to determine on such a trip? And this one’s all about political paybacks from Nancy Pelosi, who liked the fact that her new pet, Peter, went out on the political limb with her and voted to give Bush more money for war. Thanks, Peter.
So, in exchange for Peter’s vote for 18 more months of war, Vermont’s congressman gets an all-expense-paid trip to the war zone and all the photo-ops he’ll be able to muster. Then, of course, he’ll come home with the most studied solemn look he can muster and – trust me – utter these words: “I was moved by what I saw. And I’m convinced more than ever that our timetable is the right decision.”
Because no one ever comes back from one of these trips with anything but a transparent confirmation of what they thought when the gift of the trip was first presented to them. Can you say: Ego-tripping? I knew you could.
Consider, for example, John McCain’s recent trip to Baghdad. This old dope went to Iraq to prove how lovely a place it has become and then just looked really dopey trying to maintain that line of reasoning while he was there. Sorry, but if it takes 100-plus soldiers, a flack jacket and a helmet to allow you to declare how “safe” it is there, it’s not gonna be real believable.
Welcome to the unseemly world of politics and political paybacks – a world Peter obviously knows very, very well. So while Peter continues to play his lovely game of footsy with the Dem leadership, his constituents are still wondering when he’s going to listen to us and – better yet – his own rhetoric from the campaign last fall.
Speaking of which, the Sunday Times Argus/Rutland Herald featured a nice exchange between Welch and a constituent over the weekend. You can read Welch’s defense of his pro-war vote here and his constituent’s call for no more war funding here.
It’s too bad Peter didn’t get to Iraq in time to be a part of the Iraqi protest yesterday in which, according to the New York Times, tens of thousands of Iraqis took to the streets to demand that the U.S. armed forces get out of their country – now. Peter would have definitely needed the speakerphone for that exchange. And I wonder how those folks would have taken his jive about being against the war but still willing to give Bush an additional 18 months and $100 billion?
The Pope, too, doesn’t seem to have much more patience for what he’s calling the “continual slaughter” in Iraq. In his Easter address yesterday, the high and mighty one to the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics asked this question:
''Suffering, evil, injustice, death, especially when it strikes the innocent such as children who are victims of war and terrorism, of sickness and hunger, does not all of this put our faith to the test?''
Well, sure, that and that silly hat he was wearing.
No lightning strikes yet. Whew.
So let’s review. Those lining up against the Iraq war and an immediate end to it are: A vast majority of the Iraqi public, a vast majority of the American public, a very, very vast majority of the world’s citizens, the Pope and Snarky Boy (sorry I just really, really wanted to use that line).
And those still dragging their feet are the President, a very wimpy Congress, including our own Peter Welch, the vast majority of military contractors, and the very, very vast majority of oil industry executives.
Wow. Ain’t democracy grand?
[Reminder: Send your quips, tips and comments to me at VtSnarkyBoy@yahoo.com]