Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Peter Welch: Vermont's One-Term Congressman Spins Again

Well, that was weird. My day, that is. You see, I took a much-coveted day off from slapping paint on state-owned walls to go and have a little fun with our newly elected yap-dog – er, make that congressman. As in: Peter Welch. And let me say this to the people of Vermont: This guy deserves to be a one-term congressman. He wouldn’t know a decision if hit him in his non-hairy head. Good fucking grief.

About 30 folks marched from the Peace & Justice Center to Welch’s office on Main Street in Burlington today in an attempt to get an answer out of him about whether or not he was going to support the bill currently before Congress to give Bush another $100-plus billion to continue the obscene war on Iraq. You’d think that would be an easy question, too. Funding or no funding, Peter? Especially since Welch spent hundreds of thousands of advertising dollars telling Vermonters for months while he was running for office that his “number one priority was stopping the war.” Well, now he’s got the office and – guess what? – he’s apparently too busy playing footsy with Pelosi to have an opinion with a backbone.

Worse, Peter-the-Dick knew we were coming and he still didn’t have an answer for us. In a moment of Snarky Boy naiveté, I actually thought we’d be arriving to his office with a freshly printed up statement from him explaining that he would not be voting for the funding bill and standing in solidarity with the vast majority of Vermonters who want this war nightmare to end. Cool, I was thinking, we’d march to his office, get the statement out of him, and have plenty of time to check out some watering holes in Burlington on a fine day off. But no such luck there, my friends.

Instead, we arrived to his office and got little but more of the same confused nonsense you get when you call his office: The Congressman hasn’t made up his mind yet; he’s still looking at it; he’s busy and he’ll let you know soon; he’s considering his options, etc.

Excuse me? We’re talking about the war here. The issue that he made such a big deal over while wooing Vermont voters just a few short months ago. But now, apparently, Peter-the-player has decided that cutting deals with the Democratic hierarchy is more important than following his own rhetoric and ending this criminal war.

It’s sad but true, dear readers, but Peter’s got the Democratic disease: He can’t lead and, worse, he can’t make a decision. And we should know, because we waited for hours and hours in his stuffy little office waiting for him to call in and give us the rather simple word on whether or not he would be supporting the bill to provide more funding for the war. But when he finally made the speakerphone call to those of us crammed in his office, he did little but talk in circles, avoid the issue, and try to spin us with more bullshit rhetoric than Karl Rove could muster in a half hour. Trust me, it was pathetic.

But it was clear that Welch will be voting in favor of the bill that will provide more funding to the war. And while he will try to convince us that it’s “the best” he could do, the truth of the matter is that he’s failing to lead, ignoring the people, and becoming yet another accomplice in this long and miserable national nightmare called the Iraq War. Because, no matter what he says about timelines, benchmarks and the disgusting pork spending that has been added to this bill, it will still do one primary thing: Give more than $100 billion to Bush to continue the war until at least September 2008. And that doesn’t only suck, it is wrong and it is cowardly.

I’m glad I went to witness the charade today. And while I was more than a little heart broken by the fact that only 30 people bothered to show up to tell the ONE person in the state of Vermont with the power to vote on more funding for this war that we weren’t going to take it anymore, I say bravo to the brave souls who took the risks, made the plunge, and demonstrated their beliefs in the process known – yet rarely practiced – as democracy.

And the funny thing is, I got home to a slew of emails from so many people who didn’t bother to show up today but had all kinds of bitching and whining to do about the war. And to them – and to you -- I must ask, what the fuck did you do to demand an end to this war today? We’re way beyond the rhetoric phase, my friends, it’s action time. And if you’re not going to act, get out of the way. Or, at least, spare me your emails and comments from the cheap seats…

Which side are you on? Anybody but Welch in 2008, for me.