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The Democratic Party’s Anti-War Pose

The House engaged in "impassioned" debate on the Iraq war yesterday. Republicans, taking their lead from House Speaker Hastert, and armed with a "debate prep book" provided by the Pentagon, took a bold stand against "evildoers," (perhaps the prep guide was a comic book?) while the Democratic leader, Pelosi, called the war a "grotesque mistake" rather than a deliberate act.

Although the war has become unpopular with the public, it is the Republicans who are on the offensive, seeking "to put lawmakers of both parties on record on an issue certain to be central in this fall's congressional elections." Congressional Democrats are divided into three camps: some want troops to leave Iraq this year, others object to setting any kind of timetable, and a number of them want the United States to start redeploying forces by year's end but don't want to set a date when all troops should be out.

It is interesting to consider why this apparent paradox exists. There is considerable confusion on the left about the nature of the Democratic Party machine, as evidenced by the frequent charge that Democratic representatives are "cowardly" or "spineless"; one cannot speak of "bravery" or "cowardice" in relation to those who have no principles save to abide the power of the purse.

In this context, it is nearly inconceivable that Democratic VIPs would take note of the rights of the victims of imperial aggression, but if one is to ignore this aspect of the war in Iraq, one must adduce other objections to the venture. Indeed, there are many purely self-interested factors that could be noted: a predictable increase in terrorism against the U.S., the enormous costs, etc. However, here, too, we run into problems – those who wish to uphold the dominant ideological line must be careful not to undermine the system with subversive ideas.

As a result, even the most dovish representatives are unwilling to appeal to their (much more anti-war) popular constituencies with anything beyond lamentations of the "grotesque mistake." The "mistake" was made by most of the Congressional Democrats, as well as Republicans, tricked into it by the devious Bush administration, no doubt.

It's not exactly the strongest argument, even if it were true, pleading one's own susceptibility to transparently false arguments for the war. The Republican accusation is, after all, quite accurate: the Democrats are simply hypocritical and inconsistent in attempting to opportunistically capture the anti-war vote, putting aside, for a moment, that the Democrats' appeals consist mostly of rhetorical flourishes, largely devoid of any policy significance.

About Kevin Funk and Steve Fake

  • Bliffle

    Illustrates the foolishness of allowing political calculation to override principle. The dems will be cursed with this quandry for years. Now if only we could reform the power-drunk republicans. But the sold their souls to satan for power and can’t stop.

  • Arch Conservative

    We need a third party…..

    which do you prefer bliffle? democans or republicrats?

  • Arch Conservative

    Why doesn’t someone write a blog about William Jefferson……..it’s certainly newsworthy atthe moment.

  • http://absent-mind.blogspot.com/ Jet in Columbus

    ArchBoingBat why don’t you shut up, put your money where you mouth is, and write it yourself instead of making assinine remarks on everyone elses?

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com Christopher Rose

    I for one would welcome Archie if he was to step out of his anonymous shadow and join us in the light but that would of course require a different kind of courage.

    It’s your choice, Luke; leave your father and choose the light or follow his example and choose the dark side…

  • http://ScrewyLouieFarakhan Libareal

    Mr. Arch Conservative,

    We find your comments about William Jefferson deeply troubling and racists in tone. Please refrain from making these devisive remarks.

    Signed.
    Screwy L Farakhan

    PS Death to the white man and those in that gutter religion!! Have a nice day.

  • http://chromatius.blogspot.com/ Chromatius

    “The Republican accusation is, after all, quite accurate: the Democrats are simply hypocritical and inconsistent in attempting to opportunistically capture the anti-war vote, putting aside for a moment that the Democrat’s appeals consist mostly of rhetorical flourishes, largely devoid of any policy significance.”

    So true. When it comes to foreign policy and war, not a hair between them. Nothing but different mood music. The partisan dance nothing but distraction.

    All much clearer from abroad.

  • http://jpsgoddamnblog.blogspot.com JP

    I’d agree that the Dems aren’t handling it well, but what strikes me is how much of a partisan hackjob this “non-binding motion” the Republicans are demanding a vote on really is.

    People make an assumption–largely led by Bush himself–that one can either be “for” or “against” the war on terror. It is absolutely natural AND ENCOURAGED, if you ask me, that there be more than one alternative to the current course of action under consideration.

    Many perfectly acceptable and rational positions exist: belief in the fight against terror but not in the declaration of “war”; belief in the war against terror but that its strategy is wrong, for example that we’ve focused on the wrong country; entirely anti-war; anti-preemptive war; and so on.

    The Democrats have members who have voiced a number of these alternatives. Republicans who call for a “unified” opposition–as if there’s only one other way to combat terrorism–are doing our nation a disservice by putting artificial boundaries on the debate.

  • troll

    …and then there was Kucinich calling on the US people to take to the streets in protest and put an end to this war

    troll

  • Arch Conservative

    UMMMM….. It was just a suggestion that someone write a post on a story that is currently in the news. If no one wants to write a post about it they don’t have to. I don’t understand what was so assinine about it or why it was answered with such hostility.

    Nice star wars analogy only my father wasn’t a Democrat so if I chose to join the Dem party I wouldn’t be following his lead.

    “People make an assumption–largely led by Bush himself–that one can either be “for” or “against” the war on terror”

    When it comes to our troops in Iraq it is that black and white isn’t it JP? Either you think they should stay there and continue to fight, they should come home, or C, we set an arbitray timetable that has nothing to do with what’s actually going on in Iraq and withdraw the troops at a certain date no matter what…….

  • Mark

    Yahoo homepage news headline-”Over 2 dozen killed despite Iraq security “- boo hoo hoo. Hello!! Baghdad is a sprawling metropolis of 14 million people at least twice the size of Los Angeles. 2 dozen people killed??? So what. What is the price of liberty, freedom from oppression? Is the US the only ideal for that? There is hope for Canada, now that they have a right thinking PM. How about Mexico? Now that WE are finally doing something about the border and illegals, there will be so much pressure on the people and those in power that a revolution will occur and Mexico could be a true democracy and open their economy to real free trade and commerce and change their wrong headed false pride of a constitution and attitude. Oh, and if you are going to throw up the argument that the southwest use to be Mexico, that’s BS. This part of the country would just like Tijuana, slums sewage, bordellos and drug dealers and criminals running it, just like the borders is now! GET IT!? All you would be doing is relocating and expanding the problems. In addition, if you take the time to study history, the Anglos, Europeans and American settlers, business men entrepeneurs, people with ambition built this country-including the south west. In fact, a personal account from an author in the 1800’s noted that the indigenous Mexican folk had no ambition to do much of anything, except have their little fiesta’s and ride horses.

    The cynicism, negativity and defeatist attitude that is pervasive through out the enclaves of America haters is due to the whimpering, indoctrinated, misinformed, ignorant, logic challenged, brainwashed, sap sucking, commie sympathizer, islamo fascist lovers, Jew hater, bush hater, liberal democrats, liberals, fringe hippie freaks, anti-war attention whores(like Cindy what’s her face).

    Get an education on world history fools. Go live in a country that despises America like you do, you will be welcomed with open arms- for about 10 minutes then they will cut your head off with a rusty saw- or something more pleasant-at least we will be rid of you.