In E.J. Dionne's column today in the Star-Ledger, he advises left-wing Democrats [as if they are the ONLY ones to oppose this war and find problems with the President's failed war policies] to follow Barry Goldwater's advice from the 1960 Republican Convention and just "Grow up". Senator Goldwater back then was attempting to beat back “a rebellion against Richard M. Nixon, whom conservatives saw as selling out to liberals on various platform planks.” How much wiser the Republicans were in 1960, then in 2007. Had they only beat back Richard Nixon, he may have gone into historical oblivion much sooner.
Dionne says “The Democratic Party's progressive wing, furious at what it sees as the capitulation of its congressional leaders to President Bush on the Iraq war, should remember this history. The decision to drop withdrawal timelines from the Iraq supplemental appropriations bill is not a decisive defeat.” While not a ‘defeat’, it still sets back months and months the objective the Democrats were elected to do, which is end this war. The president certainly has no desire or plan to do that.
Dionne is suggesting that somehow progressive Democrats should learn a lesson from Goldwater, the doyen of the conservative movement, and simply “grow up.” They should not look at the House Democrats giving up on meaningful timetables and benchmarks as a major defeat. I must vehemently disagree. This is a problem of major proportions.
The Democrats in the House folded their tent went home. Not all Democrats. Speaker Pelosi and others did have the courage of their convictions and voted their conscience and did the right thing. All the Democratic NJ Members of Congress did the same, with the exception of Rep. Rob Andrews. The reasons given by Rep. Andrews were filled with political platitudes like “We do not have a veto-proof majority for that proposition.” or “There are two ways to end our involvement in Iraq's civil war. The first is to elect a new President who will accomplish this goal.” Both reasons, I fear, are not of any importance to the families waiting for their loved ones to return. Nor to the 200-300 more families who may suffer a devastating loss this summer, should the war continue.
But the rest of the Democrats let down the American people who overwhelmingly wish to see an end to America involvement in this war, period. The headline of Dionne’s editorial is “See you in September”. Unfortunately, there may very well be several hundred more soldiers dying during the summer in this horrible mistake of a war----those who will not make it to see their families in September. So, while many of us will be at the Jersey Shore, at community pools, and on vacation sometime this summer ----Congress now must wait an additional four months to September in order to deal with the next funding bill for the Iraqi war.
Dionne goes on to say that “Democrats, in short, have enough power to complicate the president's life, but not enough to impose their will.” This unfortunately, is very true.
However, I think that it is well worth making the president’s life more and more “complicated”, as long as more and more American lives are lost in Iraq.
That is, not “complicated”, at all.