Profiles in Sewage
May 24, 2007
Profiles in Sewage
I had almost decided to pass comment altogether on Congress' most recent dereliction of duty, since this particular act was universally predicted and virtually guaranteed. But what else is Congress good for, if not for kicking?
Yes, everyone knows that Congressional Democrats have mental blocks when it comes to unity and organization. Every now and then, however, an issue comes along -- oh, let's say, a needless, illegal war killing thousands and wasting billions -- about which voters really don't care to hear historical excuses of a Will Rogers bent. Get over it they say, in effect. Just get off your butts and get together and get it done. And don't phone home with comical excuses about your disorganized big tent of a party.
Surprisingly, we're not hearing much of that excuse this time around. That's the good news. The bad news is what we are hearing from Congressional leaders is even more insulting.
"We donít have a veto-proof Congress," said the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid.
"The president has made it very clear that he is not going to sign timelines. We canít pass timelines over his veto," said the House majority leader, Steny Hoyer.
Most insulting of all was the double-barreled unctuousness of Rahm Emanuel, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus -- "I view this as the beginning of the end of the presidentís policy on Iraq" -- and Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "This is another stage in the sequencing of ending this war," as she moved the only meaningful stage -- "the moment of truth," as she put it -- to September.
We were quite aware that you "don't have a veto-proof Congress," Mr. Reid. But did we hear Mr. Bush cave, saying he had lost his Congressional majority?
And we were quite aware that "the president has made it very clear that he is not going to sign timelines," Mr. Hoyer. But did we hear Mr. Bush cave, saying it was clear that timelines were all that Congress was going to offer?
As for Mr. Emanuel's offensive defense, one is left slackjawed. There's spin, and there's spin. There is spin that softens a troubled stance, and then there's spin that evokes nothing but derisive laughter. The "beginning of the end of the president's policy on Iraq"? By that, Mr. Emanuel, you mean, I gather, that his policy will end Jan. 20, 2009, and Congress has begun counting the days.
Speaker Pelosi's inability to read last year's calendar, with "Moment of Truth" plastered all over "November," is too infuriatingly muddleheaded to even risk one's blood pressure on.
At least we had Russ Feingold's thoughtful assessment, which echoed the larger reality that Congressional leaders are suppressing at their party's peril: "There has been a lot of tough talk from members of Congress about wanting to end this war, but it looks like the desire for political comfort won out over real action. Congress should have stood strong, acknowledged the will of the American people, and insisted on a bill requiring a real change of course in Iraq."
If it was "political comfort" they were looking for, Congressional Democrats crawled under the wrong rock. Acquiescence to a bullheaded president prosecuting an insane war isn't likely to endear their party to anyone but the equally bullheaded and shrinking opposition. And I doubt they'll be voting Democratic anytime soon.
Which begs the question, Who will? The answer, of course, is that the Democrats are counting on American voters' famous short-term memory loss, which is just as famously known as the American small-d democratic way.
Today's big-d Democratic way? Gutlessness. Or maybe the Democrats' guts have simply shifted south, because it takes a lot of balls to be this cowardly.
04:25 AM | Permalink