Let's not go to go into the details of recent maneuvering in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate as to how to continue the occupation of Iraq. Instead let's look at the underlying basis for the actions of the elected officials who are members of the Democratic Party and the swelling number of confused people who want to end the War Against Iraq who are still members of the Democratic Party.
First, I believe there are a few members of the Democratic Party serving in the House and Senate who genuinely want peace in Iraq and peace in general. But these officials are in much the same position as Democrats who are not elected officials who believe in peace. They don't want to face reality, so they must hold two contradictory positions (because one is false) simultaneously: they are for peace and the party they belong to is, or could be, for peace.
The heavily promoted view of the situation is that the Republicans are for war, most of the Democrats are for peace, but a few pro-war Democrats are working with the Republicans to prevent the peace Dems from prevailing.
Rather than argue that most elected Democrats are really for the war (which I think is true), I am going to make a more difficult argument. I am going to pretend that most elected Democrats are for peace, but that they are not willing to pay the price to get peace.
Each elected Democrat is in a slightly different situation regarding getting re-elected. Some are from districts that are solidly and vocally anti-war; others might (and do) argue that in their district to vote against the war would be to ensure that a Republican would be elected in their place in 2008. I'm not even going to argue with that. I am going to say that if they really wanted peace, the democrats from anti-war, solidly democratic districts could get it. But they don't really want peace.
Lyndon Johnson got the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed because he understood how politics really worked. The Republicans, despite being the party of Lincoln, weren't real eager to upset their snobby conservative base of support by passing a Civil Rights Act. The Democrats, especially the Southern Democrats, were strongly opposed to the Civil Rights Act: it looked like it would cause them to lose power. But President Johnson got the act passed. How?
Johnson wanted it and was willing to make sacrifices for it. Sacrifices the current crop of Democrats aren't willing to make for Peace. Lyndon Johnson knew that everyone wanted something. They wanted federal funds for their friends and federal funds to buy votes in their district. That is the real business of the Federal government: taxing people and using the money to buy campaign contributions and votes. More often the results are better than you might think, because buying votes often means doing good things for a lot of people.
What happens if a President, in Johnson's case, along with a minority in Congress, decides to say: the party is over until we get what we want. And we really mean it. I guarantee they get what they want. Because every Congressperson is in danger when the party stops. No more campaign contributions, no more happy voters, no more office, back to selling used cars or defending scumbags in court.
The Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives, which controls the nation's purse. If tomorrow they said: any Democrat who does not line up with the party on this peace business will get nothing for their district or their campaign contributes, all the Democrats would line up for peace. In battle array they could then say: no one (Republicans or Democrats) gets anything, and we mean anything, until the troops are home.
If they did that the troops would be home fast.
You won't see that happening. The reason is simple: elected Democrats want gravy more than they want Peace. But if you really want to see stupidity, take a close look at rank-and-file Democrats who are for peace (and usually for social justice as well). They will never figure it out. They will remain in denial. They will never become independent voters or Green Party members or socialists or anarchists. Their religion is the Democratic Party; they will allow no Luther to lead them from that Apostolic fold. Reality does not matter: being a member of the Party of Slavery, the Party of the Confederacy, the party of Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the Vietnamese War is what matters to them. They want to be in a big herd, a powerful herd, no matter that the herd dwells in the stench of evil mingled with the perfume of hypocrisy.
So the war in Iraq will go on, and the blood of innocents in Iraq will continue to trickle into the vast ocean of blood that is the legacy of the Democratic Party.
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