Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Who are the Dems afraid of?

By Edward Copeland

I do believe you've laid a curse on North America
A curse that we now here rehearse in Philadelphia
A second flood, a simple famine
Plagues of locusts everywhere
Or a cataclysmic earthquake
I'd accept with some despair
But, no, you sent us Congress.
Good God, sir, was that fair?
...
You see, we piddle, twiddle, and resolve
Not one damn thing do we solve
Piddle, twiddle, and resolve
Nothing's ever solved in
Foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy
Philadephia!

I felt it was more than a little bit appropriate today to begin with some excerpts from the great Broadway musical 1776, specifically the exasperated John Adams dealing with an ineffectual Congress unwilling or unable to take steps toward declaring independence from England. The more things change...

Now today, as the House takes up legislation already approved by the Senate in an astounding 92-3 vote Monday to give Dubya billions more to sink into the Iraqi hole (which Dubya still plans to veto because they tacked on hate-crimes legislation), it's time again to call the Democrats to task. The Democratic leadership trot out their usual hue-and-cry of "next time" and "we don't have the votes to override his veto," etc. Democratic "why is he running again?" presidential candidate Mike Gravel made a valid point in the debate last week when he said Congress should just bring everything to a stop to force hands instead of quaking in their boots.

Joe Scarborough made another valid point on his MSNBC show this morning that when the Republicans took over Congress during the Clinton administration, they didn't have a clear enough Senate majority to override either, but they put pressure on Clinton until they got a lot of what they wanted.

Still, what makes all of this particularly mind-boggling is the poll in today's Washington Post that indicates that not only do an overwhelming majority of Americans want this Iraq madness to end, 3% support ending funding for the war, 23% back reducing the funding slightly and 43% want to sharply reduce the funding. That's a total of 69% who back funding cuts or elimination. A mere 27% want Congress to give Dubya everything he wants.

The poll also shows that Congress' approval has dipped further, though not as far as Dubya's, who has tied his all-time low in this poll with a 33% approval rating. It also indicates public support for the expansion of the children's health insurance bill that has been the victim of another veto threat.

Overall, 55 percent of Americans want congressional Democrats to do more to challenge the president's Iraq policies, while a third think the Democrats have gone too far. The level of agitation for more action in opposition to the war has not dissipated since August 2005, when Democrats were the minority party in Congress.
Lee Martin, an information technology consultant from Chicago, said that after last year's midterm elections, he and others anticipated a change in Iraq policy. "The reason Congress is down is they're [Democrats] in there and basically nothing is changing," he said.

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