Monday, November 26, 2007

Recess is over soon

By Carol Gee

Congress travels back to Washington next week. How will their trips be? Will the brilliant and statesman-like airline travel intervention by our current president (OCP) make their airport experiences any better? Do they return with renewed thankfulness or a sense of dread? Did they find their dollars buying less on "Black Friday?" Today is Monday, and personally, Congress' return to work in December should put me in a happy spirit, but it does not. I dread the upcoming defense appropriations fights between our Democratic leaders and our current president (OCP).

Each side needs to accept the reality of Iraq. Perhaps Senators and Representatives got a chance to catch up with the news while at home. If any of them happened to be reading news online this morning it would be good if they got to the reality check presented by Michael J.W. Stickings' post earlier here at The Reaction. I quote from his hard-hitting introduction to "America's Iraqi death squads":

So -- what's really going on in Iraq? If the warmongers are to be believed, violence is down and the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter and brighter, all hail Bush and Petraeus and the Surge of Surges. Sure, it's been a tough go, but now, at long last, success is at hand thanks to the sticktoitiveness of those who have been determined to guide the war through the tumult and the hardship, those resolute enough to stand firm in the face of massive opposition and partisan cowardice. Victory is near, the glory theirs.

The problem is, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics, and, like Vietnam (like any war), this is not a war that can be judged by the numbers, and especially not by numbers selected and de-contextualized by those using them to support the warmongering case.

Members of Congress who vote against their consciences must have big internal psychological dilemmas. Their ambivalence consists of two polar self-interested opposites. One says, "If I do not vote for the bill that has a chance to be signed by the president, I will be seen as part of a do-nothing congress and risk my re-election." The other says, "If I vote the way I know I should, I will be seen as weak on national security and risk my re-election." But with each passing week the Middle East policies of OCP are making things worse.

The well-being of the United States in the world community cannot remain in the hands of this one man, despite what the Constitution says. These two links illustrate that opinion is divided about the extent of damage done by this administration to America's reputation. Congress' reputation is also at a low ebb. It is time for members of the congress to get over this set of false choices and start listening to their consciences.

There is a third way, as my favorite ex-president was fond of saying. Harry Reid found his "third way" with the pro-forma meetings of the Senate to block OCP's planned radical recess appointments. Blogger "TeddySanFran" at Firedoglake reports, however, that Reid is being castigated for it in the mainstream media. The media will be full of blaming articles in upcoming months. And we bloggers will be trying to figure out what's wrong with the body politic for us to be in this mess. Voter apathy is potentially a big problem according to a very interesting discussion at TPMCafe's "cscs" Diary. That discussion has stuck with me this weekend, adding to my concerns. On the other hand, there is this.

Coming to my very own state - Blogger, "sccs" at Texas Kaos has put me in a happier mood with this welcome announcement:

"Just announced: Netroots Nation, formerly Yearly Kos, will be hosted in Austin, TX, July 17-20, 2008."

More good news from Texas -- My “creativity and dreaming” post yesterday at Making Good Mondays is about Europe's part in NASA's upcoming mission, STS-122, set to launch December 6.

(Cross-posted at South by Southwest.)

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  • I wonder if any Republican senators will be stopping off in Minneapolis. I hear there's much to do in the airport there.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 6:51 PM  

  • I doubt if Senator Lott goes home in that direction, though one never knows, huh?

    By Blogger Carol Gee, at 4:03 AM  

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