Op-ed: Democrats have 'let down' the American people
"The Americans who voted the Democrats into power have been let down," writes Monroe Anderson in his Sunday Chicago Sun Times editorial.
Last week the Democratic-controlled Senate shot down the Feingold-Reid Iraq bill that would have cut funding for the Iraq war by March 31, 2008, thereby forcing the president to bring the troops home.
"The bill was defeated even as three U.S. soldiers remain missing and the death toll in Iraq is rising," chides Anderson. "The bill was defeated even as our puppet Iraqi government continues with its plans for a two-month vacation while the American men and women serving in their country are getting three months added to their yearlong tours of duty. The bill was defeated even as reports of poor care at Walter Reed Hospital for the mounting number of wounded troops is barely yesterday's news."
The new majority party is "too timid," says Anderson, and it is hard to distinguish them from minority party they were last year.
By yielding "to the oxymoron argument that we have to support the troops by keeping them in the line of fire," he writes, the Democrats have prolonged "George W. Bush's nightmarish Middle East misadventure."
Last week's vote was a loss for Wisconsin's Sen. Russell Feingold and other Democrats who want to bring the Iraq occupation to a halt. But the undertaking forced Democratic presidential hopefuls, including Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, previously reluctant to limit war funding, to come out in favor of the measure. Unfortunately, 19 Dems couldn't or wouldn't heed the distress signal that the American electorate fired last November, joining 47 Republicans in the vote to end the occupation funding. Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, is one of those Democrats. He said he opposes any measure that cuts off money for the war because ''we don't want to send the message to the troops'' that Congress does not support them.
That argument -- made smugly by legislators sitting safely and serenely in Washington, D.C. -- is about as logic-defying as others buzz-worded by the incompetent and corrupt Bush administration. We know them by heart. They play well to our emotions but not as well when we step back to question them. For example, could it be that setting a deadline to bring the troops home benchmarks the end of Americans dying for a continuously changing cause? What job are we staying to get done? Why are we staying where we're not welcomed? How are we supposed to secretly withdraw our troops without the insurgents knowing we're leaving?
And, one last question: How much American blood has to flow to drown out the civil war in Iraq or cut through the hollow patriotic sloganeering here at home?
READ THE FULL SUN TIMES EDITORIAL HERE