OpEdNews Op Eds

Beltway Dems Regurgitate Right-Wing B.S. on Iraq; Grassroots Fights Back

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Become a Fan
  (9 fans)
- Advertisement -
The Philadelphia Inquirer has a great piece today (attached) on how many of the highest-profile Democrats - other than the courageous Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) - are still unwilling to take a serious position on the Iraq War. I must say, there are very troubling signs in the article in terms of Democrats continuing to regurgitate dishonest right wing lies (a phenomenon our side seems to be prone to), and continuing to listen to the professional election losers (aka. "The Consulting Class") and the club of foreign policy elitists (aka. the "The Strategic Class") in Washington, D.C. But there are also some very encouraging signals this insulated Beltway Establishment is being shaken to its core.

First the very bad news. The article notes that the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) is once again undermining the Democratic Party. This time, it has "accused war critics of 'anti-American bias'" (wonder if that includes Vietnam War hero/Iraq War critic Republican Senator Chuck Hagel?). This is a pristine example of self-proclaimed Democrats literally regurgitating the most offensive and dishonest right-wing spin out there. There is nothing "anti-American" about wanting to bring our troops home. (Frankly, it's the other way around: there is something "anti-American soldier" about wanting to indefinitely leave our troops in a shooting gallery without an exit strategy, without proper body armor, and without any semblance of a plan).

The DLC's rhetoric is reminiscent of Attorney General John Ashcroft's now-famous statement that critics of the Bush administration "only aid terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve." It is also frighteningly reminiscent of the 9/8/03 Washington Post story that noted Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said that "critics of the Bush administration's Iraq policy are encouraging terrorists and complicating the ongoing U.S. war on terrorism."

More bad news: the Democratic Party's Senate and House campaign apparatus is telling Democrats to keep their mouths shut on Iraq, for fear they will look weak on national security. Most recently, these pathetic souls desperately tried to divert attention from how the Iraq War played an instrumental role in Iraq War Veteran Paul Hackett's congressional race in Ohio. Apparently, the class of professional election losers in Washington, D.C. thinks Democrats can win by saying almost nothing on Iraq (like the party often says nothing on lots of issues, thus perpetuating the perception that Democrats stand for nothing). As one "Democratic strategist" told the Inquirer, "Let's not refight the origins of the war, who was right or wrong. That discussion has run its course." The strategist then said "Let's keep hitting Bush when he's not being straight with the people."

That's all well and good - except, it assumes that Americans are stupid. The fact is, doing what these strategists suggest will reinforce the idea that Democrats stand for nothing, because refusing to address the Iraq war is the equivalent of Democrats "not being straight with people" in the same way Bush isn't being straight with people. It's the reason why we can drive up Bush and the GOP's negatives all we want - but that doesn't mean it is going to help us. The fact is, Democrats will not capitalize on any of this until they start speaking clearly about where they actually stand on the war, and whether they actually have the guts to say what polls show most Americans believe: that the Bush administration deliberately lied to us about why we were going to war, that the war has made our country less safe/secure, and that it's time for a serious exit strategy.

Finally, there is some good news: the Inquirer story reminds us that there is a growing outrage outside the class of professional election losers in Washington who are starting to flex their political muscle. That is, the millions of ordinary, hard-working citizens who actually make up the ranks of the Democratic Party are getting sick and tired of the split-the-difference politics that has led Democrats to loss after loss after loss. People like Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Paul Hackett are showing that there are talented and effective champions who are listening to us, and are ready to take up the fight. And others like top-tier Senate candidate Bob Casey (D-PA) are rejecting the Iraq advice from the all-too-comfortable consultants in Washington.

It is up to us to support these and other courageous leaders in their noble cause, because they are fighting not only for the future of the Democratic Party, but more importantly, for the future of this country.

Sources:
Feingold is first 2008 presidential contender to stand up on the Iraq War:
http://www.workingforchange.com/blog/index.cfm?mode=entry&entry=c9eff8b9-03cf-2b78-309e25814228493a
Amy Sullivan on the Consulting Class of professional election losers in D.C.:
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2005/0501.sullivan.html
Ari Berman on the Strategic Class of foreign policy elitists:
http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20050829&s=berman
Vietnam War Hero/GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel criticizes the Iraq War:
http://edition.cnn.com/2005/politics/08/18/hagel.iraq/
Bush still leaving troops without proper body armor in Iraq:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/08/14/news/armor.php
Ashcroft's famous statement attacking Bush critics as helping terrorists:
http://archives.cnn.com/2001/us/12/06/inv.ashcroft.hearing/
Rumsfeld attacks Bush critics as helping terrorists and hurting the Iraq War effort:
http://truthout.org/docs_03/printer_090903i.shtml
DCCC tries to divert attention from Iraq War even after the Hackett race:
http://www.workingforchange.com/blog/index.cfm?mode=entry&entry=87810569-e9b0-2c7b-04a934abe72ae1d2
Poll shows majority of Americans believe Bush deliberately lied about Iraq:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-07-26-poll-us-not-winning-iraq_x.htm
Poll shows majority of Americans believe Iraq War made us less safe:
http://www.cnn.com/2005/politics/07/11/bush.terror/
Poll shows majority of Americans want an exit strategy from Iraq:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-06-12-poll_x.htm
Top-tier Senate candidate Bob Casey rejects D.C. advice on Iraq:
http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/states/pennsylvania/12429559.htm
- Advertisement -


*****************************************************************************

Philadelphia Inquirer - 8/21/05


A split over war, the wimp thing, and how to win

By Dick Polman
Inquirer Political Analyst

At a time when the Iraq war is draining President Bush's popularity, you might think that the Democrats would have a consensus plan of their own for ending the bloodshed and winning the peace.
- Advertisement -


But no such plan exists - because the party's liberal grassroots base and the cautious Washington establishment are too busy warring with each other.

The liberals, emboldened by growing antiwar sentiment in the polls, essentially want a timetable for pulling out the U.S. troops, but the centrists think that such a stance would enable Bush's spin team to once again paint the Democrats as national-security wimps.
click here for rest of article http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/breaking_news/12434269.htm

 

David Sirota is a full-time political journalist, best-selling author and nationally syndicated newspaper columnist living in Denver, Colorado. He blogs for Working Assets and the Denver Post's PoliticsWest website. He is a Senior Editor at In These Times magazine, which in 2006 received the Utne Independent Press Award for political coverage. His 2006 book, Hostile Takeover, was a New York Times bestseller, and is now out in paperback. He has been a guest on, among others, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and NPR. His writing, which draws on his (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon


Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Tax the Corporations and the Rich or Take Draconian Cuts -- the Decision Is Ours

Bush Used the IRS, FBI, CIA and Secret Service to Go After Opponents -- Where Was the Fox and GOP Outrage?

GOP: Recession's Foreclosure Victims "Want a Homeless Life"

How the Trans-Pacific Partnership Gives Corporations Special Legal Rights

Busting myths that FDR prolonged Great Depression

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
No comments