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Congress Against the People = The People Against Congress

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Congress Against the People = The People Against Congress
[col. writ. 9/13/07]
(c) '07 Mumia Abu-Jamal
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    While news reports abound of the low approval ratings of the Bush White House, it is somewhat less reported that approval ratings for members of Congress are, in actuality, quite similarly low.
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    Congress has rarely had high ratings, given the size and scope of the country, and the complexity of the congressional mission.
    Yet now, in a time of endless war, and an almost daily evisceration of the Constitution, the inaction and, perhaps worse, the acquiescence of Congress to the worst excesses of the Administration, have combined to drive congressional ratings into the proverbial cellar.
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    There's also the factor of lost expectations.
    When voters came out to give Democrats the congressional majority against an increasingly unpopular president, they expected the new congress to buffer them from the waves of madness emanating from Pennsylvania Avenue.
    They expected the doorway to open in that carnage of Iraq.
    They expected changes for the better in the nation which seemed bent on perennial wrong headedness.
    They expected more, far more, than what they got.  They expected much, and received little.
    According to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll, some 23% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing, less than a year after Democrats took over the institution.
    Sixty-two percent of Americans believe that the Iraq War was a mistake, and 64% favor a troop withdrawal.
    Ironically, more people support Bush than the new Congress, with the President garnering a 26% approval rating.
    The Democrats have lost almost 10 points since May, 2007, on the Iraq question alone. The Republicans have lost 1%
    That's at least partly because the Congress has been an enabler of the President.
    Bush proposes, and Congress, albeit reluctantly, agrees.
    It does so, however, for the worst possible reasons.
    It doesn't agree because it agrees with the President's positions; it does so because its members fear looking weak, or having those campaign ads targeting them in an upcoming election, as 'weak on terrorism.'
    Of such a slim fabric are the laws of the American republic made.
    When the Supreme Court had the temerity to deny the Bush Regime unfettered power to essentially, wage war on the constitution, the U.S. Congress rose to the challenge.
    Indeed, the war, the very war that is dragging the nation into an economic, legal, and political abyss, was given congressional sanction in the Authorization for Use of Military Force, granted a week after September 11th, 2001.
    Some statesmen.
    And now, a war, ill-conceived, ill-formed, and born in the bowels of a lie, now traps the country into a vortex of its own making.  It cannot leave; and it cannot stay.
    It would be easy, and sexy to call it (as many have), "Bush's War."  But, it's not.
    It was yearned for by him, and the coterie of neo cons around him, but Congress gave him everything he wanted.
    The rest is tragedy.
--(c) '07 maj
{Sources: Myers, Steven Lee and Megan Thee, "American Feel Military is Best at Ending War", New York Times, Mon., Sept. 10, 2007, A1-A10, A10.; Paye, Jean-Claude, " 'Enemy Combatant'  or Enemy of the Government?", Monthly Review, (Sept. 2007), 1,2.}
[Mr. Jamal's recent book features a chapter on the
remarkable women who helped build and defend
the Black Panther Party: *WE WANT FREEDOM:
A Life in the Black Panther Party*, from South
End Press (http://www.southendpress.org');">http://www.southendpress.org); Ph.


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