Based on my research on my last article, I now conclude that Pelosi and Reid are part of the problem, that they will not stop the war if we keep doing what we're doing.
Let me repeat that. Reid and Pelosi are part of the problem, keeping the war going. If they wanted to, they could push for support so they could go to the president and inform him that they would not bring any more bills fo funding to the house or senate floor. Either one of them could do it and it would take a majority in the house and 60 votes in the senate to over-ride.
But they're not willing to do that. If they were, they would have done it.
I believe we need to get commitments from every legislator, whether they will support a blocking of funds. If enough commit, then further steps can be taken to push Pelosi and Reid to take a stand.
The problem is, blocking funds by not introducing legislation is a process that does not have a usual procedure in congress. Congress is all about passing legislation. Legislation starts in committees. The legislative process gets legislators to sign on. In this case, anti-legislation somehow must be supported, with supporters signing on and being quantified that they commit to NOT sign on to a bill and not pass legislation.
The good thing is that not voting carries a bit of anonymity with it, that legislators can hide behind. That anonymity can be erased when the media spotlight is focused, but, gearing up for an intentional, "non-vote" on funding legislation will probably require a serious, organized, coordinated effort which will put participating legislators in the spotlight.
Forty one senators willing to refuse to vote are needed in the senate and about 220 are needed in the house.
We need to start asking our legislators to take a stand-- to actually commit to no longer voting to fund the military-- which is the one certain power the congress has-- the power of the purse-- to control decisions related to war. If enough legislators get on the bandwagon, then Pelosi and Reid will have to listen and maybe, just maybe, they'll finally do what they have failed to do-- listen to and obey the will of the voters.
Two or three of the Dem candidates running for congress may be good candidates for getting on the bandwagon early. It's a way to put them on the spot. Ask them. "Do you want to end the war, or not? Then will you refuse to vote for further funds?"
I'd guess Hillary and Obama will waffle. Dodd might go for it. Kucinich has already committed to it. Biden will talk endlessly about it. Bottom line-- any candidate who doesn't agree to tap the power of congress to end the war doesn't deserve the candidacy.
Of course, this article suggests that the Democrats actually want to go against the apparent wishes of their leaders. That may not be the case. There will be many, many democrats who refuse to take a stand. David Swanson's website has a page where, close to 100 Dems had committed to not support further funding. But some of them have already voted affirmatively on interim bills.
But there may be some legislators who go beyond be unwilling to commit. Some may actually say they will keep on funding the war. At least some of them are worthy of targetting in the primaries, for replacement.
Article Comments Update: It looks like Tom Murphy hijacked the thread with his nonsence about a small minority wanting the war to end.
I'd like to see the discussion be about turning the members of congress to sign on to refusing not to further fund the war. So do me a favor. Ignore the thread hijacker and address what the article is about.
Another addendum. I'd asked Thom Hartmann to comment on his idea of what it would like like, after the dems tell Bush NO MORE when he asks for money to fund the war. Here's Thom's reply:
The day after Congress refuses to fund any more of the occupation of Iraq, American will be on the road to becoming America again. FDR said that we don't covet the property of any other nation; JFK said that "America will never start a war." Republicans in the past 5 years have done both, and it's fundamentally treasonous to the ideals of this nation. When Congress finally says "No" to the third George to be President of the US, we'll be taking a step not unlike that taken by the Founders when they said "No" to the third George to be a King of England.
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