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Advice to Democratic Party: Include Conditional Draft in September Iraq War Funding Bill

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Democratic Party, I've got some advice here that may save you, because right now you are hanging by a thread. Cindy Sheehan's sad, weary and frankly disgusted departure reflects the sentiments of the larger community of us Democratic voters who are also disgusted with the way that so many of you, too many, caved in to the President's demands on the Iraq War supplemental spending bill last month. (Now in all fairness, there were quite a few of you who did indeed stand resolutely on our behalf and I hope your courage will inspire your colleagues to develop some spine too.)      

Yes, yes, I understand the Pelosi-Reid explanation for not putting up a fight -- politics is the art of the possible after all, you've got to pick your battles, got to survive to come back to fight another day (in September), etc., etc. (Although, as I heard Rob Kall say on Air America Radio the other day, the Democrats actually did have enough votes for a simple majority to resubmit the same bill.) The Democratic leadership is just playing by the rules of Realpolitikk. I understand that. But they have to understand that Realpolitikk in America has been updated to include a new/old factor that's been sleeping for a long, long time: We the People are fed up with empty promises and political maneuvering and ulterior agendas from our representatives. We are taking matters back into our own hands, demanding advocacy not sound bites. No longer content to trustingly turn the store over to our leaders, we are leading the way ourselves. And it's about time. Our nation was originally constituted such that those in government rule only by consent -- "at the pleasure", if you will -- of the governed. We're reawakening to the ancient notion that democracy is a day-to-day, hands-on business. Hello!      

In summary, Democratic Party: You can follow our lead -- even at your own political risk -- or expect to see your campaign funds dry up in the next election and a lot of Independents taking your places.     

Now understand, we are not looking for a knight on a white horse who will come in take care of everything while we go back to the shopping mall, credit cards at the ready. No, we are looking for a strong and principled advocate. Someone who follows our lead, steps up to the plate and bats for us, who responds to our needs, our demands. That's why we put you there in the first place. To paraphrase Bill Cosby: We put you in office, we can take you out.     

That said, I actually would like to help you, Democratic Party, to do well by doing good. Not out of blind loyalty, but because you're still our best hope for advocacy. You've been terrific with the Oversight and Investigation process. And you started off on the right foot with the Iraq War funding issue, before you stumbled. So there is hope. But you have only one more chance, I fear.
So listen up.      

When you cobble together the next Iraq War supplemental spending bill, do it in a smart way this time! Here is my suggestion:
     
You absolutely must restore the troop drawdown timetable ... BUT with the following "presidential flexibility" clause: "If conditions warrant, the president may request an extension of the troop withdrawl timetable, subject to approval of Congress. Approval would automatically trigger an immediate reinstatement of universal conscription."

This is not punitive, nor is it a trick. It is an acknowledgement of simple reality. And it's only fair. When we Americans realize that we will be called upon to stand shoulder to shoulder with our long overburdened brothers and sisters in Iraq, there will be a surge in the public's participation in government decision making. I can't think of any better way to materially support the troops.     

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

How can the president object to supporting the troops in this very real way?

Honestly, how can we object either?

 

Bruce Toien is a database designer/developer in the Portland, Oregon area, with an interest in the interaction between technology, society and a sustainable economy. Over the years, Bruce has published numerous opinion pieces relating to these (more...)
 
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I'd also add that all family members of drafta... by John Howes on Tuesday, Jun 5, 2007 at 10:59:01 AM
This time make the draft with no deferments and no... by Lynie on Tuesday, Jun 5, 2007 at 12:57:56 PM
that anyone who is such a lunatic that &... by Mark Sashine on Tuesday, Jun 5, 2007 at 1:02:20 PM
53 percent of Americans voted for Bush AFTER the i... by Brett Paatsch on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 at 12:30:51 AM
I guess my wake up call worked! But not completely... by Bruce Toien on Tuesday, Jun 5, 2007 at 4:07:46 PM
All that needs to be done is to either cut funding... by Blue Pilgrim on Tuesday, Jun 5, 2007 at 5:20:59 PM
To help the Democratic Party adopt the war as... by Samuel Bryan on Tuesday, Jun 5, 2007 at 8:55:36 PM
...but let's not give the murderous a**holes in th... by Pappy on Wednesday, Jun 6, 2007 at 3:35:13 AM