The House Democratic leadership recently proposed tying funding of operation to a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.
As is well known, this effort failed.
Apparently, in devising this measure the members of the Democratic caucus expected support from a number of their GOP colleagues.
The number of GOP supporters they expected has been quoted as sixty.
In his stump speeches in Iowa and New Hampshire, Democratic Presidential Candidate Barak Obama has frequently said that the support of 12 GOP Senators is required to pass the antiwar measures that Congressional Democrats advocate.
These two numbers 60 in the House and 12 in the Senate are the basis of the title of this article, the 60-12 solution and are a matter of importance to all anti-war activists.
The events of the spring and the maneuvering around the timetable issue have demonstrated that a Democrat only approach to ending the war is inadequate.
Therefore a bipartisan strategy must be developed.
How can the anti-war movement generate the pressure to motivate 60 GOP representatives and 12 GOP Senators to resist their leaders and support anti-war measures introduced by the Democrats?
First: Focus on ending the war and drop the divisive partisan issues. There are a great many Republicans who view the Occupation and Invasion of Iraq as a massive mistake. A large number of these people are willing to be active in ending the war. Listen to them, seek common ground, and if necessary focus on war resistance only. Two war opponents giving a simple, unified message are far more powerful than two war opponents publicly engaged in an absorbing argument about impeachment or something.
Two: Use the web. Find out who your representatives and senators are and send them frequent messages denouncing the war. Remind them that you will not forget or be dissuaded and that on Election Day their position on the war will determine your vote. Send similar messages to the President and to the GOP party sites. Remind them over and over and over that they are the minority, that they are wrong on the war and that we the people are demanding change.
Three: Support anti-war groups and candidates. Send them money if you can afford to. Otherwise encourage them and strengthen them by signing petitions writing letters and otherwise keeping their voices loud and potent.
Four: Use the press; whether or not your letter to the editor is published it makes an impact. A local newspaper editor told me that he once got over 400 e-mails originating from conservatives nation wide when our local congressman publicly criticized Karl Rove. The Right is sending cards and letters; we need to send them, too. Send a lot.
Five: Be generous with your friends. You may know and respect people who support the war. They have their reasons and they have a right to their opinions, show respect for their views, perhaps they will show the same respect for ours. This will help to convince waverers and will defang some of the opposition.
Six: Be active in your locality’s political and community activities. You will develop a reputation as a serious person and this will add weight and strength to your opinions as you state them.
Seven: Find and support GOP anti-war candidates. I am not advocating that active Democrats sabotage the GOP; after all we have our hands full with our own party. Instead, I am asking Republicans opposed to the war to organize and challenge their leaders and for conservative minded anti-war independents to enroll and to help nominate anti-war Republicans in the upcoming primaries.
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