Monday, October 5, 2009 may have been the beginning of the end of a Democratic majority in the House and Senate. Peace advocates demonstrated at the White House resulting in 61 arrests. The peace movement has grown tired of Obama's failure to end the Iraq war, his escalation of the Afghanistan war, his expansion of the war into Pakistan and his growing military budget. They have turned their criticism onto him and the Democratic Congress but the Democrats are not listening.
Does President Obama remember how the Democrats regained the majority in the House and Senate? Does he remember how he bested Hillary Clinton in the primaries? Here's a reminder.
Republicans dominated politics for the first eight years of the 21st Century. When President Bush attacked Iraq and pulled the U.S. into a war quagmire resulting in mass deaths of civilians and soldiers as well as bleeding of the U.S. treasury, the peace movement reacted. They highlighted the failures of the war, the lies that got America in to Iraq and the death, destruction and economic catastrophe the war was bringing. Peace activists demonstrated in Congress, sat-in the offices of elected officials and protested whenever Bush administration officials testified in Congress.
The public began to hear the full story -- the weapons of mass destruction were a lie, there was no link between Saddam and Osama, the casualties of war were increasing, the cost of war was escalating, the largest mercenary force in history was violating laws. Opinion rapidly turned against the war. The result, in 2006, the voters threw out the Republicans and gave the Democrats solid control of both Houses of Congress.
In 2008, the front runner, then-Senator Hillary Clinton, was running a campaign for the presidency that seemed unstoppable. The media and politicians treated her election as an inevitable fait accompli. But, Clinton had voted for the Iraq invasion and this did not sit well with the American public, especially with anti-war Democrats -- the base of the Democratic Party. The media anointed then-Senator Barack Obama as the "peace" candidate because of a speech he gave opposing the war before being elected to the U.S. senate. Aware of the mood of the voters he began his speeches with the promise: "I will end the war in Iraq." Anti-war Democrats were enough to carry him through the primary and into the presidency.