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Let's Whip Congress Into Shape!

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The collective power of the peace movement helped the Democrats take control of Congress and turn Nancy Pelosi from Minority leader into Madam Speaker. But in May the new Congress turned its back on the peace movement, granting Bush another $95 billion for war with no timetable for withdrawal. While the Speaker of the House herself voted against the war funding, she failed to put pressure on the conservative Democrats to form a united front against another blank check for war. She also failed to effectively use her power to decide what bills would come up for a vote. In the case of both the unrestricted war funding and the expanded FISA wiretapping, Pelosi had the ability to keep the bills off the floor but refused to do so.

This Fall, Congress will be faced with a new Bush Administration request for a mind-boggling $200 billion more for war. The American people have had enough of Congressional capitulation. Pelosi's approval rating plummeted from a high of 48 percent in March to 39 percent by August, putting her on a par with Dick Cheney, and Congress' approval is at an all-time low of 18%.

So CODEPINK women and men are descending upon Washington this month to whip Congress into shape. We'll ride our representatives until they start to represent us! Everyday, from the opening of Congress on September 4 until the vote on more war funding, CODEPINK will be in Congressional offices, hearings, press conferences, fundraisers and favorite DC "watering holes" to poke, prod and pester our elected officials.

CODEPINK has been a near constant presence in DC since we rented a house a few blocks from the Capitol in March. This Fall we will move at an even faster clip. Each day that Congress does not move to bring our troops home, CODEPINK activists will be on Capitol Hill holding our elected officials accountable for not representing the will of the majority of Americans.

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We hate to say it, but the Democratic leadership could take a clue from Karl Rove (he might be a nasty guy, but he's no dummy). In a press interview as he left office, he gave the Democrats some free advice. He described his politics as building on the energy of the base of the Republican Party and expanding it outward. He mentioned that the Democrats could build on the energy of their base, like the "Pink Ladies", he said, referring to the Code Pink women who dogged him until the day he left office. Instead, the Democrats have been turning potential allies in the peace movement into adversaries—refusing to meet with us, strategize with us or represent us. This August recess, when CODEPINK activists went on a 2-week hunger strike and camped outside Speaker Pelosi home just trying to get a meeting, she not only refused to meet but screamed at the fasters, calling them "nuts."

Our advice? Do what the country asked you to do when you were voted into office on November 2006: Stand up to Bush. Lead us out of Iraq. Don't give this administration another blank check for war. Push the Republicans in Congress to break rank with Bush, but also force the conservative Dems to follow your lead. Only vote for, or put on the floor, legislation that sets a fixed timeline for withdrawal or stipulates that funds be used solely for the safe and speedy withdrawal of our troops.

Build on the energy and passion of the anti-war movement. Make us your allies, not your adversaries If you can dialogue with Syrian strongman Bashar al-Asad, you can surely meet with and work with the peace-loving Pink Ladies, the Quakers, Veterans for Peace and others who have been the heart and soul of our nation's efforts to end this shameful war.

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If Pelosi, Reid and the others in leadership won't whip this Congress into shape, you can bet we will.

Take the pledge today to whip Congress into shape at www.codepinkalert.org

"Whip Congress Into Shape" animation was produced by CODEPINK and created by Mark Farinas and Bad Monkey Studios (www.badmonkeystudios.com)
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http://codepinkalert.org
CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the war in Iraq, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects the Bush (more...)
 

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