I have listened carefully to both sides of the arguments that have played out here, and across the internet and mainstream media. I have heard how disgusted anti-war activists are at the passage of the supplemental funding bill, and I have listened to the Democratic candidates excuses for passing the bill at the recent CNN debate. Joe Biden made the case for passage (not enough votes until we have a democratic president), and Mike Gravel and John Edwards chastising the others for their compliance with Bush on war funding.
We have all heard both arguments, and most of us probably find neither argument satisfying.
Let me try to put the frustration into perspective. If you were Karl Rove planning on how to divide and conquer the resurging Democratic party, what would you do? You would use the frustration over the passage of the Iraq funding bill to divide democrats and progressives.
It is the same old story of trying to reduce the progressive and democratic turnout in the next election. These are the common canards:
“All politicians are the same”
“We put them in power, and they let us down”
OK. We’ve heard them all. But all the complaining doesn’t get us anywhere, and it doesn’t fix the massive number of problems confronting our nation.
If progressives fragment this easily, on losing one vote, even on the biggest issue facing us, then we are in big trouble. We have to be more resilient than that. You can’t ignore the congressional investigations that have finally begun after 6 years of Republican rubber stamps, and you can’t expect the Democrats to fix 6 years of malfeasance, plunder and deceit in 6 months.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the Democrats are faultless, far from it. But if you want honest, concerned politicians running this country, you’re going to have to work harder to change the system, and get money out of the picture. That’s not just the next chapter, that’s a whole different story.
In closing let me say that I am looking at this with both principle, and strategy, in mind. Both converge at the same point, which is that Democrats and progressives need to come together and redouble their efforts. If you try to form a third party now (Green Party al la 2000) you will divide the vote, and lose the election. Let’s worry about third and fourth parties after we take our country back.
What we don’t need now is for progressives to curse, declare failure, and take our ball home. Think of what Karl Rove would want… and do the exact opposite.