In 2006, when we gave the Democrats a majority in both houses, we were full of hope that, at last, something would be done to stop the President's war-mongering. To date we have seen little except compromise, coalition, and making nice. Few are there who have the courage of their convictions to fulfill the promises they made when begging for our votes. A few of the new representatives have tried their best but, just as in high school, nobody cares what the freshmen think.
As a result, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, being old hands at the political "game," are being overly prudent and conciliatory, talking the talk but rolling over when it is time to walk the walk.
Senator Clinton left the middle of the road long ago in search of the votes of a few disgruntled Republicans and is much more interested in allowing citizenship to illegal aliens than in restoring the rights of those of us who already belong to that club. Even before the release of the White House-written Petraeus report, they are trying to find a way to allow the Iraq war to continue indefinitely by announcing their willingness to compromise and to "work across the aisle."
None of those whiz kids can think of a way they can get our soldiers out of Iraq without risking their being killed. What the hell do they think is going to happen to them if they stay? More "flowers and candy"?
But there is a way to leave Iraq with a minimum of danger.
Announce a departure date at a specific time and tell them that we have built a new city which we will leave behind for their use! You know, that "largest embassy in the world" that is no less than a small city with apartment houses, shops, pools,and recreation centers. Abandon that to the Iraqi people and leave it to their government, as soon as they establish one, to decide how it will be used for the many homeless folks that we will leave behind. If we are not allowed to leave in an orderly fashion, we will send our bombers and blow it all to smithereens.
We should bring with us all the people who worked for the U.S. whose safety we are so worried about. They can replace the illegal Mexican immigrants that will be sent home when we again have the resources to enforce the law which Reagan passed. We are Americans! And Americans can find a way to do anything that we, as a people, want to do and to do it in a productive and peaceful manner. It's called "Yankee Ingenuity."
Next year we shall have another chance to make changes in Washington and I believe we should be reminding the House and the Senate of that fact. Those choices are probably more important than who we choose to allow to live in the White House. The current resident there could not have done the things he did to our country had we had a Congress of both parties that would stand up and defend our Constitution and our principles.
Instead, they rubber-stamped the consent for him to do "whatever he deemed necessary" about Iraq, they passed without reading it the hated Patriot Act, they tolerated the establishment of Gitmo and the many violations of the Constitution which took place there under a misunderstanding of the wording in the Constitution. (According to that revered document, it applies "anywhere that is under the jurisdiction of the United States" which Guantanamo absolutely is! And, for that matter, as an occupying force, so is Iraq.)
Since this Congress has been in session, they have voted to extend and expand the Patriot Act and other measures which took away more rights of citizens and, given the corporatocracy even more power over our private lives, acts, and conversations, all in the cause of "homeland security."
Now we find our pets and our children at risk of being poisoned by their food and their toys while our working men are reduced to menial jobs because the Chinese are now making the products which American workers once produced (in accord with the Clinton trade agreement). As the result, we are so poor that we can only afford the cheap and inferior Chinese-made products which are happily sold by WalMart.
Soon we willl find our highways more dangerous as Mexican trucks with poorly-trained drivers and unsafe eqipment begin plying our highways. I know a number of long-haul truck drivers, (independents, not union), who are irate at the increased danger to which they will be subjected because of the condition of the trucks they have already seen. We will soon learn to give these truck a wide berth because neither the trucks nor the drivers are up to the standards which American trucks and truckers must meet. We are told that it is a part of the NAFTA agreement, which was a Clinton project at the urging of Bush 41, a bipartisan screw-up.
Once again, we are reminded that we should not vote for a party just because "we always have." We must choose carefully and individually based on the real attitudes of the candidates toward their concept of the jobs we expect of them. We had great success in 2006 of replacing several Congressmen and a small number of Senators but there is still much to be done.
We must not be lured into the more-exciting world of the presidential campaign so much that we neglect the primary goal, to gain a Congress of people who realize, to paraphrase the words of the late Tip O'Neill, "who they are, where they came from and who sent them there."