Published reports have recently noted comments by Republican Congressman Don Young (where he misquotes President Lincoln) that seem to urge that members of Congress who criticize the Iraq War should be “hanged.” The people of Alaska should be deeply ashamed of their only member of Congress. His comments are beyond civil political discourse in a democracy.
Congressman Don Young does not seem to understand the Constitutional duties of a member of Congress. Members of Congress are elected to serve and represent the voters of their Congressional District. They are not elected to be mere rubber stamps for unpopular and unwise policies by the Executive Branch of our federal government.
Our brilliant Founding Fathers designed our elected Legislative Branch specifically to act as a check on the other two Branches of government. Situations like the Iraq War are exactly what they had in mind when our Constitutional system of “checks and balances” was designed.
By any objective measure, the Iraq War policies of the Bush Republicans have been a disaster. The human toll and financial costs to both Iraqis and Americans have been unreasonably large. Incompetence in both design and execution has been apparent. The situation is not likely to improve.
Young would like to paint any America citizen stating what is obvious to all unbiased observers as treason. Like other extremists in the Republican Party, Congressman Young seems completely blinded by Republican political partisanship and Right Wing ideology. His historically inaccurate comments demonstrate a dictatorial bent that should disqualify him from serving as an elected public officeholder. I certainly hope Alaska voters will retire this dangerous politician in 2008.
Branding honest Americans as traitors for disagreeing about any political issue is offensive. It is standard operating procedure for the modern Republican Party in the era of George W. Bush. This Karl Rove tactic has been used routinely by both Bush and Cheney. It is echoed over and over again by their allies in Congress. The idea is to cripple the democratic process and stop the American political system from having important policy debates.
This intimidation tactic is largely responsible for getting us into the Iraqi mess in the first place. It is now being used to keep us from finding the wisest way to get out of the current situation. Republicans like Don Young should stop using this unpatriotic and anti-American tactic to thwart our badly needed national policy discussion on Iraq. Young owes every American a public apology.