(This article first appeared Oct. 12 at Buzzflash.com)
By Dave Lindorff
Can the Democratic Party be saved?
That is a question that exasperated progressive Democrats across the country are increasingly asking themselves and each other.
Last November, when Democrats took control of both houses of Congress—fairly decisively in the House and by a whisker in the Senate—there was widespread relief in progressive circles. Anti-war activists thought there would finally be an end to President Bush’s criminal enterprise in Iraq. Civil libertarians thought that finally the Bush/Cheney administration’s Constitutional depredations would be undone, and that perhaps one or both men would be put in the dock of an impeachment panel in the House.
They couldn’t have been more wrong.
Instead of that, we have watched in growing anger and frustration as the Democratic Congress approved $120 billion to continue the war, actually funding a 30,000 increase in troops there, and as it has actually legalized the warrantless spying on Americans’ communications by the National Security Agency, a campaign which the president had brazenly conducted in clear violation of the law for over five years. (And now that Democratic Congress looks ready to approve another $200 billion in war funding, enough to keep the Iraq War in high gear right through the end of Bush’s presidency.)
Not one of the three best-funded candidates in the Democratic race for the presidential nomination has been willing to promise that she or he will pull plug on the War in Iraq before the end of her or his first term of office. And not one of those leading candidates (or any of the others who are running, except for former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel) has called for the impeachment of the current president, despite a list of constitutional high crimes and misdemeanors that would make Willie Sutton or Richard Nixon blush.