On November 6, all over America, Dems lost in local races by tiny amounts. The Local Dem leaders spun the losses as improvements-- as losing by less. But many of those losses should have and would have been wins if not for the dems in congress.
Sure, the "supervoters" came out to vote in this off-year election. But to make real gains, the Dems needed the less committed voters to show up at the polls. And they didn't come out. Who can blame them?
In the last election, when the voters who were not supervoters DID show up, they voted for candidates who won. Then, those candidates let them down. They made a little bit of noise, went through motions of voting on legislation that had no chance of passing, and basically, got nothing done, in terms of ending the war.
I can just imagine the thinking; "I voted for this guy and he won and, here, ten month later, things are just as bad as they were-- no progress. Why should I bother going out to vote this time? So I can elect another Democrat who makes promises he doesn't keep?"
And then, there's that annoying fact, that all it takes is 40 votes in the senate and a simple majority of votes in the house to PREVENT legislation funding the war. All Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have to do is persuade their majorities to refuse to fund the war any more, to refuse to approve any legislation that does not bring the troops home.
You see as majority leaders, they can refuse to bring a bill to the floor of the house or senate, and, as long as they can hold their troops in line, then the Dems can officially notify Bush that he will not get the funding.
Of course, Bush will come back by having his military butt-kisser generals and appointees whine and cry that the Dems are not supporting the troops and costing the military money because of the need to transfer funds. So? The Dems know this is coming. Part of their plan must be to be prepared to have answers that spin the story another way-- that the Dems are doing the hard job of really supporting the troops, that Bush and his supporters are betraying them.
The Dems cannot continue operating out of fear of the Republican attack on the action of pulling funding. As Dennis Kucinich told OpEdNews in an interview, "Fear is not a basis to run a government in a Democracy."
Let me say it a bit more clearly. The Democrats are afraid to take a stand, blocking funding, because they fear being called names by the Republicans, so they are allowing the war to continue, troops to be maimed and die.
But it's not all fear. Naomi Klein, in her blockbuster new book, Shock Doctrine, describes the new "disaster capitalism" where war is perhaps the greatest new source of new business opportunity and profit. There are plenty of Dems who know that their campaign contribution bread is buttered by disaster capitalists. There are plenty of DLC right wing Democrats who are happy to call anti-war progressives extreme left liberals.
Here in Bucks county PA, if just six more democrats per district had come out to vote, the Dems would have won control of the county-- for the first time in decades, and there were many other line offices and local positions that were close calls that a better turnout could have turned around. .
One reason I blame the congressional Dem leadership is the failure of the freshmen dems to deliver on their promises to end the war. But they have little choice. The way the system works today, members of congress are almost totally dependent upon DCCC support for their re-election campaigns. You rock the boat at the risk of losing your job. All the freshmen Democrats elected with the mission to end the war are betraying their constituents because that's what the house and senate leadership has led them to do. They could make futile gestures that would cost them their jobs, because the Dem leadership wouldn't support them in the primaries.