Saturday, May 26, 2007

Now what?

I'm one of those people who has a foot in each camp. Idealistic/Pragmatic. Two great tastes in one.

I was opposed to the military action taken in Iraq from day one, and I do whatever little bit I can do to end it. I completely support and expect bold action by Democrats to turn this war around, and so I was angry and disappointed about this week's vote on the continuing occupation of Iraq.

That said, I do know they didn't have the votes to override Bush and the Republican side of the aisle, which still stands in a nice straight line behind the administration and the Republican party. I don't blame these Dems for that. They need a larger majority, but David Corn is right in that instead of being straightforward, the Dems contorted themselves into a no win situation, and made themselves look weak in the process.

The good side of this push by the Democrats is that at least they're pushing. Maybe not hard enough (and I'm still really disappointed in Susan Davis for voting NO instead of helping to present a completely appropriate and unified front), but it's a vast improvement over anything they've done in recent years. They need to continue to make the comfortable, very very uncomfortable.

So, now what?

I don't know that there is a viable short term answer to the intractable stubbornness of the administration. It seems to me that to end the mess in Iraq we need a larger majority of anti-war legislators, a Democratic president and ceaseless prodding by the grassroots/netroots. Unfortunately, acknowledging the need for more Democratic legislators and a Dem president means acknowledging that we've got little hope for anything other than the status quo for at least two more years. I don't like that one bit.

I suppose we just keep doing what we're doing for the moment. Work to get more progressive candidates in office, urge the current legislators to stiffen up their spines, keep up the pressure from the grassroots/netroots, and keep pointing out the criminal stupidity of the current policies. It's got us this far.

btw, A little bit of media reform wouldn't hurt either.

That's not to mention some grand scale changes in foreign policy, but sadly it seems that may be a longer term goal, and I don't know how many of the current crop of politicians in either camp are really up to that challenge.


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