Outward and upwards

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Stephanie, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. Stephanie

    Stephanie Diamond Member

    Jul 11, 2004
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    This vanden Heuvel is an editor for the Nation... She wrote this article for the Gaurdian

    Despite the warnings of the mainstream media, the Democrats will gain in the Congressional elections from their stand on Iraq.
    Katrina vanden Heuvel

    June 27, 2006 12:37 PM | Printer Friendly Version
    To listen to the American mainstream media one would think the Democrats are bumbling and fumbling on Iraq, while the lock-step Republicans' mindless support of a failed policy is projecting strength and winning the confidence of the American people. For instance, ABCNews.com's The Note - the arbiter of inside-the-beltway thinkspeak - declared at the end of last week that Democrats are purportedly "on the precipice of making Iraq a 2006 political winner for the Republican party".

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    The last week of intense debate in the US Congress shows the Democrats are finally uniting around the need to end this tragic blunder of a war. "One hundred percent of the Democratic caucus believes it's time for change," said Senator Dick Durbin. ":D One hundred percent of the Republican caucus believes it's time to stay the course."

    While the resolution introduced by Senators John Kerry and Russell Feingold - a fixed timetable for withdrawal - was rejected 86 to 13, and the Carl Levin-Jack Reed Senate resolution to begin redeployment this year fell 60 to 39, two Democratic factions united in the direction of withdrawal, a sharp difference from the White House and Republicans.

    There is also no question, as peace activist and former California State Senator Tom Hayden writes today in TheNation.com, "that the grassroots pressure and lobbying has had an impact on Iraq policy, despite the frequent assertions that they pay no attention to public pressure."

    But, as usual, the inside-the-beltway politicos and pundits who prattle on about Republican unity (yes, unity around a failed policy) and Democratic division are the last to read the mood of the country. A recent NBC-Wall Street Journal poll found that 54% of Americans were more likely to support a candidate who favours pulling all U.S. troops out of Iraq over the next 12 months. And a CNN poll found that 53% support a timetable for withdrawal.

    Greg Mitchell of Editor & Publisher writes, "reading the latest poll results, one might conclude the opposite of what many reporters and pundits now seem to be suggesting: that, actually, the GOP faces an uphill fight on re-selling the Iraq war, now in its fourth year."

    And yet the Congressional Republicans march on with their stay-the-course-right-off-the-cliff ways, and some Democrats - though far fewer - run for cover in fear of appearing soft on terrorism. (One is Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, now on the run for his grovelling support of Bush's Iraq policy and facing the real possibility of being defeated in his state's August 8 primaries. His opponent: Ned Lamont, who's made opposition to the war, and a speedy exit from it, a centrepiece of his insurgent campaign.)

    Yesterday, Russ Feingold was clear and eloquent on America's most-watched weekend political talk show Meet the Press: "the American people have had it with this intervention. They do want a timetable for bringing home the troops. And the fact that the United States Senate doesn't get it shouldn't surprise you ... The party that says we have a reasonable plan to bring the troops home by this date and to refocus on the anti-terrorism issue is the party that will win."

    So while the paid consultants and triangulators might be too removed from the grassroots to embrace the nation's antiwar sentiment and sanity, the Democrats have nevertheless moved to sharpen their differences with the GOP and offer a different path. These are the moved needed not only to end the bloodshed, but to stand up to rogue (Karl) Rovian politics and make gains in the crucial midterm Congressional elections this November. (This last sentence kills me... Stand up to a rogue,( look how she spells his NAME)........Karl Rovian.......:duh3: : http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/katrina_vanden_heuvel/2006/06/katrina_on_iraq_debate.html

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