Criticism of Obey, Murtha, Sirota, enthusiasm for busty nude models, beer
I also completely unloaded on Rep. John Murtha, and some local professional peace/progressive movement types, a couple days earlier in the week, in an e-mail that I sent to every handy e-mail of a well-informed political type. Murtha and Obey have failed to build a base of support for their strategy, while Kucinich travels the country with solutions like HR 1234, and the internet clamors for impeachment.
I have very little confidence in any of our political leaders, and very little compassion for anyone calling for discipline in "professional movement politics". Both failed to mobilize opposition to the war before it started, and peaked at maybe 30% public disapproval of the Bush plan for Iraq. Now public disenchantment with the war has grown by another 40% or so, but these folks are not beating down the doors to local peace groups offices and waiting patiently for marching orders from anybody.
This new segment of the pro-peace masses are not part of the specialist political class. They are not idiot liberals or pot-smoking hippies, though uit would be convenient if they were. They do not want to help political professionals of any stripe, progressive or conservative, afford to buy fashionable shoes. They don't want to be indoctrinated, or necessarily recieve a crash course in how appropriations bills get passed. Unfortunately they are going to get one, they are going to be forced to get them, to figure out how and why the new Democratic majority is failing them, as Congress and political professionals have always failed them.
They want the war to end, ASAP. They don't have time to build any kind of persistent progressive movement. Many are resisting the war quietly, in the face of deployments, and redeployments. Many are military or from military families. Col. W. Patrick Lang has a timely post about the need for Congress to screw its head on straight and understand the glaringly obvious Constitutional issues:
The Democrats should be careful about their congressional actions concerning the War in Iraq. They need to distinguish between:
- a national debate over foreign policy to include; expression of their beliefs by resolutions over responsibility for the war, the desirability of continuing to occupy Iraq, perhaps a binding resolution concerning combat operations against Iran and
- legislation which seeks to direct and limit the president and commander in chief of the armed forces as to how he should employ US forces. To attempt to do that, is, I think, of dubious constitutionality. In addition, to do so is to assume responsibility for the future of our engagement in Iraq. It is quite possible that there could be a marked deterioration in the situation of US combat forces in Iraq. The recent apparent "improvement" in the security situation in Iraq is probably a passing thing. Certainly, the massacres of Shia pilgrims this last week must not seem like an improvement in security to the Shia Arabs. If the Congress and the Democratic majority limit the funding, logistics or strength of American forces in Iraq, then they should expect that history will hold them at least partially responsible for whatever might happen there.
Bush remains C-in-C in the Murtha/Obey/Sirota game plan. The war does not really end, it just becomes illegal, and requires some sort of Supreme Court action. The "dubious constitutionality" of the micro-management of the war from the Congressional side leads to an unwillingness of the Supreme Court to take the issue up, or a legal reversal of the actions and restrictions of Congress.
Finally, it seems to me that there is a constituency that must be heeded with regard to judgments over success or failure in Iraq. That constituency is made up of the men and women who have fought the war, are fighting the war or will fight the war. So far as I can determine, that constituency is still overwhelmingly of the opinion that they are fighting the good fight, that they will prevail and that their comrades' blood cries out for vindication through victory.
I think that the Congress and the Democrats should be very careful about the opinion of that constituency.
Impeachment makes redeployment possible and/or it restores lawfulness and legitimacy to the Chain of Command. To change direction from failure to anybody's idea of sucess you need to change the Commander in Chief and remove Bush and Cheney.
Even something resembling victory in Iraq would be possible after impeachment, where it is not possible now. Both camps can be satisfied in one simple way, and then we can argue about whether we shoot for a "progressive" vision of post-occupation Iraq, or the genocidal corporatist version that involved replacing the mosques in Karbala and Najaf, etc. with Disney-like theme parks, resplendent with oversized ads for Western consumer goods, video walls displaying trailers for American B-movies where the portraits of the former dictator once hung...
If you suffered through all that in the hopes of finding a hidden link to video clips of your favorite nude internet model, a new link is up for you today in the sidebar.
While I am temporarily disenchanted with the idea of building a progressive movement, I still have enthusiasm for busty nude models and beer. I could probably use a vacation, especially one that involved a vision quest of sorts that I might launch by chomping down a heroic dose of legal psilocybin mushrooms and then burying my face for a few hours in between Erica's breasts, in the plush safety of the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky on the Dam...