I've been watching the new Democrat majority Congress with particular interest since the beginning of the year. The Democrats ran hard on immediately pulling troops out of Iraq (redeploying...whatever), a full 5 day work week, universal health care, etc. OK, so we're at the end of February, so how are things? To me, it appears that the honeymoon is over and we're beginning to see the difference between running for office and serving in office.
As for the 5 day work week? That appears on shaky ground. Congress members got a four-day weekend around Martin Luther King Day and I'm not sure we're back to the semi-five day week yet. But that's minimal. So what's big? Well, it would be that whole Iraq thing. Remember last year when everyone was campaigning? Remember, "Bush lied, people died", "Bring the Troops Home Now", etc. The Democrats embraced these ideas and used them, effectively, to get elected into the majority. Well, what's happening with their campaign intentions?
As Congress really began to get under way at the beginning of February, the Democrats seemed ready to get moving on their agenda. CNN summarizes that article like this on their website:
I'm sure those from MoveOn.Org and the Left Coast were giddy with expectancy.
- House will serve as a televised stage this week for marathon war debate
- Vote expected by week's end on nonbinding measure opposing troop increase
- Democrats pursuing tougher measures against president's war policy
- Opponents of war say public opinion is moving their way
However, an article over at CNN provides a pretty interesting look into where things have gone since then. What's the title? - Democrats back away from Iraq plan. It appears that Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid is having second thoughts. He wants to delay votes on rescinding the Iraq War authorization. Unfortunately, this goes against Sens. Levin and Biden who wanted to begin moving on these limits this week. But, that's not all. It also appears that Rep. Nancy Pelosi - the newly minted Speaker of the House - is backing up some too. She doesn't want to use monetary limits as tools to force change troop levels. Do you remember Rep. John Murtha? Well, he's been pushing hard to cut funding to force changes in troop deployments. If the Democrats are fighting, what are all of their supporters thinking?
The public is saying, 'We hired you to get out of Iraq — now figure it out,'" said Tom Matzzie, Washington director of the anti-war group MoveOn.org. "There is a risk that without action, frustration boils over into anger."But listen to the response from Democrats:
Democrats argue that their failed efforts to thwart Bush's war plans will ultimately pay off by ratcheting up pressure for a change.What? Failing to do anything will increase pressure to do something? That doesn't make ANY sense. But, I guess we can't expect anything else from the Democrats. They're simply going back to the Clinton playbook of doing what the polls tell them to. As the article states later:
Democrats' troubles finding a strategy on the war reflect a wider lack of consensus among the public about what course to take in Iraq. AP-Ipsos polls show that while a clear majority are pessimistic about the war and oppose a buildup, most people do not support cutting funding for the troops.I get it now. Instead of trying to be leaders, the Democrats are following the fickle public. It will be interesting to watch the likes of MoveOn.org, Al Franken, et. al. to see what kind of pressure and criticism they place on the Democrats.
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