DEMOCRATS SHOW SOME SPINE
New York City
John Nichols is far too generous when he observes that “Congressional Democrats may finally be waking from their long slumber and stirring into a functional opposition party” [ “Senate Democrats Show Some Spine,” Nov. 1]. They waited until the Republicans had finally dug a ditch too deep for themselves before suddenly becoming politicians concerned about our nation. I don’t call that “waking” but continuation of the old opportunism and caution. Were it not for the Libby indictment, together with mounting casualties in Iraq, revelations about Judith Miller and large increases in the price of oil, we may safely assume that the Democrats would continue their supine ways, avoiding at all costs a serious debate on the Middle East and Iraq, and the influence that sundry neocons and thieves had on our course of action. From the perspective of future historians, Bush and the Republicans will surely be rated as having brought upon the Republic one of its greatest misadventures. The Democrats will be seen as wholly irresponsible, and the press as never having been more obedient to an administration.
John Nichols is exactly right about the Democrats’ lack of backbone up to today. Finally, they’re doing something. Let’s hope they keep it up. I’m tired of the right wing having complete control, with the Democrats quivering in the background in fear of their jobs. By their inaction, they’re in de facto collusion with the Administration.
Give me a break! The Democrats are hardly an opposition party. That they differ with the Republicans is only on strategy–not policy in general. In fact, the Republicans can count on their good friends the Democrats to provide whatever cover they can for them on this potentially devastating issue.
It should be noted that the Democrats are hardly in a position to challenge Bush, Cheney and the boys regarding the lies that led to the Iraq War, since they too are complicit in the pursuit of this illegal war.
Exactly how do the “opposition” Democrats differ from the Republicans? They support the Iraq War; they support the Patriot Act; they support tax cuts for the wealthy; they support the right-wing Bush Supreme Court appointments. They are allowed by their class affiliations to differ from the Republicans only on issues that don’t challenge the obscene pursuit of wealth by the superrich; issues like abortion, gun control or gay rights. They never rally against key right-wing economic initiatives that affect the class interests that both they and the Republicans represent. The Iraq War, of course, is such an issue. The real political left in this country, the working class, go completely unrepresented.