It's extremely sad but all too true that human beings react emotionally and leaders like we choose our based on emotions rather than George Bush was elected because he made folks feel better than the stiff and intellectual Al Gore (well, a little judicial cook-bookery certainly had a part to play.) Americans supported the illegal (according to our binding commitments to the United Nations) invasion of Iraq thanks to the lies of the Bush administration which effectively used Saddam's cruelties and dictatorial murderousness to equate his secular insanity with bin Laden's religious insanity in their fearful and ignorant minds.
With this week's seeming Congressional capitulation on War Funding without pull-out deadlines, those of us who support Peaceful conflict resolution, even between extremely violent parties, feel like we've been punched in the solar plexus by the Democrats whom we elected with the simple mandate to End The War.
E. J. Dionne, amongst others certainly, has managed to retain reason - as a Good Reporter must - in describing why this horrifying situation, one which will necessarily result in at least dozens if not hundreds of more dead American service personnel, is really the best solution to be achieved on the road to Peace.
America still has much to do to assure ourselves of freedom from the religiously and politically motivated terrorists throughout the world. We must take a more rational and less fearful look at the effects - both benefits and deficiencies - of our culture's Wealth and Power in this ever evolving world.
For now though.. well. Here's a snippet from Dionne's very well-reasoned WaPo story.
See You in September
Friday, May 25, 2007; Page A19
(Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.)) notes that the agreement to go forward with the funding bill passed yesterday (a majority of House Democrats, Pelosi among them, opposed it) included a promise to take up his withdrawal amendment this fall. This gives teeth to Pelosi's pledge -- "we'll see you in September" -- to continue to battle Bush on the war.
As a tactical matter, it could have been useful for the Democrats to move another bill containing timelines to Bush's desk for a second veto, simply to underscore the president's unwillingness to seek bipartisan accord on a change in policy. But these are the brute facts: Democrats narrowly control the House but don't have an effective majority in the Senate since Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) votes with the Republicans on the war and Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) is still too ill to vote.
Democrats, in short, have enough power to complicate the president's life, but not enough to impose their will. Moreover, there is genuine disagreement even among Bush's Democratic critics over what the pace of withdrawal should be and how to minimize the damage of this war to the country's long-term interests. That is neither shocking nor appalling, but, yes, it complicates things. So does the fact that the minority wields enormous power in the Senate.
What was true in January thus remains true today: The president will be forced to change his policy only when enough Republicans tell him he has to. Facing this is no fun; it's just necessary.
[Patience doesn't have to bleed us all to death . . .]