It was difficult to watch President Obama’s first addressing of the Congress without noticing the unbridled exuberance Nancy Pelosi exhibited throughout as she popped so energetically out of her chair at each applause line. In contrast, Joe Biden barely paid enough attention so as to know when to clap at all. In light of this memory, it seems appropriate to watch the montage again and have the same kind of laugh we have when we watch Howard Dean’s “I have a Scream” speech for the umpteenth time. Because something [like the fact that healthcare reform is in the ER] tells me Nancy may show more restraint this evening.
Last Friday Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took it upon herself to reach out to the Dalai Lama in beleaguered Tibet, visiting its universally revered religious leader and appearing with him in ethnic garb for a series of photo ops. She denounced the oppression of the Chinese government perpetrated upon the Tibetian populace. “As a freedom-loving people, if we don’t speak out about the Chinese oppression, then we have lost our right to speak on human rights,” Pelosi grandly stated. Wrapped up in self-righteous euphoria, she was not to be stopped by concern that maybe there were more pressing matters facing her own constituents, or that perhaps there were plenty of other oppressed folks out there that she hasn’t felt the urge to publicly support. Was it a play to boost her dreadful approval ratings? Or just a chance to get some rare media coverage in a Presidential Election year? The answer remains unclear, but what is clear is that Pelosi seems to forget we pay professionals to the foreign relations thing for us.
Des Moine Register blogger Joel Veldkamp has shed light on another of brilliant plans that make John Edwards such an attractive Presidential candidate. Veldkamp quotes Edwards:
“What we would do is we would submit legislation saying if universal healthcare is not passed by this summer, that the Congress and members of the administration would lose their healthcare coverage.”
“In other words,” observes Veldkamp, “Edwards would ask Congress to deny themselves healthcare if they didn’t pass universal healthcare.”
The din of defeatism is so loud on Capitol Hill these days when it comes to Iraq. Even Republicans are joining the cry in the interest of trying to prolong their political careers. Shame on these spineless Congressmen. While many are joining the wave of defeatist paranio, some Americans still understand the grave situation the nation would find itself in if the Democrats were to declare defeat and evacuate US troops from Iraq. They realize that, as Dick Cheney bluntly explained today, that the casualties US forces have suffered in Iraq are worth the lives saved in keeping nuke-toting terrorists off American soil. So like these perspective folks, I remain in full support of the action in Iraq, despite being well aware of past missteps and wary of more in the future. And as such it just makes me tired all over to hear this whining about Iraq.
I heard the most perfect analogy on Spencer Hughes’ radio program today. A caller said something to the effect that these whining defeatocrats remind one of the kids in the back seat that keep whining ‘are we there yet?’ The Dems (and a some of these despicable fair-weather Republicans) should grow up and act responsibly rather than pandering to masses. No we aren’t at the Grand Canyon yet. Unfortunately, in our case to turn around and go back means to declare with trumpets blaring America’s gross impotence. That is unacceptable. So if you don’t like it, shut up or bring a solution to the table.
Funny how the response to what is said is determined by who says it. Let’s be honest-if a Republican commented that Barack Obama, the fresh young Senator from Illinois, is “the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy,” well, the media, the DNC, the intelligentsia-heck, just about everyone-would waste no time in demanding an apology, and the more extreme factions within each of the aforementioned groups would be haughtily muttering accusations of racism just above their collective breaths. It obviously insinuates that prior to Mr. He’s-so-hot-right-now Obama’s rise to prominence, there existed no clean-cut and competent African American statesmen. That’s a pretty unequivocable slap in the face of the African-American community and beyond.
And yet, it was not a Republican congressman who remarked such. It was 2008 Presidential hopeful Joe Biden, a Democratic congressman from Deleware (CNN). Now two weeks later, the incident seems to be all but forgotten. But it was not the only recent racially-insensitive remark by a congressman this month, and indeed another Democrat. South Carolina’s Robert Ford proclaimed earlier in the month that “Obama winning the primary would drag down the rest of the party…Every Democratic candidate running on that ticket would lose because he’s black and he’s at the top of the ticket” (Associated Press). Ford summed it up rather nicely: “I love Obama, but I’m not going to kill myself.”
Even if these remarks are made by Democrats in the context of Obama’s impact on the party, they still should provide a grand display of the mass hypocrisy of the party that claims to be the party of the minorities, the poor, the middle class, and of tolerance. If a Republican were to stand up and say Obama could not win the Presidency because he is Black, they would be burned in effigy. Somehow, these utterances from Democratic lips are easily forgiven and forgotten.
For reference, consider two historical cases. Republican Trent Lott made a racially-insensitive remark in 2003 and was forced to resign his post as majority leader in the Senate. Conversely, Robert Byrd, a documented Ku Klux Klan leader until at least the late 1940s, became in 2006 the longest serving Senator in US history (Wikipedia). Yes, he was a Democrat.
As long as Democrats can get away with publicly-voiced disrespect for African-Americans, no progress will be made toward a time where when we mention the Senator from Illinois, the parenthetical notation of his race is no longer obligatory. That, my fellow Americans, should be the real story here.
David Welna’s piece for NPR (click here) captures the mood of the Senate as it debates the vote on the non-binding resolution condemning the President’s proposed “surge” of troops in Iraq. Obfuscation reigns as political posturing dictates the path to a vote (or not) on a resolution that effects nothing but to say that the majority of the Senate opposes the “surge.” This, folks, is Washington, D.C. at its best. Kansas’ Pat Roberts put it best: “We appear like lemmings, splashing in the sea of public concern, frustration, and anger over the war in Iraq.”
Joe Lieberman said earlier this week that “For the Senate to take up a symbolic vote of no confidence on the eve of a decisive battle is unprecedented. But it is not inconsequential. It is an act which, I fear, will discourage our troops, hearten our enemies, and showcase our disunity.” A word to the Congress-ever heard of keeping your problems in-house? In this age of instant proliferation of information, this may be too much to ask. But Lieberman has a point. The carping about the war that permeates the media and now the Congress is ineffectual except to showcase for the world our disunity and haplessness in a time of near-crisis. Capitol Hill is very much the epicenter of the political world, and as such, the messages it sends to the world on behalf of the American people carry much weight. The Congress would do well to remember this.
It is undeniable that the Iraq venture is a mess, and presents almost the perfect Catch-22 scenario. The first response to such a situation is finger-pointing. This catharsis is soon followed by a move to develop a solution-ideally, that is. But in our case, the finger-pointing stage, inaugurated over two years ago, persists. The Iraqi Study Group was a useless exercise–a brief pause in the action. The anti-war faction has, in this past few years, developed no feasible alternatives to the President’s [perhaps deservedly] much-maligned “Stay the Course” approach.
Today, America finds itself in a situation where the winning strategy is elusive, but essential. In the meantime, through the valiant yet largely unsung efforts of tens of thousands of American soldiers, the nation is at least treading water in Iraq. They face a the worst sort of enemy- a guerilla bound to destroy America or die trying. In the face of this, the clear message America is sending from it shores is that the majority disapprove of its President, and a great many would prefer to pull out of Iraq and declare defeat. This is a clear message of weakness. It is also a clear message to American troops that most Americans and their elected officials are ready to say the 3,000 troops that have died and many thousands more who suffered severe injury did so in vain.
America should demand of its elected officials that after years of anti-war rhetoric it is high time they do their part to end the grand display of national disunity and shut up until they can provide some useful alternatives.