Revolution #69, November 19, 2006
Post Elections: Dissecting the Democrats
The following is taken from an article posted on the World Can’t Wait website,”Bush and His Whole Program Must Go.”
In the 72 hours since she has taken the mantle of the next Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi repeated her pledge that “impeachment is off the table.” In her victory press conference, she didn’t speak of the need to repeal the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that revoked habeas corpus and legalized torture. She didn’t decry the unending death and destruction that is daily terrorizing the people of Iraq. She did not pledge to stand firmly against the new war being prepared against Iran. Nor did she make a peep about defending women’s right to abortion and gay rights—even as Roe v. Wade is under increasing threat and gay marriage bans passed in an additional seven states.
Instead, she recast this election as a mandate on manners and effectiveness: “The American people spoke out for a return to civility to the Capitol in Washington and how Congress conducts its work…And Democrats pledge civility and bipartisanship in the conduct of the work here, and we pledge partnerships with the Republicans in Congress and the president, not partisanship.”
The next day she sat down with a President who by any objective standard is a war criminal and who has been massively rejected by the people. But instead of seizing on the fact that Bush is rapidly losing legitimacy in the eyes of millions who are looking for a way to say “NO MORE!,” she lent him a sense of legitimacy by, in her own words, “extend[ing] the hand of friendship, of partnership.”
Think what it means to pledge “partnership” with a regime that lied its way into a war that has for years struck panic in the corridors of hospitals, terror in the beds of children, overcrowding in the morgues throughout Iraq and stolen more than half a million lives.
Think of what this means to pledge “partnership” with a regime that left thousands of Black people on rooftops in New Orleans for five days, keeping help out at gunpoint, while green-lighting orders to “shoot to kill” those who tried to fend for themselves.
Think what it means to pledge “partnership” with a regime that has just made legal everything captured in the gruesome pictures of torture at Abu Ghraib prison.
Think what it means to pledge “partnership” with a regime that undermines science and celebrates ignorance—about global warming, about the cruelties and failure of “Abstinence-Only” programs, about the actual death-count in Iraq, about evolution, and so much more!
Nothing good can come from “partnering” with this regime or its program. This whole direction must be reversed and it is becoming clearer each day that this has nothing to do with what the Democrats intend to do. As it says in the Call issued by the World Can’t Wait—Drive Out the Bush Regime over a year ago, “There is not going to be some savior from the Democratic Party. This whole idea of putting our hopes and energies into ‘leaders’ who tell us to seek common ground with fascists and religious fanatics is proving every day to be a disaster, and actually serves to demobilize people.”
Pelosi is not alone in her eagerness to work together with the President. Chuck Schumer, of New York who headed the Democrats’ Senate Campaign Committee, said, “We had a tough and partisan election, but the American people and every Democratic senator—and I’ve spoken to just about all of them—want to work with the president in a bipartisan way.”
On Jon Stewart’s Daily Show the day after the election, Howard Dean said bluntly, “I know half the audience wants us to impeach the President and all that kind of stuff,” at which point he was interrupted with cheers, but then he continued, “but we’re not going to do that.” Instead, he bragged that the Democrats had won one third of the white Evangelical Christian vote.
Conservative New York Times columnist David Brooks spelled out what this means, “So voters kicked out Republicans but did not swing to the left. For the most part they exchanged moderate Republicans for conservative Democrats. It was a great day for the centrist Joe Lieberman, who defeated the scion of the Daily Kos net roots, Ned Lamont. It was a great day for anti-abortion Democrats like Bob Casey and probably for pro-gun Democrats like Jim Webb. It was a great day for conservative Democrats like Heath Shuler in North Carolina and Brad Ellsworth in Indiana.”
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