Democrats ARE playing politics

I'm impressed with Rough Ol' Boy, a blogger whom I will start following regularly now. This is a wonderfully concise and perceptive analysis of the whole Iraq withdrawal resolution foisted on the House by the GOP leadership. While there are some points to be made about the honesty of the resolution's wording (it deliberately misrepresented Mr. Murtha's proposal), the Democrats refuse to stand on principle and instead obfuscated the issue at hand:

I personally applaud Representative Murtha for his brave and principled stance, but I scorn most of the Democratic leadership in Congress for attempting to appropriate this man's virtues as their own by association.


If the Democrats objected to the forced vote, they could have better shown their disgust by abstaining from it en masse, but I don't think they actually wanted to debate the war. The Democrats wanted to make the debate about the character of John Murtha, a place where they are at least seemingly strong, so statements like this were heard:

"This is a personal attack on one of the best members, one of the most respected members of this House and it is outrageous," said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

I'll readily agree that most of these Republican representatives have no problem assassinating characters, but here the Republicans seem to be sticking to their guns in support of the war. The Democrats wanted to make the discussion about Murtha personally because most of them are scared shitless to vote on his resolution.

And he ends his post with the final, sad analysis:

I just wish I lived in a country where the opposition party actually opposed things that the majority did.

UPDATE: Jeremy Scahill, a journalist for Democracy Now! makes a similar point worth noting in the pages of

None of the horrors playing out in Iraq today would be possible without the Democratic Party. And no matter how hard some party leaders try to deny it, this is their war too and will remain so until every troop is withdrawn. There is no question that the Bush administration is one of the most corrupt, violent and brutal in the history of this country but that doesn't erase the serious responsibility the Democrats bears for the bloodletting in Iraq. As disingenuous as the Administration's claims that Iraq had WMDs is the flimsy claim by Democratic lawmakers that they were somehow duped into voting for the war. The fact is that Iraq posed no threat to the United States in 2003 any more than it did in 1998 when President Clinton bombed Baghdad. John Kerry and his colleagues knew that. The Democrats didn't need false intelligence to push them into overthrowing Saddam Hussein's regime. It was their policy; a policy made the law of the land not under George W. Bush, but under President Bill Clinton when he signed the 1998 Iraq Liberation Act, formally initiating the process of regime change in Iraq.

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Written on Saturday, November 19, 2005