Maybe Reid And Pelosi Should Get Out Of The Way
Saturday night was the third anniversary of George W. Bush affixing his name to the following certification, necessary by statute to start a war he had decided to start years before.
March 18, 2003
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
Consistent with section 3(b) of the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 (Public Law 107-243), and based on information available to me, including that in the enclosed document, I determine that:
(1) reliance by the United States on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (A) adequately protect the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq nor (B) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq; and
(2) acting pursuant to the Constitution and Public Law 107-243 is consistent with the United States and other countries continuing to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001.
GEORGE W. BUSH
The fact that this letter was riddled with lies has never been in much dispute in the center-left blogosphere. But you would hardly know about this certification from listening to our Democratic leaders these last three years, as they have never brought this falsehood out in the open and shown it to the American people for the impeachable offense that it is. Yet the Democratic leadership in both the House and Senate has shown themselves repeatedly to be afraid of their own shadows in holding the White House accountable for its record of mendacity and impeachable offenses. There is little evidence this will change as we approach a midterm election where it appears that both Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi simply want to back into November as quickly as possible.
But while Reid and Pelosi fail to construct a consistent narrative and hammer it, nor fail to hold the media’s feet to the fire for their GOP bias and war cheerleading, the GOP itself doesn’t like what it sees and lone Democrats bravely make a case without support from their peers. It isn’t that difficult; all Reid and Pelosi have to do is have staff read Kevin Phillips’ new book and build your attack upon his central arguments. But apart from Phillips, there are other sources of inspiration for Reid and Pelosi, if they only had the willingness to look. The sources are easy to find.
Bill Kristol says on Fox of all places that Russ Feingold was bravely and cleverly making the NSA spying debacle a problem for the White House. Did any of the leadership aside from Dick Durbin come to Feingold’s support over the last week and weave this into the narrative against White House illegality? No. In fact, Pelosi took a shot at Feingold.
George Will said yesterday that Iraq isn’t working, and Chuck Hagel also said that the generals have told him we are already in a civil war. Did any of the leadership come out recently and start pushing the frame that we are trapped in a civil war and that John Murtha has been right these last several months, and talk openly about the Administration’s inability to shift tactics to deal with the realities on the ground? No.
Shooter’s former chief of staff has fingered the former deputy National Security Advisor for being complicit in the outing of a national security asset. Steve Hadley worked for our current Secretary of State and is our current National Security Advisor. Yet he, his boss the Secretary of State, and both the Vice President and the deputy White House Chief of Staff still have national security clearances. Has the Democratic leadership made this a part of an ongoing narrative about weakening national security for political gain? No.
Reid and Pelosi may want November to be tomorrow so that they can cut to the chase and rely upon bad poll numbers for their argument in support of electing more Democrats to the House and Senate. Reid for his part has cooked up some media event strategy based on using veterans and the flag as props to bash Bush on national security without going for the jugular. As for Pelosi, she seems content to let Rahm Emanuel write a book for an August release date that would supposedly be the manifesto for the remaining weeks of the campaign. Swell, we’ll all just have to wait until Rahm writes the book and sit on our hands until then. Yet it isn’t clear that voters will actually reward a party that has abdicated its responsibility to the republic to be a courageous opposition party these last three years simply because they are Democrats. The Democratic leadership is almost as complicit in what has befallen this country these last five years as are George W. Bush and the GOP. And because of that, there is no guarantee that voters will put Democrats into power in November, nor is there any certainty that Bush and the GOP will not succeed again in doctoring up another war based on lies against Iran in time for the midterm elections, despite the opportunity Democrats have to reframe the Iran opportunity differently.
And if that happens, Reid and Pelosi can take credit for one thing: the demise of the Democratic Party and the birth of a new opposition party from the center-left in this country, one that I would be happy to work the next several decades in constructing: the Liberal Party, a party freed of Beltway money and corruption, and a party of principles at home and abroad that will hold the Beltway accountable both in government and the media while laying out a positive agenda of reform and change that puts Main Street above Wall Street. At least Reid and Pelosi could take credit for that.
Look, the GOP is on the ropes, and can't even figure out their own message for this year. Yet the only folks who don’t see that seem to be Reid and Pelosi. If they don’t want to go for the kill and show voters a Democratic alternative now, then step aside and let some new faces do it.
Hat tips to Jane at FireDogLake, Crooks and Liars, and Raw Story for the leads