Thursday, May 24, 2007

Changing the status quo won't happen in a heartbeat

The upset over the "cave" on the Iraq war spending issue is pretty much reaching a climax, which is understandable. The Democrats have done a dodge-spin-parry on the issue of timetables for withdrawal in favor of fostering domestic spending, a prospect that sets Republicans' teeth on edge:

The bill includes the nearly $100 billion that President Bush requested for military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as billions in domestic spending, including $6.4 billion in hurricane relief and $3 billion in agricultural assistance.

Republicans were unhappy about the added domestic spending, but said they were relieved the final measure did not attempt to set a timetable on the war.

While this is not an excuse, I can almost understand their logic. Bush and the Republican party have abandoned our country's infrastructure pretty heavily. The Democrats moved into Congress with all the glassy-eyed shock of a homeowner discovering his house is built on a sinkhole and is loaded with termites, bad plumbing, toxic mold and hazardous electrical wiring. Oh, and the roof's missing.

So they're going from room to room, picking up assorted trash, figuring that will help until the roofers finally become available (hopefully) on January 20, 2009. No, we really can't wait that long, but better late than never, right?

All right. This is business as usual. And believe it or not, this isn't being said in a pox-on-both-your-houses way. It's the way the status quo feels the game has to be played when your opponent won't abide by the rules. It's probably also the way they feel when the right wing is defining all the terms in the corporate media. (Blow Job Bill is going to be such a strain on Hillary, haven't you heard? This is important!)

However, the victory of getting the House and the Senate to fund some badly needed domestic relief is not enough for throwing billions of dollars and thousands of lives down a rathole. Perhaps we should thank them for their concern for the needy in America, and then shout in their ears "BUT WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING?!" That's our function. Support the positive aspects, and then directly, firmly, and constantly, force their hand with our combined strength. We're the coalition that funds the ideals of the Democratic party. We're not the "left"; we are the people. And we have a long slog to take over from the unconcerned rich, the overfunded religious zealots, and the mindless sheep. This is our only house, so we have to work hard to fix it.

Markos put it pretty well:

I have news for you guys -- this won't be the last disappointment we'll ever suffer. Heck, politics is about perpetually fighting battles, and no one -- no one -- has an undefeated record....

That doesn't mean 'stop being angry'. It means, 'stand tough and fight back'.

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