Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rights and Obligations

Today I came unglued (haha) from C-SPAN 2 around lunch time, or, in my left-coast case, breakfast time, when the Senate was adjourned for the Republican party lunch.

Now, I don't know what mad genius at Encore decided to broadcast Mr. Smith Goes to Washington while the majority party Senators were secretly plotting to invade Greenland or whatever it is they do, but it sure got me thinking.

As Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said in the chamber yesterday, "Today, our country marks an unfortunate anniversary - the three year anniversary of President Bush donning a flight suit to declare "Mission Accomplished" in Iraq.

President Bush's dramatic landing on the aircraft carrier the Abraham Lincoln will be marked historically as a public relations stunt gone horribly wrong."

Since yesterday morning, Senator Reid's sentiments have been echoed by a number of his Democratic colleagues, including Senators Kennedy, Boxer, Lautenberg and Durbin, whose statement was entered into the Congressional Record, and whose words articulate the feelings of many Americans:

"I have been both inspired and shaken by the broken bodies but unbroken spirits of soldiers, Marines and corpsmen returning from this war. The cost of flawed leadership continues to be paid in blood. The willingness of our forces to shoulder such a load should make it a sacred obligation for civilian and military leaders to get our defense policy right. They must be absolutely sure that the commitment is for a cause as honorable as the sacrifice."

Now, I don't want to disagree with the statements of these excellent public servants, particularly not when I think they're largely correct, but I did wish they'd followed the example of Senator Feingold, former Senators Cleland and Hart, and others in endorsing John Kerry's Iraq Resolution.

In an email dated yesterday, Monday, May 1, 2006 - a day the Senate Minority Leader has appropriately labeled "a sad anniversary of a sorry public relations stunt" - former Senator Bob Kerrey wrote, "Half of the names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall are the names of Americans who died after the policy makers knew our nation was on the wrong course, after both political parties called for expeditious withdrawal. And yet the war dragged on for five more years."

Call me difficult to please, but, much as Senator Kerrey's email was great to read, it's still bugging me that most of the endorsements are coming from former Senators. Other than Mr. Feingold of Wisconsin, the actual Senators who work for us and decide how to spend our tax dollars have been silent on John Kerry's efforts to end the war in Iraq.

I think we should do something about that.

Blame Frank Capra, the Boy Rangers, or the Republican caucus for going to lunch today. But really, I think we should do something.

So I urge you to call, write, or fax your Democratic Senators and ask them to speak out against the war and support Senator Kerry's resolution to provide a strategy for successfully empowering a new unity government in Iraq.

Find their contact info here. Use crayons, colored paper, whatever you think will get their attention. Make a collage if you feel like it. Heck, make a collage if you DON'T feel like it - you'll probably be glad you did. No one person can stop this war, and very few have stepped up to even move the debate in that direction.

Senator Kerry has taken a real leadership role in proposing legislative solutions. Let's ask our other elected officials to join him in that role. Rock and roll.


At 10:12 PM, Anonymous TayTay said...

Excellent post! I completely agree and we need to get involved and tell other Congressional folk to support this call of Sen. Kerry's.

At 12:34 AM, Blogger Democrafty said...

Thank you, Tay Tay! I think if we work together, we can try and keep some momentum behind this excellent legislation.


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