April 7, 2007

The courage of compromise

David Sirota has written a widely published patronizing apology for the "anti-war" Democrats who voted to fully fund the occupation of Iraq for another year and a half.

First, he praises the protesters for reminding the Democrats that they had to package their vote to continue the war vote as a vote to end the war.

Then he instructs them that passable bills in the legislature are rarely perfect, so they should stop complaining because they succeeded in getting plenty of lip service.

Sirota, however, is the one who needs to stop complaining. We know that legislators have to make compromising decisions, that they must deal with the possible not the perfect. If they thus lack the courage of conviction, they should at least stand by their courage to compromise. Instead, they lie. They tell us that a bill to continue full funding of the war is a bill to end the war.

And the compromising on this issue has hardly begun. Bad money drives out good, and the good is already being shunted out of the room. What will Sirota say about a final bill that no longer even pretends to urge the end of the illegal occupation of Iraq? Or if a bill passes with a suggested or mandated end date and magically withstands a veto, what will he say when the occupation is still going as disastrously "strong" as ever when that date goes by?

What does he say every day, as another hundred Iraqis and a few more Americans are killed while the Democrats bask in their heroic compromises?

Actually, we know what he does and will say: "That's why we need to elect more Democrats," who, despite all evidence to the contrary, we are supposed to believe actually care what we think.

The choice of "anti-war" Democrats to support the continued funding of this death policy is a clear betrayal of all conviction. They do not deserve our gratitude or admiration and certainly not our votes.

P.S. Peter Freyne, in Burlington's Seven Days this week, quotes (approvingly!) Vermont's now pro-war congressman, Peter Welch: "The question is, are you going to make the unattainable perfect be the enemy of the barely achievable good?" Don't count your chickens, Peters W. and F. -- we have yet to see even the slightest "good" and are unlikely to see it in another 18 months of illegal occupation. Only more death. That's what your "serious" yes vote was for.