March 19, 2006

Blowing out the fire

Jaon Vennochi writes in today's Boston Globe about the danger of censuring the criminal acts of the President:
Is Feingold's resolution motivated by pure political self-interest? He is a probable Democratic presidential candidate trying to stake his claim to the political left. Or is it principle? Feingold is the only US senator who opposed the original Patriot Act, and he voted against authorizing war with Iraq.

Either way, it creates a dilemma for Democrats.
A dilemma? Both political interest and principle are to be avoided? What's left for these ghosts that stalk the halls of Congress?
Current polls and surveys show people think as little of Bush as they do of Congress. Democrats in Congress should be thinking of ways to change that political reality. They need to increase their own favorability ratings at the expense of the opposition. Handing the opposition a weapon to use against Democrats is counterproductive, to say the least. But censure, and even impeachment, are seductive.
Keeping silent about illegal actions of the President will win respect? Refusing to act because of fear of the opposition will win votes?
In the House, 29 of 201 Democrats have signed on to a resolution from Representative John Conyers Jr., Democrat of Michigan, that demands a special committee to investigate the Bush administration's "manipulation of prewar intelligence," among other things, and advise whether there are "grounds for possible impeachment." ...

Representative James P. McGovern of Worcester called the resolution "tempting," but concluded that it distracts from the party's goals of winning House and Senate races in the fall. Representative Barney Frank says, "This is an understandable emotional response from people who are very angry. But why do we want to energize George Bush's people?"
A fine plan: Defeat Republicans by not opposing them. Bore the Republican base into an apathy matching that of the Democrats. But there again, the Republicans are way ahead: They don't need votes, because they own the ballot boxes.
A political survey done by American Research Group is helping the left make its case. It is based on 1,100 telephone interviews among a random sample of adults nationwide from March 13-15. Of those surveyed, 46 percent said they favored censuring Bush for authorizing wiretaps of Americans without obtaining court orders; 44 percent opposed and 10 percent were undecided. On impeachment, 42 percent favored a vote to impeach; 29 percent opposed and 9 percent were undecided.

The survey is particularly interesting when responses from independents are analyzed. On the censure question, 42 percent said they favored it; 47 percent opposed. On the impeachment question, 47 percent favored it; 40 percent opposed.
So it isn't just for the left, as it turns out! Censure, even impeachment, is a mainstream no-brainer. The percentage opposed to impeachment is less than two-thirds the percentage of voters that are supposed to have elected the bastard. And the all-important "swing" voter remains just as uninteresting and irrelevant as ever.
It all adds fuel to the flames swirling around the White House. There is danger for the GOP, but also for Democrats: Will those flames consume those who fan them, too?
The Joan Vennochi solution: Sit in the dark and pretend that Bush won't do anything else bad and that it will all be like a bad dream when a new president is elected in 2008. That is, if Bush allows a new election. Who would dare stop him, since both political interest and principle are so risky?

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tags: anarchism, anarchosyndicalism, Vermont