Why do we let THESE people run our country?

How can any Democrat or Republican look in the mirror after the shenanigans in the House Thursday? An excerpt from the WSJ‘s story today:

WASHINGTON — The House rejected $163 billion in funding for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — the first time the House has voted against funding for the Iraq war — as Republicans held back support as a protest against domestic-spending items Democrats added to the legislation.
    Some antiwar Democrats applauded as 132 Republicans voted "present" and the funding failed on a 149-to-141 vote….
    The House passed two other measures during the war debate, one placing restrictions on the Iraq war, including a timeline for troop withdrawal, and another expanding funding for veterans’ education benefits by collecting a new surtax from wealthy taxpayers.
    Democratic leaders planned the votes separately to allow their antiwar members to vote against funding operations in Iraq, while still passing a bill. But Republicans didn’t vote for the war funding and then accused Democrats of loading up the legislation with spending items "on the backs" of troops….

I propose that when the Grownup Party takes over, we should ride them all out of town on a rail. Or is that a less-than-Grownup, emotional response on my part? Maybe, but somehow making them stand in a corner seems grossly inadequate.

16 thoughts on “Why do we let THESE people run our country?

  1. Randy E

    Brad, you being a founding father of the Grown Up party supported this quagmire you continue to call a “war”. While I revile the politicization of the troops and their funding, there is no easy way out.
    McCain thinks we could maintain a presence in Iraq for 100 years. He likens this situation to that in Japan and Germany. We protected Saudi Arabia from “Sadamn” and wore out our welcome in a few short years.
    Meanwhile in Pakistan and Afghanistan AQ reconstitutes itself as a major force. McCain, per his speech yesterday, wants us to continue spending $12B/month until 2013 when we can finally welcome most of our troops home. That’s another half-trillion dollars just on Iraq, let alone dealing with AQ in the other countries.
    Compare that with the $180B over 20 years the City Mayors organization cites that it will cost to fix the bridges in this country. McCain, the compulsive flip-flopper, wants to spend 3 times that amount in Iraq alone.

  2. Wally Altman

    Haven’t you said in the past that if Democrats want the troops home they should man up and vote against funding the war?
    Ah, here it is:

    They make the laws. They control the pursestrings, completely. All they need do is cut off all funding for offensive operations, and appropriate money that, BY LAW, can only be used to fund the retreat that they desire. As Newt Gingrich and company learned to their great pain and chagrin after 1994, governing carries far weightier responsibility than merely sitting on the back benches and criticizing.
    As my readers know, I don’t WANT them to do those things; such actions would be disastrous. But at least I could respect them more.
    But they don’t have the guts to do that, do they, Hagel and the rest? All they have the gumption to do is make gestures of the sort that undermine, that corrode, that fester in the national soul as they watch more Americans die, and say, “See? We told you so.” Self-fulfilled defeat.

    Is there any way for Democrats opposed to the war to satisfy you?

  3. thomasandrews

    After reading Matt Bai’s N.Y. Times article on McCain’s views on the Iraq war and the use of the military more generally, I can’t help but believe that McCain might just be the ideal candidate for the “Grownup” party. To find the link to the N.Y. Times article and a short summary, visit:

  4. thomasandrews

    After reading Matt Bai’s N.Y. Times article on McCain’s views on the Iraq war and the use of the military more generally, I can’t help but believe that McCain might just be the ideal candidate for the “Grownup” party. To find the link to the N.Y. Times article and a short summary, visit:

  5. Lee Muller

    We need to amend the US Constitution to make it like state constitutions which restrict the contents of bills to one subject, which is in the title.
    Then the citizens can sue to strip out all the pork, just like the are here in SC.

  6. Brad Warthen

    Randy, forgive me this tangent, but there’s a semantic thing that I’ve noticed, about which I seek clarification…
    I thought people who were “opposed to the war in Iraq” called it a “war.” Is there something awful and wicked and warmongering on my part to go along with that and call it a “war?” Frankly, I’m open to other labels. The “war,” by the usual, conventional uses of the word, ended in the spring of 2003 — we sent in mechanized troops, the army of Iraq was routed, the government toppled, etc. After that, largely thanks to our failure to do what bud is always saying we’re doing — occupying the country (to our everlasting shame, under the leadership of Bush/Rumsfeld, we never sent in enough troops to do that, which is what led to subsequent troubles) — we found ourselves dealing with a lot of lower-intensity violence. Sometimes there were firefights, sometimes good-sized offensives aimed at insurgent centers such as Fallujah, and lots and lots of IEDs, sectarian murders and suicide bombers. Nothing so coherent as a “war” really, more of set of multiple violent postwar problems.
    But I’ve just been trying to go along with the “war” thing, to save time and trouble, and avoid arguing the point. If I were to get picky about words, I’d ask why anti-“war” folks keep calling upon our government to “end the war,” when what they mean is nothing of the kind — they mean, “end U.S. involvement,” right?
    And Wally, is that what they did — have an up-and-down vote “against funding the war?” Looked to me like everyone involved was trying to have their cake and eat it too.
    But maybe you’re right; maybe they took clear action. The Wall Street Journal wants to blame them for that, saying in an editorial this morning that “Democrats want to fund the troops – as long as they’re not fighting.”
    But I don’t think it was that clear. I think Dems and Repubs were both playing games with our troops’ lives on the line.

  7. Randy E

    Randy’s writing,
    If it’s not a “war” Brad, what justification do we have for the occupation? If you make the case of genocide then why don’t we have an obligation to cowboy up in the other countries in which we see such atrocities? If you maek the case of an AQ strong hold, we have that now in Pakistan in Afghanistan. Amb. Crocker admitted AQ was stronger in those regions so we should have greater “involvement” in those regions.
    Regarding the use of the term “war”, I believe those who want an end use it in general terms. “Anti-U.S. involvement” is more cumbersome than “anti-war”. Contrarily, supporters use the term to justify the “involvement”.
    For a Grown Up Party member, how do you reconcile redirecting the 180B to fix our bridges towards spending 540B, as McCain-Cheney-W propose, to blow up more civilians and incite more hatred against us while AQ and the Taliban reconstitute else where?

  8. Wally Altman

    I made that post before I dug a little deeper and found out what really happened, or more accurately, what didn’t happen (a vote just on war spending). I still don’t have the foggiest idea how it’s possible to have three distinct votes on three separate measures which are somehow considered a single bill, but whatever.
    I would have to agree that adding the unemployment benefits to the bill was a terrible idea. Benefits for veterans, on the other hand, seems entirely appropriate to me. If the President insists on support for the troops headed to Iraq, he should be willing to support them when they come home. I am willing to accept quite a lot of legislative legerdemain to see that end met.
    Because of the unemployment stuff, I guess I am forced to admit that the Republicans weren’t the only ones playing politics here.

  9. bud

    Those of us who live in the pragmatic world understand that the reason we have failed in Iraq is not because of some design flaw in the way we conducted the post-war occupation but instead it’s because the mission itself was and still is flawed. What we’re attempting to accomplish is an imperialistic occupation of another country 6,000 miles away for the sole purpose of bringing stability to a region that possess a valuable nature resource – oil. If successful this occupation will help ensure we have a stable supply of oil. In effect the U.S. is trying to create a colony in Iraq, one that is friendly to our hedonistic lifestyle.
    The whole thing was sold to the American public, and Congress, as a mission aimed at eliminating a security threat. That was, of course, a great big fat lie.
    So now we’re 15 months into what is allegedly a more effective change in tactics called the “Surge”. And of course it too is failing. Yet Mr. Grownup in his usual crass, condescending style ignores the death, maiming and $3 trillion dollar cost by defending this as the “grownup” thing to do. How disgusting. Anyone who regards the suffering of our fellow human beings as a necessary foreign policy deserves nothing but scorn and ridicule.
    The House of Representatives is at least trying to bring this damn thing to an end, but they don’t have the votes to do so in the normal way. To accuse the dems of acting like children because they want to end this failed misadventure simply reflects on the author of such a claim in the most damning of terms. The pro-occupation folks continue to disgust me with their arrogant claims of moral superiority. I say it’s about time congress at least tried to do something.
    With 3 new dems in congress and more to come all we need to end this moral outrage is a democratic president. Then the pompous ass occupation supporters can go straight to hell for all the death and destruction thier failed polices have brought to the people of the world. God help us all if the dodering old fool McCain somehow gets in the White House.

  10. Randy E

    I haven’t read strong support from Brad for th e “war” recently…people do learn from their mistakes. (Some simply pass it on to the next president to fix.)

  11. Randy E

    Here’s the key difference between McCain’s approach to Iraq and Obama’s.
    At 12B/month for the “war”, this difference is profound.

  12. Mike Cakora

    Randy – (I’ve run afoul of Brad’s anti-spam filter, so I’ve had to eliminate some links.)
    Nice try, but no cigar. McCain was not talking about spending $12B/month for the occupation, but about the likelihood of a US presence in Iraq for some time, just as we still have forces fifty and sixty years after the wars in Europe, Japan, and Korea.
    Heck, thirty years after the end of WW II, I received an Army of Occupation medal for serving in West Berlin.
    It was an easy occupation, but the last terrorist bombing occurred in April 1986, over forty years after the war ended.
    Obama’s approach is not only wrong, it’s stupid and dangerous. His campaign ignores history, particularly the lessons JFK — the icon / image Obama’s handlers are trying to project — learned the hard way: the world is cold and cruel, appreciating force much more than good intentions. As Al Capone said, and Obama should know this well from his study of his muse, “You can get much further with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.”

  13. Randy E

    Cak, let’s apply the smell test to the history angle you champion.
    Comparing the “involvement” of U.S. forces in Iraq with the presence of bases in Germany and Japan is asinine.
    First, these resulted after a war with countries that surrendered. We’ll have no such outcome. We don’t even know who the freakin enemy is.
    Second, as I wrote earlier, we wore out our welcome in Saudi Arabia in a few short years after protecting them from “Sadamn”. A 50 year “Korea-like” presence should go over really well in the home to the Crusades.
    Third, McCain’s 100 year presence is not what I used to calculate the cost. He gave a speech in which he claimed we would continue fighting for another 4 years. Then the permanent bases can be constituted.
    Speaking of which, The cost of a long term presence in Iraq is greater than what is needed to rebuild the nation’s bridges over the next 20 years. And, that’s AFTER we finish fighting another 4 years (from one of McCain’s own mouths).

  14. Lee Muller

    Obama’s approach to all issues involving Islamic terrorism is to side with the terrorists.
    His advisors and role models include supporters of Hamas, Hezbollah, Quaddaffi, Saddam Hussein, and Syria.
    Obama would be the most dangerous President in history. An impeachment would surely be filed.


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