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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

The more things change, the more they stay the same

After voters overwhelmingly rejected President George W. Bush's illegal and failed war in Iraq, tossed out the corrupt Republican leadership of Congress and sent an strong message that things needed to change and change right away, it appears we're back on that same old dead-end road to a war that won't end and can't be won, led by a President who won't listen and aided and abetted by a Congress that won't stop him.

After voters overwhelmingly rejected President George W. Bush’s illegal and failed war in Iraq, tossed out the corrupt Republican leadership of Congress and sent an strong message that things needed to change and change right away, it appears we’re back on that same old dead-end road to a war that won’t end and can’t be won, led by a President who won’t listen and aided and abetted by a Congress that won’t stop him.

Bush, in an interview with The Washington Post made it clear Tuesday that he will send more American troops to fight and die in Iraq because he still labors under the illusion that his failed war can be won.

And it looks like the new Democratic leadership of Congress will let him do so without question or recrimination. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he supports an increase in troops levels to "restore stability" in Iraq but claims that increase should only be temporary and the troops must be brought home.

In the House, Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi has told Democrats who want to investigate Bush or even impeach him to "cool it" and says she and the new leadership will seek ways to "work with the White House."

I’m not surprised at Reid’s capitulation. He’s a corrupt, bribe-taking old-school politician with a growing defense-related industry in his home state of Nevada. He knows that playing to the warmongers is good for business as well as his campaign war chest and Reid has a long history of getting rich off his political contacts.

But I expected more of Pelosi, the San Francisco liberal who promised to bring change to the House. But Pelosi is no reformer. Hell, she’s the daughter of Thomas D’Alessandro, the mob-controlled mayor who turned Baltimore over to organized crime during his reign of corruption in the 40s. Pelosi likes to brag that she learned politics at her father’s feet and it looks like she learned her lessons well.

As soon as the Democrats won the November mid-term elections, Pelosi took impeachment of Bush off the agenda, admitting it was just a campaign gimmick.

"Impeachment is off the table. It is a waste of time," Pelosi told 60 minutes. You have to wonder how much some Republican fat cat paid for that decision.  Another corrupt politician bought.

Let’s look back to what has happened since the November mid-terms:

  • The Democrats sweep to power in the House and Senate, aided by a strong antiwar sentiment from voters.  Then they immediately stop talking about any firm timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Pelosi tells her incoming chairman to forget about impeachment.
  • The day after the election, Bush fires Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the public face of the war, and appoints former CIA head Robert Gates, who tells Congress that we are losing the war.
  • The Iraq Study Group issues its long-awaited report, urging diplomacy and saying combat troops should be withdrawn by 2008 and replaced by more military advisors. But the bottom line of the ISG report is that the situation in Iraq is "grave and deteriorating."
  • Gates then starts talking about the need to "win" in Iraq, the same nonsense language that Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney use.
  • The Pentagon says it needs more troops in Iraq to "complete the mission."
  • Bush admits the U.S. is "not winning" the war and says more troops are necessary to "win."

We’re back to where we were before: More Americans dying in Iraq with plans to send in even more to die; more billions wasted in a war that most military experts say can’t be won no matter how many troops we send in; a President who continues to do whatever he damn well pleases and a Congress that will sit on its collective ass and do nothing.

32 thoughts on “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

  1. For Kent Shaw:

    Okay, if we’re not all renting Ryders, we can at least get together someplace. Maybe near Doug’s house, somewhere along the Blue Ridge? Maybe late Spring?

  2. Doug has opened the Reader Rant several times for the kind of talks and workshops you want, Kent Shaw. When action is discussed, the posters tend to back out.

    It is so hard to focus on exactly what changes we want in the White House and the Congress that it puts a strain on the brain.

    We all have our priority list of changes as there is way too much we do not like about the current Administration.

    The majority of Americans want the federal government to fix itself and then lay down laws so we cannot force them into making even a small change.

    We not only have to get our troops out of Iraq but get some kind of arragement with Congress on where do they plan on the next war?

    How much longer can we stay out of Darfur? Will we stay out and ignore those atrocities? This should be a U.N. effort but for some reason they will not act to save anyone. Why are they still in existence?

    So what can we actually do? We mix our opinions on these forums and blogs and then what? I am on the receiving end of many active political sites who have petitions and examples of letters we should send to our representatives.

    I have taken these action items all over the internet and cannot get anyone interested enough to follow the instructions which means contact our House/Senate Reps.

    American Policy Center is a great source of action alerts and yet not even this CHB group will bother to respond.

    The voters are not outraged enough at this time.

    I’m an old timer at this political action stuff and when I first heard about the internet I felt that our problems were over and we could gather to get our messages out to our elected officials. The American voters are apathetic, lazy and cannot recognize what needs to be changed.

    The emotional reactions to Clinton, brought in a whole new voter base but they went to work to put in Social Conservatives in the white house and Congress. All this did was expand an enormous level of corruption. Now they are active and will continue to vote only for pro-lifers and homophobes.

    We are now owned by the religious right with their list of prohibitions just waiting for a change of Supreme Court judges.

    Is this an improvement? In my opinion, NO!

    I’m tired of sending unread letters to my reps. I’m tired of bringing action alerts to these forums and being criticized for them. Posters whine that I am trying to tell them what to do!

    America is simply too bored and apathetic to be of much concern over what D.C. does. We don’t even teach American values in our schools.

    I was more effective when I was sending out post cards back in the 60s.

  3. Hey, Doug Thompson, has there ever been a “CHB-Con”? It would be great if a large number of CHB readers could get together some weekend for talks and workshops and whatnot. Who knows where it might lead? Tall oaks from small acorns and all of that. Let’s all think about it.

  4. Before the election, you published a piece saying you were going to vote Democrat to get the GOP out of power. Remember? And I left a comment saying that not one thing would change. Remember? The GOP and Dems are nothing more than the two branches of the American War Party. And both are under the control of the Zionist lobby. Good lesson learned, my friend.

  5. @Elmo-
    “Impeach Bush?? And get Cheney as President??”

    To me it’s the principle, not who will succeed the incumbent.

    Personally, I’d take Cheney over Bush any day. Better the suspected crook than the self-admitted one.

  6. This is the reason why I did not go to the voting booth this time around.

    It does no good to tell the american people to disrupt the “two party” system we are entangled within. Both parties are corrupt and feather their own nests while the public at large continues to lack “oxygenated brain cells” and get off this “merrygo round” between dems and repubs.

    The same old arguements and Ideas from both parties are trottted out each election cycle while the public is easily convinced that these are “new” Ideas.

    How many times will the public get screwed while not realizing it is being screwed over and over again and again?

    If anyone knows the answer, please let me in on it?

  7. Under the current political system (two parties) the best we can hope for in the United States is that the least dishonest, least self serving individuals will be elected.
    To actually hope for integrity in a politician is like wishing for your local pimp to offer a health plan to his hookers.
    Our political selection process ceased long ago to be predicated on accomplishment or reputation, it’s now just a popularity contest.
    While that may be fine for the Student Council seats in High School, it flat out sucks for the worlds last “superpower”.
    Greed will be, to this nation, what Krytonite was to Superman.
    The average American is unable or unwilling to accept the truth.
    Now stop bitching and start a revolution.


  8. The political calculus here is straightforward. The important equation for the Dems is the one that wins the White House in 2008. If the Dems take a major role now they will have to share blame for the remaining mess in 2008. On the other hand, if they do nothing but give the Reps more rope, those Reps will continue to hang themselves for another two years. Then the Dems pull a repeat of the 2006 elections in 2008 and take the White House in the process. So, don’t look for any meaningful change before January 2009.

  9. Thank you Kent Shaw for writing my letter for me. Additionally, when the House gets through investigating GWB and his buddies the Senate will have to impeach them. Investigating with the stated “intent” to impeach is getting the cart before horse.

  10. Jeffery Haas: “Somebody mentioned the Chinese, and it definitely hits home when you realize that their continued patronage at the T-Bill auctions is the prime mover of funding for this war. All they have to do is NOT SHOW UP at the next auction.”

    Exactly. But for now, the Communist Red Chinese are content to loan their huge dollar surplus back to that Capitalist bastion, the insolvent United States so that it can continue to bleed itself dry fighting unnecessary wars. When the US is finally so deep in debt it can’t possibly repay the loans the Red Chinese will own the US without having fired a single shot. We are as stupid as the rest of the world deems us to be.

  11. I find it hard to believe that some Democrats truly think they were elected for their personal charisma, intellect, and claims that they yearn to be a fruitful leader of the people.

    I find it hard to believe that some people actually look at politicians as demi-gods, celebrities, or individuals to be adorned.

    I would like to say, “To each their own”, but Im afraid that to say that… would negate my options to voice my observations and opinions.

  12. “First, impeachment can only happen after an investigation.” – Rob

    I disagree. President George W. Bush has already admitted to multiple, and repeated FISA violations. To me, that’s sufficient for impeaching him and anyone under him that is involved in those violations. However, if you want additional articles of impeachment, or want to go after someone else as well, then I’d agree, at least until there is obstruction of those investigations.

  13. Impeachment is no better a tool for the Democrats than it was for the Republicans, who are now seen, rightfully, as craven and petty for having put the country through the exercise.

    Calls for impeachment say as much about the prospects for real reform in government as they do about our willingness, as actual “voters,” to BE active instead of DEMANDING action of others, including our elected representatives. Neither will happen.

    It has become my belief that reform is doomed, absent the DIRECT participation of those of us who care enough – even enough to miss watching “the race,” “the game” or “the current or next mountain rescue.”

    We are so easily distracted as to have become a magician’s dream audience, ever willing to watch the pretty object as the conjurer does his real work.

    We see and applaud the effects of mass demonstrations in less-developed countries, but we do little to stage our own. We DO ‘honk in support’ as we drive past the small groups of protesters on one or another street corner, but our own, personal and perpetual schedules afford time for little else.

    My proposal? Target a date certain on which we will all rent Ryder Rental trucks for an endless caravan to Washington, D.C., where we can spend the day driving, ever so lawfully, around and around the centers of power. Such a showing might even break through the coverage of the next missing blonde….and we can sleep in the empty truck bodies instead of, you know, staying at the Watergate.

    Merry Christmas to all!

  14. Who are we kidding? These things we call government (go ahead, pick a level, any level) exist in another dimension. The only time we get an inkling of them is a mild feeling of discomfort as our wallets are lightened. Being from a different dimension, these folks will do whatever matters there. We have no say, only the periodic worship of the vote. We all know how effective genuflection is, don’t we?

  15. Impeachment — even if the House does it, the Senate will never get the 67 votes to convict, and it will re-energize the Neo-McCarthyites. Even in the incredibly unlikely case Bush were removed, that would put Dick Cheney, who is even worse, in the oval office. The chances of removing both Bush and Cheney are less than getting hit by a toilet seat falling from the space station. Nancy Pelosi would become president, and it would be seen as a radically partisan act, almost guaranteeing a GOP wipeout in 2008. Remember that in the darkest days of Watergate, Speaker Carl Albert delayed the impeachment proceedings until Gerald Ford was appointed and confirmed to fill the VP vacancy. He knew what could happen otherwise.

    I think Steve may have part of it backwards. It is to the Democrats’ advantage to publicly appear bipartisan and positive, meanwhile quietly do all they can to stymie and marginalize the White House bunch to minimize the further damage they can do the next 2 years.

    There still are plenty of dumb and gullible voters in this country who are too easily distracted. Forget about flouride in the drinking water, Ritalin may be needed more.

  16. I understand Ms. Pelosi’s thinking on the impeachment issue but I completely disagree with her.Impeachment is a lengthy process and would monopolize the time of the members and commitees charged with the task.Democrats have been irrelevant for so long that they are unable to understand that the November elections were definitly a vote by a slowly awakening public demanding long overdue oversight,accountability, and CHANGE.Bush,Cheney,and Rove were absolutly masterful in their ability to paint anyone and everyone (Dems,the media)who dared to question their policies as unpatriotic terrorist enablers.Their strategy worked incredibly well and would probably still be working if they were not so breathtakingly incompetent.If Katrina had not happened,one has to wonder if the media and the general public would have ever gotten around to daring to question the gods in the White House.Anyway,the Dems are holding a minimal majority in the Senate and they are afraid of doing any thing too controversial that might affect their chances of holding or adding to their House or Senate majorities in 2008.I’m sure Ms. Pelosi remembers how impeachment affected the Republicans during Clinton’s second term and she is loathe to endanger the Dem’s 30 seat pickup in the House by doing anything that could be seen as political payback or obstructionist to the public in 2008.Purely politically speaking,it is to the Democrats advantage to appear to challenge the status quo but secretly do everything they can to maintain it.The worse things get,the better the chance is to win the presidency in 2008.That’s the big prize and the ultimate goal of all party politicians.So as usual Doug is right on in his rant.Meet the new boss,same as the old boss.It’s enough to make a thoughtful caring person want to puke…..Ultimatly the biggest problem with our type of elective representation is that these representatives want to be reelected and WE,the general public,are sadly,the ones who vote.As long as the public cares more about actors’ and entertainers’ lives than real life;the more we must have the latest “must have” consumer product to feel relevant;and the longer we hang onto our fears and prejudices,we will continue to play right into the hands of the mediocre and corrupt leaders that we have.It’s exactly what they want and I must believe it is also what we want.Yes Doug,the more things change,the more they stay the same….. from the beautiful mountains of Western N.C.David Williams

  17. There are still far too many Americans who believe that this Iraqi (mis)adventure is to fight terrorism & that the Iraqi insurgents are all actual terrorists. Of course, no one in the administration will say otherwise.

  18. Jeffery:

    Good Point !! Scary isn’t it ?

    Ray, In principle a good idea, but you know the IRS
    …and even if you were able to clear that mountainous hurdle, they’d just float more notes to fund whatever.


  19. Somebody mentioned the Chinese, and it definitely hits home when you realize that their continued patronage at the T-Bill auctions is the prime mover of funding for this war.
    All they have to do is NOT SHOW UP at the next auction.

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