The Democrats� election year stunts: A neutering in full stride
By Joshua Frank
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Jun 30, 2006, 01:17
know you are either getting somewhere or losing ground fast when the Democrats
begin to exploit your slogans during an election year. Howard Dean, the
Democratic National Committee chair, last weekend plugged the necessity of
pulling troops out of Iraq by year's end. But his plea couldn't carry less
weight -- for his party doesn't agree with the doc.
Republicans don't have a plan," Dean said in his party's weekly radio
address. "'Stay the course' is not a plan. Saying the problems in Iraq
will be left to the next president, is not a plan. . . . We believe that we
ought to focus on training, logistics, and counterterrorism, and we can do that
with a redeployment of our troops."
awhile for Howard Dean and a few other Democrats to come around to Rep. John
Murtha's call to redeploy troops throughout the region. Yet, even though Dean
complains that the Republicans don't have a plan to pull out troops, he fails
to address the reality that the Democrats still don't have one either. In fact,
most of Dean's colleagues have yet to embrace Murtha's call, as the failed
bills in the Senate proved last week. In a round of embarrassing votes, the
Democrats heartily embraced Bush's prolonged occupation.
first set of tallies, the Democrats overwhelming opposed a timetable for
withdrawal, shooting down John Kerry's lethargic proposal to get troops out by
July 2007. In the second, even less significant request, Democrats folded again
and failed to adopt a plan for redeployment of U.S. armed forces from Iraq.
broken party, like that of the Democrats, will never be able to challenge the
stubbornness of the Republican establishment, which is nearly unwavering in its
call for more war and occupation.
New York, Jonathan Tasini is gaining support among a large majority of antiwar
Democrats, garnering praise from The New York Times to Amy Goodman's popular
Democracy Now! But as eyes turn toward Tasini's anti-Hillary campaign, the
majority of antiwar New Yorkers are ignoring the largest third-party challenge
to Sen. Clinton's war agenda, and it's hurting the movement that was finally
taking shape. Howie Hawkins, who is running on the Green Party line, has been
virtually ignored by the mainstream and even independent press. Hawkins is
planning on challenging Clinton all the way up to Election Day, while Tasini's
campaign will come to a screeching halt after the primary election.
bid is indicative of what's so utterly wrong with the Democratic Party and
those who believe they can make change by working within its ranks. Any glimmer
of hope siphons dissent: Hope of getting Democrats to "redeploy"
siphons dissent. Hope they can mount an internal battle against war hawks like
Clinton siphons dissent. The Democrats in general, siphon dissent.
And that is exactly
what party brass in Washington desire. They hope the antiwar movement will see
the recent attempts to espouse a consistent stance against the war as a sign
that the tides are changing. But the tides aren't changing. Nor is the
direction of the Democratic Party or this war, no matter what Howard Dean, John
Kerry, or Jonathan Tasini may have us believe.
Joshua Frank edits the radical news blog www.BrickBurner.org and is the author of
"Left Out! How Liberals Helped
Reelect George W. Bush," published by Common Courage Press (2005). Josh
can be reached at BrickBurner@gmail.com.
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