When I took political science in college, I thought I had learned the difference between republicans and democrats. The republicans believed in small government, a conservative budget, low taxes, right to life, and a strong national defense. The Democrats believed in social programs, unions, abortion rights, civil rights, and they were considered to be the party of the working man. Years after graduating college I have come to realize there is no significant difference between the parties. Congress on C-Span is a show, kind of like professional wrestling for intellectuals. There are various proofs of this I could show you, but I am going to go with the hot topic of today, the Iraq war.
The democrats were elected in 2006 with a mandate from the American people to end the Iraq war. A couple of days before the election, the presumed Speaker of the House elect Nancy Pelosi said "impeachment is off the table" but only after the democrats were assured a victory. I remember the elected Democrats saying things like "The American people have spoken. They are tired of the infighting and they want both parties to work together to get things done." Total and utter bullshit. The democrats were elected to end our involvement in Iraq, and also to investigate lawbreaking by the administration. But inexplicably, every time a war spending measure came in front of the congress, they gave the president everything he wanted. The power of the purse was the only power the congress has over the legislative branch to force an end to the Iraq war, and they refused to use that power every single time the opportunity to use it came before them. I can only assume the reason is that they are as pro war as the republicans.
Well, don't look now, but it is that time again. An Iraq spending bill is now before the House of Representatives.. The people in congress see the majority of the public as stupid, and they treat us as such. The democrats have added riders to the bill, the two significant riders deal with extension of unemployment benefits and veterans education benefits. The Dems say the education benefits is a way to pay back our men and women in service for the brave work they do. THe White House says that such a good benefit would discourage veterans from re-enlisting, and would lead to a draft. Ok, here is the thing. There would be no need for a draft if there was no war! The Democrats attached the riders, and the republicans stepped into their script of smaller government and took up arms against the riders. They have been arguing about the riders for a couple of weeks now, and no one in congress is arguing about ending the Iraq war! Which is what the democrats were put in office to do in the first place! But to the average American citizen who gets his news in sound bytes is going to hear the democrats and the republicans are fighting over the Iraq war spending bill, and think to themselves "that's good they are standing up to them, I wonder what's for dinner tonight?" In my former career as a car salesman, I was trained to change the subject every time the issue of price came up, and do it in a way that would get the customer to forget about the price for now and think about how that Mustang GT felt when they shifter from 3rd gear to fourth. This is what is being done with the Iraq war. Instead of using their power of the purse to end the war, they are creating distractions. Don't get me wrong, I am for veterans benefits and extending unemployment compensation, but those things could be written on an independent bill and not tied to the war in Iraq.
Bush has said in a recent AP article that delay in approving the bill could mean no more paychecks for troops serving in Iraq after July. The sad thing is, I really do think they would cut out the checks of the men and women getting shot at but keep the billions of dollars going to the civilian contractors, contractors who are doing things like torching 80,000 dollar trucks when the get a flat tire so they can order a new truck and charge the taxpayers 250,000 k while keeping the 170,000 k as pure profit. They are letting this kind of shit go on and at the same time threatening soldiers paychecks as a way to get some kind of public outcry? The bullshit meter has reached full capacity my friends.
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