I stole the Feingold quote below from Kos in its entirety because I think it is important that we all realize that politics and not the courage of their convictions (and obviously not their constituencies) are driving this whole load of crap in Congress right now. We really need to let our Congress critters know what we think and how we feel about the failure of our elected officials to reign in our out of control and frankly criminal president. If we stand on the sidelines and wait for them to get some spine and stand up to Bush and Cheney who knows how many more American soldiers are going to pay for Congress' lack of courage and our lack of will to force their hand.
Digby has a great post on the recent James Fallows article in The Atlantic regarding stopping escalation in Iraq and also stopping the charge to war with Iran.
In a sane world, the congress would move very quickly on this before that notion jells. But it won't, because they believe they must allow the president to have all "options on the table," — a "duty" which Republicans repeatedly failed to fulfill when Clinton was in office and which an earlier group of Democrats understood to be nonsense. Still, that seems to be where they are, at least with respect to Iran. Not only are they not prepared to stop it, they are either silent on the issue or actively supporting the premise upon which the president's argument is built.
Still, we must at least begin to make this case and this James Fallows article is an excellent first step. I particularly liked this part, because it is absolutely true and shows the seriousness of the danger we are in:
If we could trust the Administration’s ability to judge America’s rational self-interest, there would be no need to constrain its threatening gestures toward Iran. Everyone would understand that this was part of the negotiation process; no one would worry that the Administration would finally take a step as self-destructive as beginning or inviting a war.
But no one can any longer trust the Administration to recognize and defend America’s rational self-interest — not when the President says he will carry out a policy even if opposed by everyone except his wife and dog, not when the Vice President refuses to concede any mistake or misjudgment in the handling of Iraq.
We are dealing with an administration that handled the overriding message of the mid-term election by doing exactly the opposite and escalating the war. They are not responsive to anything, not even political considerations. They are obsessed with their own legacy and if that means selling their own party down the river, they will do that too. There is nothing to stop them.
I am not convinced of that last sentence because I think there is a way to stop them. An overwhelming show of emotion and protest from the American people, so loud and strong that it can't be ignored. We are at a crisis in this country and the spineless demonstration by the GOP in the Senate yesterday tells me that if ever there were a time to stand up and be counted, it is now. We need to tell our elected representatives exactly how we feel and why. Tomorrow is too late, this is for all the marbles. It will be a tragedy if we have to wait until 2008 and hope for a super majority in Congress or a Democratic executive to take the appropriate action.
To quote Digby again:
As Bush and Cheney get more and more unpopular, their legacy becomes more and more predicated on the fact that they did the unpopular thing for the greater good. The more unpopular they get the more they have to prove.
Dwell for a few moments on the phrase above and contemplate what you think that means for the country and the world. After you wipe the tears from your eyes, start writing a letter to fax to your members of Congress. Give their offices a call and register your thoughts. Send a few e-mails to their local offices. Write a letter to the editor. Do anything you can think of to make sure everyone gets the message. Send everyone you know an e-mail with a link to the Fallows article and ask them to do the same. Do something. Do it now...today.
Ask yourself this question: Do you trust George Bush to be making the correct decisions for this country? Do you really believe, based on his abysmal record of failure, that he and his cronies are the people we want making the decisions and plans for America's future? I didn't think so.
Contact your elected representatives (the Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224-3121, but if you click the link, you can find a direct dial number for your elected representatives). Let them know that you expect them to do their jobs. Don't sit back and think everyone else will do this job — They won't.
Senator Feingold had a conference call with bloggers after the Warner/Levin Iraq escalation resolution fiasco, and had some strong words for his fellow Democrats. From Bob Geiger:
He also discusses the pernicious influence of the DC Democratic consultant class. Crooks and Liars has the video of Senator Feingold's appearance on Countdown last night. Don't miss it.
"This is not a time to finesse the situation. This is not a time for a slow walk. This almost reminds me a little bit of the way Democrats behaved in October 2002, which was trying to play it safe, trying to use words such as 'well, we're going to vote for this resolution, but what it really means is that the president should go to the UN. That stuff doesn’t fly. And this kind of attempt to go a little bit of the way just to show you're on the other side of the president doesn’t fly either.
"This is an important moment to see if we're really going to try to end this war and, frankly, I am disappointed that Democrats are playing it too safe on this....
"They want to be immune from criticism from the White House. That's not how you win, by being afraid of the criticism. You stand up to the criticism and you say 'they were wrong. They took us in there on a fraudulent basis, they’ve screwed this up, they've screwed up the war against terrorism, they’ve weakened out military. We are going to take a completely different approach.'
"But the tragedy that we're facing, is that people simply will not do the strong thing when it needs to be done. They wait and they wait and they wait -- and in the meantime, thousands of Americans have died unnecessarily."
H/T to McJoan at Dkos