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Friday, February 09, 2007
A Tragicomedy by Members of the U.S. Senate

I know that The Daily Show is a comedy show - using the news of the day as its premise - but it often seems that it does a better job of putting so called real news into a more understandable perspective than a forest of talking heads can on any given Sunday morning. Come to think of it, much of the news is so ridiculous nowadays that it doesn’t need The Daily Show crew to put its fake spin on it to make it laughable.

A few nights ago, Jon Stewart and company zeroed in on one of the president’s favorite words - one that he uses when trying to convince us all how right he was to order the invasion of Iraq and how important it is that we keep our troops in that misbegotten mess of a country until it darn well acts like a western democracy and rescues his "legacy" from the garbage dump.


He told us that it would happen if we elected Democrats. It would embolden "the enemy." I guess that means they’re pretty emboldened right now. But if they’re not - well that’s what would happen if we talk among ourselves about what we should be doing in Iraq. It would embolden that same enemy That’s what would happen if anyone publicly questioned the president’s wisdom in the conduct of our Iraq adventure. It would embolden the enemy. It isn’t quite clear who the enemy is - but we could probably assume that it is anyone doing anything violent in Iraq plus the other members of the axis of evil - and of course Al Qaeda.

The Daily Show put on quite a montage of Mr. Bush warning us that just about anything that questioned his conduct of our operation in Iraq would just keep emboldening all of our enemies - to say nothing of confusing not only them but our own fighting men and women by sending "mixed signals" - another of his favorite phrases.

I looked up the word in the dictionary because I wanted to see if it had any meaning that would correlate with the reaction that our enemies must be having to what they see unfolding in the Senate of the United States. I’m assuming that they get their emboldening or mixed messages by way of CNN and other cable media outlets. Sure enough there was a synonym that seemed to fit. Cheer. So I looked up cheer - got ten definitions plus the synonym that I was looking for. Actually four. Joy, mirth, glee and merriment. They gotta be laughing their socks off at what they see going on in the so called world’s greatest deliberative body. But I would imagine not too many of the people that these bozos were elected to represent are laughing.

At a time when a majority of Americans have reached the end of their patience with this horrendously fouled up effort to export democracy by way of military action to the Middle East - the members of the U.S. Senate are playing political parliamentary "can you top this" exercises in a futile attempt to make us believe that they are asserting their co-equal governance rights with the executive branch. What is so ridiculously futile is that no matter what they do - debate - not debate - decide or not decide on what resolutions to debate or not debate - it is all an exercise in futility.

No matter what they do or don’t do, our military will continue to operate and be in harm’s way in Iraq - with or without a "surge" of additional troops. And no matter what they do or don’t do, our young people in uniform will continue to be killed and maimed.

This has to be one of the most disgusting displays of uselessness by this august body in my lifetime. We have the two party leaders playing their parliamentary tag games - getting absolutely nowhere and achieving absolutely nothing while the President goes ahead with whatever he wants to do. There are a few voices calling for some action that the Senate could take and might have some effect on presidential actions. Russ Feingold has made clear what the Senate should and could do. But it’s like a voice in the wilderness.

Now we have some brave Republicans who just the other day voted against having a debate - saying that maybe we should debate one of these non-binding resolutions that say we don’t think the President’s ideas are very good and we’d rather he came up with new ideas. But it doesn’t really matter. Nothing that the Senators say, whether they say it in a binding or non-binding fashion - will make the slightest difference. Mr. Bush will do what he wants to do and there will be no stopping him short of a bill of impeachment or a military coup.

Let’s face it, we have a virtual dictator in the White House - exerting powers that I doubt the founding fathers and the authors of the constitution ever dreamed of. There is no stopping him and I think the Senators know it. Yet they persist in this comic opera - with the newly elected leader of the new minority using his parliamentary skills and rights to provide political cover for his President - even though he knows that a ninety eight to two vote disapproving of presidential actions will be a meaningless gesture. (I’m assuming that even if the Republicans other than Mitch McConnell are won over, he and party of one Joe Lieberman will still be Bush cheer leaders for endless military action).

Come November, 2008, 33 of these clowns - of which 21 are Republicans - will be up for re-election. Let’s hope we remember the fiascoes of February, 2007 when we go to the polls.

The Chicago Tribune never ceases to amaze me in their op-ed misjudgments. They persist in publishing the rants of Jonah Goldberg posing as a knowledgeable pundit, who just two years ago wanted to bet $1,000 that there would be no civil war in Iraq and that by THIS date - by this month in 2007 - a majority of Americans would agree that the invasion was worth while.

And just the other day it chose to publish an op-ed piece by ex Congressman Paul Findley praising Jimmy Carter’s anti-Israel book - ‘Palestine - Peace not Apartheid." This the same Paul Findley whose anti-Semitism has been well know for years. This is the same Paul Findley who, speaking on his favorite topic at Northwestern University in 2004, said
"Sept. 11 would have never occurred if any president in the last 35 years had had the courage and the wisdom to suspend all U.S. aid to Israel." And "Jews, mainly Jews set in motion events that were calamitous in the Middle East and later in America."
And even in his op-ed piece, he blames the pro-Israel lobby for his ultimate defeat after a 22 year congressional run and says the message is clear. "Criticize Israel and pay with your congressional seat." How far removed from that is the ridiculous canard that "Jews Rule the World?"

The Tribune is up for sale. Maybe the new owners will establish some new guidelines for the op-ed page. Like making it a nut-free zone.