The people of the Fifth Congressional District sent Keith Ellison to Congress.
That’s how democracy works.
I don’t care that he was the most “progressive” candidate for the job; people have the right to vote for anyone they want.
I care not in the least that he is Moslem. It is entirely possible that electing a Moslem to that most mainstream of American institutions, the Congress, is exactly one of the messages we need to send to Islam around the world – the ideal that in America, through work and study and peaceful (if, in Ellison’s case, often irate and prickly) coexistence with one’s fellow man, one can achieve liberty, comfort and spiritual freedom and fulfillment. Granted, this would have been a lot more convincing had Ellison had cuddled up with the likes of CAIR, and people associated with funding terrorism, before and during the election.
I do care that Ellison, like most of the Democrat majority in Congress, is Ka danger to the long-term peace in the Middle East and, eventually, America:
The people of Fifth District sent me to Washington to end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home. On Friday, I voted to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq by voting to prohibit the building of permanent U.S. bases and setting timetables for the withdrawal of our troops. I voted to oppose the presidents policy of war without end.
Let’s be perfectly clear here; Ellison voted to opposed the president’s policy of war until the job is done.
Look – even conservatives are upset about the way much of the last few years of this war has gone. The surge would seem to be meeting at least encouraging initial success; it seems to be answering some questions left long unanswered in Iraq (I remember one commenter in this space, grinning like a toddler who’d just made a big pants; “what do you mean, reign Moqtada Al-Sadr in? He’s in control! There’s nothing we can do about it!” Sic transit gloria thug). Why didn’t we do this two years ago? Three years? Suffice to say, many of us are looking for answers.
Keith Ellison and his voters aren’t among them. They have a much simpler “solution”:
Residents of the Fifth District made the war the most important issue in the November election. For the first time since the war began in 2003, the war has an end date and Congress is confronting the president. This Congress has held over 90 oversight hearings on Iraq; the previous Congress held none. Folks who phoned and wrote their legislators, attended vigils, marched and prayed for peace made this possible.
Unlike most anti-war Democrats, Ellison may actually be right.
For most of the Democrats in Congress, my question remains – if you had such an all-fired mandate from the people to get us out of Iraq, then why haven’t you forced the issue? Why wasn’t it in your first 100 hours, if it was such a statistical sure thing?
Because it wasn’t, of course. American people are dissatisfied with the war. That dissatisfaction takes many forms. The smug plush-bottom Unitarian yoohoos I met last week at the pro-terrorism rally, the ones who wouldn’t fight if a group of thugs pointed AK47s at the crowd, want to not only bring the troops home, but discharge them from the service and pound their rifles into plowshares (which they’d use to decorate the walls of their condos, since none of them knows which end of a plow you milk a tofu cow with).
And then there are people who are deeply dissatisfied with the way the war itself is being carried out – who wondered if today’s surge, as welcome a development as it’s been, shouldn’t have been done first, rather than last.
Y’know – people like me.
People who look at statements like this, and realize that one of the two major parties can’t be trusted with the keys to the car:
Now, we must keep up the pressure to turn our country away from arrogance and death toward promise and life. This vote is only one more step toward peace.
Disengaging in Iraq would not mean peace…oh, wait. Ellison is going to say something factual:
We have a lot of work to do to make this step meaningful.
Finally, the sweet waft of truth.
Yes, there is a lot of work to do to make the step meaningful.
First, there’s the little matter of convincing the Sunni Ba’athists and Al-Quaeda – the people who saw other peoples’ heads off – that the day after our withdrawal date isn’t a fine day to come back from Chechnya and pick up the job where they left off.
There’s the complicated bit about figuring out how not to have the parts of Iraq that aren’t Sunni or Al Quaeda – the Shi’ites - form immense militias for their own protection, and start ethnically-cleansing the parts where the two groups meet. Y’know – the part we’re just starting to gain control of right now.
There’s the matter of having our departure not followed by money, toys and activists from Iran, it’s proxy Syria and, for that matter, Saudi Arabia flowing into the country to keep Iraq nice and unstable, and to take pressure off their own regimes.
Finally, there’s the ultimate bit – figuring out how to co-exist with the terrorist safe haven that Iraq would inevitably become if we pulled out before the job (killing terrorists) was done.
Given that any thought, Representative Ellison?
President Bush intends to veto this bill. His veto will be an admission that he plans to establish permanent military bases in Iraq and continue the war without end. By his veto, Bush will prove that he has no intention of letting the Iraqi people run their own country and has no intention of honoring the lives and service of the sons and daughters, wives and husbands, mothers and fathers who are fighting his war. His veto will mean that the deaths, American and Iraqi, mean little to him.
I want to save that bit there for the next election. I want to print it on signs and wave it around outside the next batch of Ellison rallies. This statement shows that Ellison is either an idiot, or that he’s cynical enough to think that his voters are.
When the president calls for a “clean” appropriations bill, he is asking for a blank check to continue current policy. I will absolutely oppose any “clean” appropriation bill.
Good. You keep that up. It’s good to have some Democrats putting their cards on the table. Granted, most of the rest of Pelosi’s majority doesn’t have the guts to do that – because they know the real facts behind the polls.
Americans dislike the war because they dislike not winning. We – and I’m one of them – dislike sacrifice without result.
We also dislike sacrifice in vain.
There is still much to do. People working for peace have led us this far. Some of us disagreed on strategy this time, but I assure you I have not wavered from doing all I can to stop this war. Together, we must carry the soldiers and their families at the top of our attention at all times and demand the same from our leaders.
Great message, Rep. Ellison.
Let’s see how it plays outside the Fifth CD.