Friday, May 26, 2006

Incumbent Challenge Uprising

A new campaign has been launched in California by challengers to the Democratic incumbents in three districts. Charles Coleman, Jr., Bob McCloskey and Marcy Winograd are fed up with the tired Democratic incumbency and who isn't at this point? Given the craven position of most Democrats in confirming Hayden as Director of the CIA, I can't find fault with the need to boot these worthless Democrats out on their asses. They have generally acquiesced to most of Bush's agenda, only really getting bent out of shape when the FBI started to raid congressional offices; the widening investigations that are now threatening to engulf many in Congress and led to the raid of Jefferson's office in the Captiol finally crossed the line for them.

For this Congress, no line was crossed by torture and indefinite detention. In fact, Congress aided and abetted the White House by passing the Graham-Levin amendment. For this Congress, no line was crossed by illegal wiretaps and wide scale monitoring of phone records. In fact, Congress aided and abetted the White House by shutting down their so-called investigation of the program For this Congress, no line was crossed by an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation in violation of international law. In fact, Congress aided and abetted the White House and happily abrogated their constitutional responsibility. But the constitutional line was crossed when the FBI started sniffing around their dirty drawers in the Capitol.

Despite their minority position in Congress, the Democrats have barely made a fuss about any of this. They have hardly acted the part of "opposition" party. Speaking out against that which is clearly wrong is how one normally moves from a minority position to the majority. Democrats, by and large, have failed to recognise this, preferring to linger in the shadows of the Republican party and feed off whatever the GOP happens to toss their way.

But Democrat timidity is not entirely their fault because a system is now in place that fully ravages and demonizes anyone who does try to oppose the Bush agenda. But in of spite the existence of this system, there are Americans who realise how intolerable this situation is. Incumbency is the real problem and it has become time to stand up against those so entrenched, especially when they are so clearly not doing their jobs. Simply content in dodging GOP and media criticism for being "obstructionist," Democrats are clearly incapable of doing the "people's work" anymore.

Say what you like about voting Democratic just to reign in Republican control of Washington but the Democrats on Capitol Hill right now hardly seem capable of doing anything differently than a Republican controlled Congress. As one friend of mine said, Democrats would need 90 seats in the Senate before Bush would suffer an agenda defeat. With only 14 Dems voting against the nomination, the Hayden vote would indicate that that is close to being true. It is clearly time for a change. Not with Republicans, though -- we've always known what to expect from them -- but with the Democrats. They are the ones who are truly failing in their duty to this country.


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