In November 2006, voters handed control of both houses of Congress to the Democrats, despite their complicity in Bush administration policy to date, expressly to get the United States out of Iraq. That’s the Democrats, not the Republicans, for those who think there is a significant difference.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi now asserts that it is Republicans who have the power to get us out. Despite the facts that it was the Democrats who were elected to do just this, and that few, if any, Republicans have ever promised anything of the sort.
Activists who want to target congressional Democrats for lack of action on the war are misguided, the speaker argued. “I think it is a waste of time for them to go after Democratic members. They ought to just persuade Republican members who are representing areas that are opposed to the war,” she said. “We said we would change the debate; we would fight to end the war. We never said we had the veto pen or the signature pen.”
Just so we’re clear on what is really going on, Pelosi expressed support for domestic spying.
Pelosi disputed a story in Tuesday’s New York Times that reported that Democrats appear ready to make concessions that would extend for several years the blanket authority for the National Security Agency to eavesdrop that was originally granted by Congress last August in the “Protect America Act.” One reason, the story said, was fear that Democrats will be called soft on terror if they insist on strict curbs on gathering intelligence.
“This isn’t Democrats being concerned about the next election. This is about Democrats saying the law must be followed. And we will collect whatever intelligence we need to protect the American people under the law,” the speaker said.
This sounds neither like a change in the debate, nor, if the Constitution can be considered law, let alone the highest law in the land, a demand that “the law must be followed.” It sounds like Democrats, elected to do one thing, instead continue to behave as they did before the election; as many besides me have pointed out, it shows that Democrats not only do not oppose Republicans, but support them and it shows that those who seek change still have no viable choice at the ballot box.