Democratic Congress for Peace?

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In discussing the reasons we shouldn’t be optimistic that a Democratic takeover of Congress would slow down the war, Eric Garris brought to my attention a perfect historical example: Vietnam. The Democrats ran Congress all throughout that horrible war, and what did they do even when Republican Nixon was president? They certainly didn’t use the power of the purse to temper the war. The evil war continued.

Furthermore, they didn’t try to impeach Nixon for his illegal mass murder of Cambodians, either — instead, they went after him for the comparatively petty crime of covering up the Watergate break-in. So why would anyone think they’ll do anything to stop the Bush regime?

There are some differences. On the one hand, the Vietnam War had escalated under a Democratic president, so perhaps there was more bipartisan inertia even once Tricky Dick was calling the shots. On the other hand, we are in the post-9/11 world, and so the Democrats might be even less willing to stand up for peace than in the past.

Let’s face it: The principal thrust behind the Democratic opposition to Bush’s killing is that he’s not doing the job the right way, not getting enough other countries in on the bloodshed; that he’s bungling the socialistic “nation building” and tarnishing the US empire’s reputation. This last point is the silver lining of the Bush presidency. I only hope that the Democrats don’t make US imperialism respectable again.

As Eric pointed out to me, the Democrats are terrible now, rolling over for the police state and warfare state. Why should any of us think they’d be any better once in power? Indeed, they’ll be worse.

11:41 am on October 24, 2006
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