Democrats prepared to betray antiwar voters.
It was no secret that this blog, in the November election, was wishing the Republicans a major defeat. But at no point did I assume the Democrats would be worthy of support -- they are not. Both the Republicans and the Democrats are pro big government, both have contempt for the American people, both are infested with greedy politicians yearning for power.
I just hope the American people are prepared for the Democrats to stab them in the backs. Every single opinion poll showed that the voters rejected the Republicans over the war in particular. At no point did any significant portion of voters switch parties in order to vote for the Democratic agenda. They were voting against the President’s Iraqi policy.
Bush has now made it clear that he doesn’t give a damn what the voters want. He is going to push America deeper into the war by sending even more Americans to Iraq to die. So what will the Democrats do about this? And here is where I suspect they will do damn little. Worse yet they may well endorse the proposal. But I suspect that they will simply let it happen -- that they will claim they are impotent to do anything about this matter.
Their big proposal will be a non-binding resolution saying they don’t want more troops in Iraq. That’s it! They call this a bipartisan approach. The New York Times reports that the Democratic resolutions "would do nothing in practical terms to block Mr. Bush's intention to increase the United States military presence in Iraq".
CNN reports that Democrats “said it may be impossible to block funding for only the additional troops, and others questioned the extent of Congress’ constitutional authority to challenge the president on military matters.”
First, only Congress has the constitutional authority to declare war. The president has no such authority. If war is declared the president has the authority to conduct it. But permission must be granted by Congress and Congress holds the purse strings. “Most Democrats have vowed not to curtail funding -- considering the move risky both for the troops and for their own political fortunes.”
Don’t you love it? The Democrats are worried about their “own political fortunes” not the good of the country. Surprised? Well, don’t be. The politicians who infest the Democratic party are as unprincipled and greedy as the Republicans. As for imposing risk on the troops -- doesn’t war impose risks? Aren’t they already risking everything being stuck in this re-enactment of Vietnam (but with sand)?
I should remind people that Vietnam was a Democratic fiasco. It was the Democrats who pushed American into that war and they still believe in their own inherent ability to remake the world.
At the heart of the disaster in Iraq is the disease of central planning -- the belief that a political elite are wise enough and knowledgeable enough to plan the lives of other people and remake entire nations. They can’t. No matter who is running things they will screw things up.
Consider the “greatest victory” in war that the American people supposedly ever enjoyed -- World War II. It is constantly pointed to as a great victory for central planners in Washington. But was it? Exactly what did America win?
Victory is defined in a very limited way in World War II. It was defined as the Germans and Japanese surrendered. And nothing more. Beyond that consequences were totally ignored.
What were the consequences? First, the dictatorship of Stalin was strengthened. Not only was Stalin more powerful after the war but he now was the actual dictator for a greater number of countries than before. He enslaved eastern Europe putting hundreds of millions of people under his thumb for the first time. And in Asia the result of the war was the creation of the Maoist/communist dictatorship in China and communist domination of Asia.
The net results of this were the Cold War and the hot wars in Korea and Vietnam. In additions it resulted in the extermination of hundreds of millions of people. If Hitler had run his extermination camps for decades more he would have found it impossible to compete with the millions killed by the communists. When you add up the number of deaths attributed to Stalin, the deaths attributed to Mao and his policies, the genocide of Pol Pot, etc., you will find that Hitler, as awful as he was, paled in comparison.
There was no victory in World War II. It is one of the biggest illusions around. But it is an illusion that is propagated by politicians because it serves their real goal -- the aggrandizement of power in their own hands. The quagmire in Iraq is not contrary to the policies of the Democrats. It is the policy of the Democrats.
American interventionism in the affairs of other nations has been a disaster. But it is FDR’s foreign policy! The only people to oppose such meddling were the Republicans. But in the 1950s the Republican Party jettisoned the non-interventionists and embraced fully the foreign policy of the Democrats. For the last 60 plus years America has continued to follow the interventionism of Roosevelt. It was Rooseveltian policy that created Korea, Vietnam and Iraq.
And at the heart of that policy is this corrupting disease of central planning. Arrogant politicians want power for themselves. They want to leave their mark on the world. They have visions of grand schemes that bring about peace and prosperity. But such plans usually result in war and poverty.
And the Democrats under the “leadership” of Nancy Pelosi in the House are the firmest believers in central planning. George Bush has ruled as a Democrat when it comes to foreign policy and federalism. His one sop to the conservatives was his moral authoritarianism and antigay scapegoating. But in practice Bush took his lesson on governing straight out of FDR’s rule book.
So here is the dilemma that the American people face. They oppose the war in Iraq. But they have yet to repudiate that which makes such wars possible -- state interventionism. They think that the Democrats offer an alternative when in fact they originated the foreign policy Bush is following.
Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans will repudiate central planning under their own steam. The politicians have too much to gain from promoting it. They will only vote for less intervention when their political careers are at stake. The reason to vote for the Democrats was the hope that a major defeat for the Republicans would cause the GOP to rethink their disastrous policies. But at the same time it emboldened the central planners like Pelosi.
So here is my guess. Don’t expect the Democrats to do much to put an end to this disaster in Iraq. First, they embrace interventionism. It is their policy. They will not do anything to repudiate the idea that they are able to remake the world. If anything they are running around telling everyone that the voters in November gave them a mandate to remake America. It’s a lie. They know it’s a lie but then the Democratic politicians are no more truthful than Republicans.
So they won’t challenge the fundamental premise of Bushian foreign policy. It is their premise as well. As for the consequences? Well, they don’t give a damn about consequences unless it means losing office for themselves. And the disaster in Iraq can be blamed on the Republicans. So they figure that if Bush is allowed to continue blundering on in Iraq for another two years it will only help the Democrats win more seats in the next election.
So I fully expect the Democrats to do almost nothing about Iraq but to allow it continue on. It will do more damage to the Republicans long term and come the next national election the Democrats will take advantage of the disgust of the American people. They will increase their seats in the Senate and the House and perhaps take the presidency as well. And then what? Well, then they will announce that their victory was a mandate from the American people to engage in more central planning and more interventionism.
In other words dear voter -- they plan to screw you over and they will enjoy every minute of it. Antiwar voters will continued to get screwed by the Democrats for one simple reason -- they still don't realize that war is just another version of central plannning. And as long as they are prepared to put into office would-be planners they will get disasters like Iraq. If anything they will get more such disasters. Nancy Pelosi already has the plan to do to American health care what Bush has done to Iraq.