S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

House foundation rocked

Watching Congress these days makes my head spin. In the vacuum of leadership left by our current president's ineptitude and absence abroad, the Republican leaders and members are making mischief.
In an article quoted from the Washington Post (linked to post title),

Differences over policy on the Iraq war ignited an explosion of angry words and personal insults on the House floor yesterday when the chamber's newest member suggested that a decorated war veteran was a coward for calling for an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops.
As Democrats physically restrained one colleague, who appeared as if he might lose control of himself as he rushed across the aisle to confront Republicans with a jabbing finger, they accused Republicans of playing political games with the war.

Yesterday's actions in the House of Representatives showed particular cynicism on the part of Republicans and astonishment on the part of Democrats. Stooping to name calling, demagoguery and parliamentary maneuvers that were utterly irresponsible, Republicans did not show themselves well at all. And Democrats were furious, getting a bit out of hand themselves. The players:

  • Representative John Murtha of Pennsylvania- a Democratic hawk and war hero revealed earlier this week that he is for redeploying U.S. troops out of Iraq as soon as practicable, feeling it could be done by the end of six months.
  • Representative J.D. Hayworth - Republican of Arizona (rumor has it) had the original idea for the cut-and-run resolution proposed by Rep. Hunter.
  • Representative Duncan Hunter - Republican of California was author of a House Resolution proposing that U.S troops "be withdrawn immediately" from Iraq. It was defeated after much angry debate from both sides of the aisle.
  • Representative Jean Schmidt - Republican of Ohio who was just elected in August. She was the Member who called Mr. Murtha a coward, and "took her words down" (retracted them) later.
  • Representative Harold Ford - Democrat of Tennessee, charged across the aisle to the a group of Republicans jabbing his finger at them.
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi closed one element of the debate vigorously with this from the WaPo article,
    Top Democrats attacked the GOP tactic. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the Republicans "engaged in an act of deception that undermines any shred of dignity that might be left in this Republican Congress." She called Hunter's resolution "a political stunt" and "a disservice to our country and to our men and women in uniform."

All in all it was not a good day to end the week. Everybody goes home now for Thanksgiving. I wonder what kind of feedback they will get from their constituents.

Some things are clear to me. The war in Iraq continues to divide our nation, calls for inordinate sacrifices from the military, and feeds an insurgency making mahem in an Iraq that must become stronger very quickly.

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