Print

UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."

WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH CONGRESS?

January 4, 2007

Today the 110th United States Congress was sworn in. A tidal wave of disgust and anger has taken away control of the Senate and the House of Representatives from the Republican Party, despite its best efforts at gaming the system to make that impossible.

For six long years, the American people have endured an administration that has run roughshod over core American values and principles and a partisan Congress that has sometimes turned a blind eye, and has sometimes been an eager collaborator. Now is the time for the newly elected Congress to begin to repair the damage and confront a president and vice president who advocate a “unitary executive” theory that would do away with traditional American constitutional government.

Yet we're told that the Democrats have something else in mind:  a "consensus-driven" agenda that shies away from what needs to be done.  "Nowhere in the Democrats' consensus-driven agenda is legislation revisiting last year's establishment of military tribunals and suspending legal rights for suspected terrorists," the Washington Post noted yesterday.  "Nor is there a revision of the civil liberties provisions of the USA Patriot Act, a measure curbing warrantless wiretapping by the National Security Agency, or an aggressive confrontation of the president on his Iraq war policies."  Democrats say they're worried about alienating centrist voters.  Could it be they're really worried about alienating their campaign funding sources?  One thing's for sure:  they risk alienating the people who put them in power.

Raising the minimum wage, lowering prescription drug costs for Medicare recipients and interest rates for student borrowers, bolstering homeland security, and boosting alternative energy research, new ethics rules for dealings with lobbyists—sure, those are important objectives.  But we also want attention to fundamental matters:  taking U.S. foreign policy out of the hands of warmongering neoconservatives, repudiating torture and investigating those who organized Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib, reestablishing the civil liberties protected by the Bill of Rights and curbing domestic spying, controlling a runaway defense budget, and confronting a president who has shown he cares little about the rule of law.  And most of all, we want our soldiers to start coming home from Iraq, where they never should have been sent in the first place.

We know there are terrorists out there.  We also know that there are a lot more of them than there were when George W. Bush and his cronies set up shop in the nation's capital.  The time has come for the Democratic Party to decide:  is it the servant of the people who elected it, or just a branch of the corporatocracy?

 

UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."