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By Dave Lindorff
Cynthia McKinney is doing it. It’s time for you to do" target="_blank">http://dlindorff.mayfirst.org/?q=iquitthisparty">do it too.
Have you, like many Americans, found yourself wondering why President Bush, over and over again, would hand the Democrats in Congress the weapon needed to bring him down?
Just look at the list:
Last year it was the nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court. Then, in the new Congress, it was a $120-billion supplemental funding request for continuing the hugely unpopular war in Iraq, followed by a bill to legalize the very National Security Agency spying program which he has been running illegally for the past half decade, and that has had people of all political stripes in an uproar. To top that off, knowing that the Democrats were gunning for his Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, Bush made sure to have the NSA spying bill put Gonzales in charge of the operation! And now this same president is coming to Congress to ask for another $50 billion for his Iraq War!
At first glance, you have to wonder, why on earth would he do this?
But then look what happens:
In every instance, with the exception of the latest Iraq War funding bill (and we know what’s going to happen with that), the Democrats have folded and given the president exactly what he wanted, causing apoplexy among the Democratic and independent voters who put them in charge of Congress last November. After all, Democrats ran for office last year saying they would stand up to the president, defend the Constitution, and end the war. Now each time Bush taunts them and they fold, public support for the Democratic Congress slumps further, to the point that today, they are even less popular that Bush—quite an accomplishment!
This is a truly impressive strategy—surely the brainchild of Bush’s Rasputin, the dearly departed (to Texas) Karl Rove, who long ago understood that the Democrats would not have the courage and strength of conviction to stand against even a president as profoundly despised and distrusted as Bush.
So all Bush has to do to promote a Republican victory in the 2008 elections is keep putting forward outrageous bills, keep expanding the war, perhaps to include Iran, and keep undermining the Constitution. The Democrats will enable or sign on to each horrible act in turn. And with each such shameless action taken by the Democratic Congress, they further enrage 2008 voters.
The Democrats, under Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (surely two of the sorriest excuses for leaders that Congress has had in modern history), simply don’t get it. They don’t realize they’re being played for suckers and losers. And they don’t even realize that they are alienating their base.
Which brings us to what needs to be done.
The Democrats in Congress, and at the head of the party, need to receive a serious wake-up call. Since they’re clearly too dumb or too out of touch to realize what’s happening, we need to send them a message they can’t ignore—the political equivalent of a car bomb.
I’m talking about mass resignations from the Democratic Party, with every person who resigns and becomes an independent or who changes their registration to a third party sending a message to the DNC explaining why he or she is quitting.
It starts small with a few people here and a few people there, but as Arlo Guthrie once put it, pretty soon we’re talking about a movement, and you can join it right here!
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Dave Lindorff, a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the Disintegration of American Democracy" and "Killing Time: An Investigation into the Death Penalty Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal"). His latest book, coauthored with Barbara Olshanshky, is "The Case for Impeachment: The Legal Argument for Removing President George W. Bush from Office (St. Martin's Press, May 2006). His writing is available at http://www.thiscantbehappening.net