Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wednesday's Becoming My Political Rant Day...

But really, I only have a few things to say about it today.

I understand why President Bush's approval rating is so low. I get it. What I don't get is why Congress' approval rating has dipped so very low.

Okay, yes, I understand that number one priority for Congress (in the eyes of most of the people who voted them in) is to get the troops out of Iraq. I am all for this. I will not go into my views on that, because it's a separate issue.

The number one priority for Congress is to get on with the day-to-day business of being the Legislative Branch. This means passing laws and so forth. And yes, they did try to pass some bills for troop funding which included timetables for withdrawal. I guess a lot of people looked on the efforts of Congress on this front and decided that the Democrats tried twice and gave it up for good.

Look at the Bush Administration's record: Every time Congress and the White House disagree on an issue to such a degree as the War, they fight to a stalemate until Congress takes a scheduled break, then Bush uses his Executive Privelege to pass whatever law he wants in whatever terms he deems acceptable.

I agree that it would have been nice if Congress had sent identical withdrawal bills to the Oval Office until either Bush signed it or there were enough votes to overturn the veto, as Kucinich and John Edwards both wanted, but let's face it, Bush would have vetoed and vetoed and vetoed and then signed a bill into law while everybody in Congress was at home for 4th of July break. The truth is, the troops are there and as long as they are there, they do in fact need money. So Congress did what is supposed to happen in a Democracy; they compromised. Perhaps they bent a little more than Bush did in their original principles, but you can rest assured Bush would rather have signed a bill without benchmarks, and also a bill that funded the war until next year. What we got is not what anybody wanted, and so I understand, but people, it wasn't from lack of trying.

Anyway, when it comes time for the next bill, the Democrats may have better luck because it won't be just the Democrats. You may have noticed many Republicans breaking with the Bush Administration's Iraq policy, and therefore you may see many people in Congress calling for timetables, and for withdrawal.

I have not read the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group report, but I have heard a fair amount about it on The Diane Rehm show and Talk of the Nation, and I understand that many Republicans who are now against the Bush policy are citing the Baker-Hamilton Report as the document to be looking at when reassessing the war policy.

There are many other issues tied to this, including troop support and how the term "war" is not truly applicable...just a funny little tid bit before I close out the rant. In real war, a soldier can not be held and charged with murder for killing a soldier on an opposing army. A soldier can be held accountable for war crimes if crimes were committed primarily against innocent civilians. However, in this "War" on Terror, there is no army opposing, thus the rules of "War" do not apply. A soldier fighting for the Taliban Government in 2002 can actually be convicted of murder if he killed American Military personnel, just as a man who murders a bank teller in Michigan can be convicted. But, again, that's the funny thing about this "War" on terror; where the murderer in Michigan and the soldier in Afganistan are no longer similar is when it comes to being imprisoned. By law in America, if you commit a crime you can only be held if found guilty, and you are guilty until proven innocent. But in war, if you are a soldier and are captured by the opposing side, that side can hold you indefinitely, until the war is ended and terms of peace are drawn up. So these soldiers we pick up we treat as criminals but we hold them as prisoners of war. It's ridiculous, because as there is no opposing nation, the war can never be ended and so these people will, in fact, be held indefinitely.

So yes, that's my little tid-bit, which was actually quite a bit longer than I intended it to be.

So, the Tour de France is back in action, and though I thought it would be hard to get into, I found myself this morning intently refreshing the live coverage on

Let's go David Millar!

Alright, so, give me your Free Write Friday Suggestions and keep asking me questions as well.


Becca said...

Wow, Elliot, I'm so brain dead and tired right now (see facebook - new photos entitled wearable art show. Yes, I'm a bit emotionally drained right now) I'm not sure I'll even be able to suggest anything, but I'm going to give it a go anyways, and if my idea sucks, I'll probably come back later and suggest another one.

Ok, here's the setting. It's the dawn of time, the Garden and Eden, and we've got Adam and Eve... and that's it. What sorts of things do they talk about? DO they talk? I mean, presumably as the first people, maybe they invented the first language. I don't know, you're the writer. Ok, go.

Molly said...

Wow... I like Becca's suggestion. Not bad for a brain dead, drained person. :)

Here's my suggestion: Stan Meyerson, a 25 y/o courier in a large (ish) urban city, ruminates on the constant stress he's put under to deliver packages on time and what that means in the larger scheme of his life and life in general....

the wife said...

Elliot have you heard from Financial Aid offices yet?

See what I have to go through to my questions answered... Can you pick up milk at the grocery store... ok I'll post it on the question section of the blog...

Elliot said...

That's right, and I won't even answer your question until the designated weekend.

Becca said...

What sort of questions are we supposed to be asking you? Maybe I missed that post on your blog... Like, public questions? Or something like, what is your opinion of the potential for offshore oil drilling off the southeast coast of the south island of New Zealand (You might have to check out the Otago Daily Times for that one). Or, what is your review of the new Harry Potter movie? I'm so confused.

Molly said...

Here's a question for you:


oh wait... that's not a question at all.

Here's a real question --> What?

gerald said...

well put. i think you're missing another key element to the low approval rating of congress right now. the people are growing increasingly sick of the two bone heads who are running the show right now (tweedle dub and tweedle dick), as can be evidenced by your own recent cheney rant.

the answer? impeachment! this is a process which must start in the congress. has it been started? yes. my main man dennis kucinich has introduced articles of impeachment against cheney.for it to reach the next step, it needs to be passed by the house. it currently has 14 supporters in congress. 14. seriously? sorry. that's not going to cut it. i should add that these articles were introduced by kucinich in april. sounds like several months of feet dragging to me.

that was lengthy. sorry. i'll try to keep my rants restricted to my own blog.

oh, you should write something about dragons. and pogo sticks. and millard fillmore.

Elliot said...

Gerald, you are absolutely right, and I should have touched on that. I was just struggling to get my Wednesday blog in before it became Thursday and was thinking too hard about the Iraq issue.

I agree that it is unbelievable that we impeach a president for a burglary or a blow job but we somehow don't for all the crap we've had to face with this administration.