Friday, November 10, 2006

A Mandate for Peace

When Republicans win elections, they announce their agenda, as in, "I earned political capital and now I'm going to spend it" (Bush in '04.) When Democrats win elections, they assure the voters that they will bend over backwards to work with the other party. Why is this? Nancy Pelosi's address accepting victory on behalf of House Democrats could have been a concession speech with a few changed words. Democrats plan to raise the minimum wage, to push for lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and to send a hallmark card to every grandmother in America on her birthday. Actually, I made that last part up, but could the Democrats' agenda be any meeker? "The Democrats: We Promise Not to Disturb You for the Next Two Years." On the key issue of Iraq, Pelosi said only that Americans voted for a "new direction," which is a little like describing the liberation of Normandy as a day at at the beach. Americans most emphatically did not vote for a new direction in Iraq. They voted for a direction out of Iraq. The Democrats should not mistake or deliberately mischaracterize the intent of the voters. Many of these voters were conservatives or moderates with deep misgivings about the Democratic Party, and yet they showed up and voted for it for one single reason: because they saw no other way to end the war. What little public support there remains for the war is politically and socially marginal. This means that the Democrats now have an opportunity to build something that hasn't been seen in this country in a long, long time: a national anti-war movement. Waiting for 2008 is too long. The opportunity for peace is now. The American people deserve to know that their voices have been heard, that the Democratic party stands united with them in their desire to end this war.


Anonymous said...

terrific stuff.

Anonymous said...

way to go.