By Mark David Blum, Esq.
At the same time our current President and his Administration continue to forever stain the fabric of American history, the Democratic Party is confirming its own irrelevance. Since the first day of the mid term of the first Clinton Administration in January 1995 through January of this year, Republicans dedicated themselves to capturing every bureaucratic position from the highest to lowest offices across the land. Slowly, Americans awoke to the dangers of one party rule and how the Republican Party in particular could no longer be trusted with the nation’s treasury or policy. In the 2006 election, the majorities of both houses of Congress were changed.
Much of the “anybody but Bush” and the “anybody but a Republican” crowd quieted down after the last election. Count me as being among them. Democracy was achieved by balance in the federal government and I was happy; as happy as one can be with the current individuals in charge. Ultimately I was pleased because there was a viable and loud opposition.
Of late, my hope and contentment has been shattered by the exposure of the soft underbelly of the Democratic Party. Whereas Republicans may be the Party of Fear, the Democrats are becoming the Party of Irrelevance. Their opinions just don’t seem to matter and nobody pays them any attention.
Upon the shoulders of Nancy Pelosi, Democrats came riding into Washington a few months ago pledging to resolve America’s #1 concern. They promised to end the War in Iraq. Likewise, they promised 100 bills in 100 hours including a minimum wage act. I recall promises to stop the “surge” and confront the President on his illegal prisons and the reasons for war. Democrats promised to be fiscally responsible and assured America they would clean up the mess made by their predecessors.
Harkin back to the days of Justice Pricilla Owens and her nomination to the Circuit Court of Appeals and how the then United States Senate debated changing 214 years of political and institutional history. We were brought to the brink of political collapse. Eventually, Democrats folded and the Senate and the Filibuster were saved.
Then there was the cowardice shown by Democrats after the 2000 election. Though they begged and pleaded, not one Democratic Senator stood up for Congress when Congress challenged the voting in the 2000 election. Democrats promised to do so should the situation arise in 2004; a nudum pactum by definition. Since then, Democratic Senators folded over the Iraq issue, the Patriot Act, and other extremist policies of the Neo Con policies of the White house. Nothing was done by Democrats to fight back the Evangelical Christian Militia takeover of the Republican Party and the government.
Democrats went quietly into that good night.
Yet the American People, desperate for a change of course resurrected the Democratic Party and gave them the chance again to govern. There is no minimum wage law. No prosecutions have begun for illegal use of the Patriot Act and other criminal acts by Homeland Security. Scooter Libby is the only person to fall for the outing of Valerie Plame. Even the “surge” surged and Democrats sat mum.
Democrats are also going to fold on Prosecutor-Gate; mostly because they created a crisis where none exists. Some issues are meant for a Court of Law and others for the Court of Public Opinion. While Prosecutor-Gate is offensive on a political level, it is not an issue for the law and thus there should be no “investigation”. A stand off with the White House will result in a loss of face because the Supreme Court would side with the Executive Branch.
Similarly, the Democrats are adamant about pork packing the Emergency Iraq War Spending Bill with more than twenty billion dollars for their local special interest groups. With Republicans having spent us into fiscal obscurity; for Democrats to predicate one offensive spending bill upon other offensive spending is well, offensive. This is not a time in history to be spending. It is a time to be cutting our losses, attending to our home, paying our bills, and letting other people settle their own issues.
Yesterday it was announced that a stunning percentage of residents of Washington D.C. are illiterate. Setting aside all the political jokes; what made that statistic startling was how it was significantly higher than the national average of just 20 percent. Can you believe that in modern day America, one in five people are functionally illiterate and that itself is not newsworthy? At the same time, we are building schools in Iraq and get porked with spending bills to store peanuts?
I really did have hope that something would have changed since 1992 and that Democrats have learned what they look like to the rest of us. Experts are projecting this year’s Presidential election is going to cost the players nearly half a billion dollars. Can you imagine spending that kind of money for a job that pays about three hundred thousand a year? How many homeless war veterans did CNN report roam our streets ?
For twenty years, I have dealt with a Bush camp and a Clinton camp in the White House. My belly is full of their respective rhetoric and styles of political play. We should give them all guns and send them into the badlands of North Dakota and let them shoot it out and leave the nation alone. Good voices, new voices, fresh faces and ideas are being destroyed and chased away because of those two machines that grind out so much power and patronage.
Today’s Democratic Party is showing itself as being a toothless tiger. I still wait to be proven wrong in my belief that Karl Rove engineered the Democratic victory in 2006. By the time 2008 rolls around, America will be sick to death of the impotent irrelevant failure-to-act Democrats. So far, Democrats have failed to prove otherwise. It seems that the Republicans are the ones who are picking the nominee for the Democrats. The only folks I know who even mention Mrs. Clinton’s name are Republican pundits. Most of the rest of us are sick of machine politicians who offer nothing but a name.
Unfortunately for the vast majority of the rest of us; our choices are not very good. We can side with the party of corruption and cowardice … or the party of impotence and irrelevance. These are hardly choices. Americans are entitled to more than being gored and forced to struggle between the horns of the dilemma of which candidate is the least dangerous.
We the People are entitled to legislative attention focused on the People’s business. End the War, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, educate all, provide health care for all, and give us a judicial system about which we can be proud. Remember, America is watching. Democrats must step up and do their job. Each Member is not there to serve just their constituents nor those who voted for them. As members of the hallowed body of Congress, theirs is a responsibility to an entire nation; to act on behalf of all of us. I demand nothing less.