When Democrats won the majorities in both the House and the Senate in 2006 the nation waited with bated breath and wondered. For better or for worse, things were going to change. For the small amount of Bush supporters left, it was assumed that this would mean the end to the blank check the president had been given the past 6 years would come to an end. The vast majority of the country, even if they did not consider themselves republican, still eagerly looked for the checks and balances installed in our governmental system to kick in. We waited for action. We waited for results. We waited in vain.

In January earlier this year the Angus Reid Global Monitor did a poll asking Americans what they would do should there be a proposition to increase troop levels in Iraq. (This of course was before the days of wide spread use of “The Surge” rhetoric). The exact polled data is as follows:

Polling Data

If you were a member of Congress, how would you vote specifically on increasing U.S. troop levels in Iraq—would you vote for or against funding the increase in troops?

For 38%
Against 57%
Don’t know 5%

(“Americans Would Veto Iraq Surge in Congress”, Angus Reid Global Monitor, 01/24/2007)

How has our new congress responded? They have acted very much like a parent, tired of opposing a spoiled child, until they just give in:

George W: “Come on moooom, just a little more soldiers’ lives and money we don’t have! Just let me send more troops”

Nancy Pelosi: “Young man, how many times do I have to tell you, the American people are tired of Iraq… Fine, just settle down, we will send an insufficient amount of troops to get the job done just to appease you. Now be quiet or you won’t get that lollipop I bought you today”

At first Congress talks the talk. They say, no more! We won’t let you make war unchecked! Then they bend a little, and next thing you know they are offering to authorize the President to make war on Iran at any time.

Well, congress has once again shown how easy it is to bend their will with just a small temper tantrum. Turkey. Turn of the last century. Armenians were brutally killed in a terrible example of genocide, or at least that was what Congress was prepared to declare it believed to the world.

The modern government of Turkey was outraged, and so was the administration. This would hurt ties with Turkey, and cut off key re-supply routes into Iraq. While the evidence may be overwhelming, and the resolution was to be  non-binding and essentially a minor footnote in a history most people are oblivious to, Congress backed down. Key proponents of the bill, top democrats reversed their positions and now aim to bring the bill down.

What changed? The timing was wrong they say. We have spoken with the President and now understand why we should back down. To be truthful, the timing of the resolution did seem random, and the complexities of the issue do include alienating our already small pool of allies, but this is just another example to many Americans how unwilling Congress is to stand up and make an active change. It is another instance of a large coalition of Democrats proudly defending their stance one day, to turn around the next and sheepishly say, “We are being pragmatic now, lets do what Bush says.” Regardless of the issue, it is chipping away at the American confidence in the Legislative Branch, and just making the more active Executive Branch seem all that much more legitimate.

Democratic Congressmen and women,

Please try to remember, John Kerry did not win. The appearance of flip-flopping is not attractive to anyone and if you are simply attempting to sit back to save your seats, you have already lost them.

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