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The Democrats Need Resolve

October 17, 2007

I have often thought that our democracy is broken. The politics of self-interest and catering to narrow interests dominates the political landscape to so great a degree that it is easy to understand why so many of our youth ask the question "Why vote?". I’ve been there.  I’m often there, but I continue to hope – even when the actions of our government perplex me.

The newest point of wonder for me has to do with the failure of the democratically led Congress to hold together on the so called RESTORE Act today.  A vote on the Act meant to revise the FISA bill passed in August was delayed by House Democrats today due to Rep. Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) announcing his intention to offer a motion to "recommit" the bill, with instructions that it be amended "promptly".

What does that mean.  It means debate on the bill stops and goes back to committee.  This usually stalls the bill to death since the fixes the motion requires must be made in committee. 

The motion to recommit, however, for me is the least of the Democrats problems. The really problematic part of this whole dog and pony show is that the vote on the Act was delayed because the House Democrats don’t know if they can count on the support of all their constituency.  That is the problem.  The Democrats seem to lose the resolve for doing what is right whenever sufficient pressure is provided by the other side of the chamber. No wonder their approval rating is 22%. 

What has happened to them.  Did they not taught themselves as the party protecting civil liberties,  Were they not the one’s running campaigns against the abuses of power conducted by this White House? It would appear that they have forgotten their way.

I so long for a politic that is not about winning the next election but about producing a better America.  An America that does not subvert it’s highest ideals with cheap counterfeits diluted to suit the goals of the imperialistic. An America that believes in checks and balances and the rule of law (equally distributed to all its citizens). But the system does not lend itself to such a lofty goal as "government for the people."   

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