What Fresh Hell Is This?

March 25, 2007

Is Voting FOR The Supplemental The Same as Voting FOR The War?

Something caught my eye in the usually eye-catching City Paper.

For those of you who still don't know the CP, it's Pittsburgh's "Alternative" press and you can find it in all the better coffee shops and bus shelters in town. It's an eclectic mix of incisive progressive reporting and a healthy dose of straight/gay/bi-curious/transexual phone sex ads. Oh yea, the Macyapper has a column there, too.

Cuique suum, as I always say. (Ok, I'll help you out a little with that one).

Anyway, I found this article by Charlie Dietch. It begins:

U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle says he respects the work done in the past four years by anti-war protesters. But the vigil by protesters outside of his Downtown office has him a little puzzled.

From roughly 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day, activists have been protesting Doyle's decision to vote in favor of a supplemental funding bill that provides money for the war in Iraq. But Doyle notes that the bill was crafted by staunch anti-war Congressman Jack Murtha, and while it does provide war funding, it also sets a September 2008 deadline to withdraw troops from Iraq.

From the protesters side:

But the protesters, who began their vigil March 14, say that despite Doyle's previous anti-war sentiments, a vote for the supplemental-funding bill is a vote for the war.

"If you oppose the war, than you have to oppose funding the war," says Ed Bortz, who stood in the cold, snow and sleet on Friday afternoon outside of Doyle's Ross Street office. On this bitterly cold day, just three protesters remained. But activist Elizabeth Donohoe says their numbers have been as high as a dozen.

On the one hand, I can see the protesters point - ANY money spent for dubya's war, is (and this is not even a tautaulogy) being spent for dubya's war. No question about that.

But this is where the political process comes in. And it's probably the thing that most disgusts a lot of people about politics - the need for compromise.

Had the House progressives, fresh from the November elections with a mandate to get us the hell out of Iraq, pushed too hard, the more conservative House Democrats, who were also just re-elected, but possibly with a different mandate, would have balked.

The result? The spending bill that would have made it through the House would have been far more dubya friendly, with no time table. And remember, as of 3/15/07 most Americans favor a witdrawal by fall, 2008.

So it's a compromise. For better or worse, that's the way it's done. You have to take the good with the bad. Some days you eat the bear, somedays the bear eats you. You can't always get what you want.

And so on.

1 comment:

e b bortz said...

Of course Howard Zinn has some
great insight on this.