Congress passes new Iraq war funds,
The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved $161.8 billion in new funds to continue fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the next year, without timetables for withdrawing combat troops.
. . . The Senate’s 92-6 vote to pass the war-funding bill marked a victory for Bush, who has vigorously opposed any move by Congress to impose timetables for ending the Iraq war, now in its sixth year.
. . .The new money for combat in Iraq and Afghanistan puts the war tab since late 2001 at more than $800 billion, with most of that money going to Iraq.
It made me think of this:
Governor Howard Dean, M.D., Address to California State Democratic Convention, Sacramento, California, March 15, 2003
What I want to know, what I want to know, is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting the President’s unilateral intervention in Iraq? [cheers].
What I want to know, is what in the world so many Democrats are doing supporting tax cuts which have bankrupted this country and given us the largest deficit in the history of the United States? [cheers].
[. . .] What I want to know is why the Democrats in Congress aren’t standing up for us joining every other industrialized country on the face of the Earth in having health insurance for every man, woman and child in America? [cheers, chants “Dean”].
[. . .] As Paul Wellstone said . . . I’m Howard Dean, and I’m here to represent the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. [cheers].
Howard Dean says that Democrats may have won the election, but shouldn’t think that means the public demands Democrats in power. I agree. Democrats have not explained to the public what they are about, and as a result I don’t know very many people who voted in this last election FOR Democrats. I think most people voted AGAINST Republicans and their failed policies and corruption and authoritarianism and fear and war…
Now there is an opportunity to start reaching out to the general public-at-large and explaining what progressives and Democrats are FOR and what they are ABOUT. (Hint: Democracy and community.) Will they be smart enough to start building the kind of “progressive infrastructure” organizations that will do that — that will reach the public to explain the benefits of democracy and community and progressive values and policies and candidates?
Democrats Face a Tough Job, Leader Says,
“The other party made mistakes in the past claiming that elections are mandates,” Mr. Dean said. “Elections are not mandates. The voters of this country loaned the Democrats the power of the country for two years. Now it’s our job to earn it back again.”
In a speech to the party’s executive committee here, Mr. Dean said “governing is more difficult than campaigning,” and declared that Democrats must not squander opportunities to keep building the party. The modest gains winning over evangelical voters, he said, should be strengthened by asserting that “moral values are an important part of foreign policy.”
“If George Bush made any single huge mistake,” Mr. Dean said, “it’s that he thought he could be president by being president for half of America and by treating the rest of us with contempt. That is not a mistake I ever want Democrats to make.”