Posted: 02/05/07 17:42
by Dave Mindeman
The first rule of holes: when you're in one, stop digging. -- Molly Ivins
As Iraq continues to spiral downward, it is a little demoralizing to watch the United States Senate continue its pointless chattering. The administration continues to move forward with failed policies while the Senate debates resolutions that will stop nothing and solve nothing. A non-binding resolution....worthless paper for a worthless debate.
So, while the President pushes on, and the Democrats in Congress look like a rudderless boat, the people are left without representation. As in the Vietnam era, it looks like the people will have to put a stop to the digging and climb out on their own.
On Tuesday, a number of allied Peace Groups are going to push the issue to our Congressional representatives. A sit-in, sponsored by the Twin Cites Peace Campaign, is being planned for each Tuesday in February at our Congressional offices. How they will be received will give us a glimpse into what we can expect from our Congress people when the real votes come down.
My own quick assessment (and this is not coming from any official positions) of Minnesota's delegation looks like this:
Norm Coleman: His positions (and with Norm you have to use position in the plural) are still "evolving".... but in the end, he looks to side with the GOP version of things.
Amy Klobuchar: She is much more cautious about Iraq than I would have expected. I would hope that she is still persuadable to lean more toward doing whatever is needed to get the troops home.
Keith Ellison: He will support getting our troops home...whatever it takes.
Jim Oberstar and Betty McCollum and Tim Walz: I expect they will support getting the troops out, but will hesitate when it comes down to how to cut off funding for the war.
Jim Ramstad and Colin Peterson: Even though one's a Republican and one's a Democrat, the positions they hold are similar. It will be tougher to sell them on a wholesale pullout; they will be sticklers for how any changes in policy are worded.
Michelle Bachmann and John Kline: Bachmann is still in Disneyland after her November win but it is a lock that she will support the President. John Kline is simply a Bush rubberstamp.
So what's the value of a "sit-in"? Well, it is important that our representatives know that real people are involved here and real people want them to act. We need them to regain the full understanding that they work for us and our opinion matters....and that "opinion" matters more when real voices talk rather than statistics from the latest opinion poll.
Can this change any minds? Maybe not, but it will draw attention to the urgency of the problem. This constant posturing on details costs lives, prolongs the separation of families, and still gets us no closer to any solutions.
Down in the Second District, you may also ask... "why John Kline? He's not going to change his position no matter what we do".
There is one answer to that. John Kline is best symbol of Bush policy we have in Minnesota. He is a stronger symbol of the Bush failures than Michelle Bachmann because he has participated in, and supported, the run up to war, as well as its implementation. He is fully culpable in the mistakes and choices that have led us to this war -- standing up to him is confronting Bush's choices directly.
And Kline's reaction is important, too. If past history is any indication, it will probably be dismissive or derisive.... it is just his way. But it is the type of reaction that everyone needs to see. The Kline/Bush method will not get our troops back any time soon. And if forcing the issue directly can stimulate some real debate...then it is all worth it.
If you are interested in showing your support for peace tomorrow, head for John Kline's Congressional Offices:
101 W. Burnsville Parkway #201, Burnsville, MN (times are from 9am to 5pm)