I’m mostly listening and waiting to see what will be the effects of the newly elected legislature, but a few things still concern me.
Has chaos in Iraq been achieved?
The reports from Iraq in the English media are consistently much more horrendous than reports in any American media. It’s almost as if they are reporting on two different countries. According to the British reports Iraq is already in a state of complete and utter chaos, and they describe it in rather horrifying detail. More than one British conclusion is that Iraq is already a failed state and there is absolutely nothing we can do but leave. American reports, from media and from Generals “on the ground,” portray conditions that are admittedly bad but that are only "verging on chaos."
English reporters sometimes comment on that very fact, wondering why the American media does not report what they (the English reporters) are seeing. The English, as a people, do not have a reputation for melodrama; on the contrary, they are a people known more for understatement. I can imagine our Generals saying what their civilian superiors have ordered them to say. How many times in our national past has that happened?
But what is the American media doing? An important basis of a free country is an independent and free press, and I’m wondering if we have that.
I’ve asked this before…
Is George Bush insane? The entire country wants us out of Iraq. Congress wants us out. The American people who vote want us out. The people of Iraq want us out. Well, John McCain doesn’t want us out, but we all know that he is so dazzled by visions of the presidency that he has lost his mind.
The bipartisan commission has not yet submitted its report, and Bush is creating his own “internal review commission” which he has already determined will call for increasing military forces in Iraq by 20,000 troops. Which the military itself admits we don’t have.
The only good thing about this is that Bush and McCain are actually on the same page, and this policy will be so wildly unpopular and will fail so badly that it will reduce the chances that we will be stuck with McCain as president in 2009. Two madmen in the White House in a row would just be too much to be borne.
Will Congress improve?
As to being a rubber stamp for Bush, yes. Investigating the administration, probably, but we’ll have to see how deeply that probe will actually go.
In terms of reducing pork barrel spending and the influence of moneyed interest, things do not look good. The fact that Pelosi backed one of the most thoroughly ethics-challenged men in the entire House for majority leader leads me to believe that her “drain the swamp” is mere rhetoric. Murtha not only sold votes for pork, he sold votes to the opposing party in exchange for pork, and he avoided Abscam only because he was careful, not due to any abundance of honesty.
As an aside, the picture of him standing at the podium with his arm around Pelosi, and her grimacing as he fondled her was disgusting. She should have slapped him, not backed him for a leadership position.