You wouldn't know it by some of the votes that have actually taken place in congress lately, but there are some very important issues facing this country that we'd like our elected representatives in congress to address. Among the many are issues relating to the execution of the war in Iraq, private contractors run amok in that region, the rebuilding of south eastern seaboard cities wiped out by Hurricane Katrina (remember that?), the rising cost and diminishing coverage of healthcare...
Instead, congress is engaged in a game of condemning ballyhoo and (self-)righteous tom foolery. Quick on the heels of a non-binding and foolish rebuke of MoveOn.org's dumb "General BetrayUs" ad is Harry Reid's letter to the parent company who distributes Rush Limbaugh's radio show condemning Pumpkin Head for calling active duty military personnel who do not toe the company line on Iraq "phony soldiers." Now, I hate Limbaugh as much as anyone who cares about reasoned debate and political discourse, but I don't think it's a good use of time to have congress condemning remarks made by private citizens. The idea of scoring political points by flexing your support of the troops is juvenile and annoying.
That said, I think the Democratically controlled congress is taking WAY too much heat for not ending the war faster. Without a super majority that can override a presidential veto (one that has been promised for anything even remotely associated with troop withdrawals) there's not much more congress can do to force the Commander in Chief to come to his senses. I think there's an argument to be made for enforcing the War Powers Act, but that's another debate entirely...
Excerpt from Reid's Comments on the floor:
If we take the Republican side at their word that last week's vote on another controversial statement related to the war was truly about patriotism, not politics, then I have no doubt that they will stand with us against Limbaugh's comments with equal fervor.
I am confident we will see Republicans join with us in overwhelming numbers. Anything less would betray a double standard that has no place in the United States Senate.
OK, I take it all back. If we're going to get one-liners like this at Rush Limbaugh's expense then I am all for this shit:"
Well, I don't know. Maybe he was just high on his drugs again. I don't know whether he was or not. If so, he ought to let us know. But that shouldn't be an excuse."--Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)