I'm also not a member of the fighting keyboardists who talk about war, Iraq and collateral damage as if it were some aspect to a video game where the pleasure is in pretend.
Military families (those who speak out, those who can't and those who don't dare) are all part of one big family whose actual and potential sacrifice on behalf of this nation is way out of proportion with the rest of the country. Those of us who speak out have not been fooling with theories, strategies nor tactics that pander to my blogging colleagues and their pretense that lock-step voting and campaigning will lead to the most prompt and immediate end to death and dying.
Truth is, we have no guarantee that a Democratic sweep of both houses will lead to the quickest end to death and dying in Iraq.
We have no guarantee that a democratically controlled congress will have as its first or highest priority, the immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq, the consequential immediate lowering of the amount of gasoline America's presence in Iraq pours on the fires of resistance and contributes to our family losses and killing of Iraqi civilians.
We do face a strong likelihood that a foolish newly elected Democratic majority will arrogantly allot to itself a greater wisdom in how to get the job done in Iraq and how to accomplish what Bush and neocon nutcases (Just ask Francis Fukuyama ) couldn't do right. If you want proof, go to the Democratic Leadership Council site and read their foreign policy nonsense.
Mark my words and I promise you that if/when party takeover of Congress happens, my words will be true:
The Demos will attempt to accomplish the same goals the Republicans couldn't.
The Demos will not take immediate action to remove the troops and get this country's inflammatory presence out from its position as the direct cause of dreadful effects in Iraq.
Too many voters and leaders see this from an abstract point of view and so long as it remains an abstraction, the competitive gaming-lure of strategic debate remains more enticing and involving than actually staunching the flow of blood.
We are seeing DLC strategy played out even as I write this. We are seeing why Cantwell, the DLC/neocon under-informed foreign policy lightweight, believes that she can go through motions with folks like we who've met with her, that she can ultimately point to having met with us several times and heard us out, and then do nothing inconsistent with her unchanged attitude, philosophy and voting record.
In the meantime, the DLC/Democratic tactic of doing nothing while Republican scandals multiply seemingly exponentially - thereby facilitating a greater probability of their being swept out of power - means that the DLC/Democratic tactic is also to express that two military and several civilian deaths every single day in Iraq are needful and worth the price of doing nothing.
How would you like to be standing at the lip of a human meat grinder watching your military loved one move forward in the sacrificial line and listen to do-nothing Democrats like Maria - who are content to do nothing but watch eroding Republican popularity - tell you that when your loved one steps off the lip and into the grinder, it's for a higher national good?
But if we acquiesce, shut our mouths and pretend that supporting Ms. Cantwell is the wisest and most patriotic act we can take, we fool ourselves and pass me another glass of Kool-Aid.
What can we count on if we let the Democratic Party stay fully managed by DLC centrists and their local party fools in every state? Will stopping the killing in Iraq be one of the highest priorities - like, for example - putting out a house fire where people are dying?
From their own site where pretense begins with the visual illusion that the DLC is somehow "official" party authority:
Democrats should begin by reaffirming their party's commitment to progressive internationalism -- the belief that America can best defend itself by building a world safe for individual liberty and democracy.
Progressive internationalism occupies the vital center between the neo-imperial right and the noninterventionist left, between a view that assumes our might always makes us right, and one that assumes that because America is strong it must be wrong. It stresses the responsibilities that come with our enormous power: to use force with restraint but not to hesitate to use it when necessary; to show what the Declaration of Independence called "a decent respect for the opinions of mankind"; to exercise leadership primarily through persuasion rather than coercion; to reduce human suffering where we can; and to bolster alliances and global institutions committed to upholding an increasingly democratic world order.
They can pretend they sit "between" neo-imperial and non-interventionist, but they are still advocating spreading American's version of corporate capitalistic democracy from the barrel of gun if necessary.
The barrel of a gun philosophy is the precise reason why today, tomorrow, the next day and every f***ing day from here on out two soldiers and who knows how many Iraqi civilians will be killed while politicians and parties in this country continue to behave badly, unwisely and stand with their fingers stuck up their politically failed orifices.
Geov Parrish expressed the problem we face with blind and nervous support of the (D)-bird in hand versus more appropriate alternative (D)-birds in the bushes around America where dumb DLC Democrats need them to stay.
After doing more homework, something I recommend to local party strategists, I'm feeling more sheepish than ever, going to have to flip flop and withdraw my declaration of intent to vote for Maria Cantwell in my party's primary election.
There is a significantly more important election for Democrats than the November midterm and that is their soul-searching primary election - regardless of all those "in-place" leadership Demos and self-appointed PAC apologist-type party activists who have yet to prove that they possess a higher wisdom for the well-being of this country and that they can win with it.
Until or unless they ever do, I'm not throwing in with them.
I'm not throwing away any opportunity to say that I also have a voice that is NOT traitorous to America because it disagrees with narrow party fearful thoughts
I also have a voice and ask everyone else who reads me to speak up, even if your voice shakes - or even if others who read me tell you, like they tell me, to shut the hell up. We have opinions that can and should be expressed in a public venue regardless of who likes it and who doesn't.
At this stage in the midterm election process, the (D) bird in hand is not worth more than what's out in the bushes. The one in hand has made no declaration that expresses anything other than a DLC/neocon foreign policy foolishness that in this case has a disproportionate share of the families in this country at risk for paying the highest price for everyone else's right to live free or die.
Like General Zinni, as a veteran, I served to preserve the right I myself and all of you have to speak out, to dissent, to criticize presidents and senators. Folks like us have the least obligation to shut up or defer to other folks who didn't serve, who have no intention of serving and who in fact live in a world of political and economic abstractions based on pretense.
Why in the land of the free and home of the brave where Lincoln sits on a granite chair, and where a rowdy group of 18th century dissenters are now revered as founding fatherly icons of the United States of America, who the hell has the right to say or imply that what Mark Wilson stands for isn't good enough?
In Washington State Democratic hands is a bird who wants to just sit in your hand, look pretty, look senatorial and do nothing of immediate good for this country.
In the Democratic bushes however is a candidate who has spoken out, who has gotten up off his ass and put his money and his personal life where his mouth is.
All of a sudden I have to ask why that isn't good enough?
Why is it shameful or stupid to recognize that?
Why can't a citizen run and a party respect that running? (BTW: I still haven't seen explanation or justification from King County or Suzy Sheary - see my wonderings on 5/11/06)
Why do people who haven't taken that step have the gall to pretend they are greater judges of American character, core values and citizenship, not to mention behaving as self-appointed expert advocates of political expediency?
Why must we settle for mediocrity because that's the Republican standard in this country?
Why must we diminish ourselves and concede to an ignorant lower standard of political acumen, civic duty and citizenship patriotism?
Why are so many of us fearful of standing up, speaking out and working to make a difference?
Why do so many pretend it is wise to accept mediocrity out of a fear of the loss of one election, a fear that leaves us caught in the headlights and too terrorized or intimidated to do more than stare at an oncoming disaster, hoping it passes by with as little damage as possible?
Why are so many afraid to fight?
Is it more convenient because Maria Cantwell gives an excuse not to get in there and mix it up directly with the bad guys?
to sit back, vote Maria in the primary, tell everyone else to be quiet?
And wait for Cantwell to do the dirty work of resisting and overcoming the Republican villains?
When she's demonstrated that she voted to support dirty work in the first place?
I'll say it again, I'm not a Democrat first and a patriotic civic-minded American citizen second.
And there are no lines to read between here.
I do not endorse Maria Cantwell who hesitates and has lost for herself and for all of us more than we can measure.
I do endorse Mark Wilson.