It seems that now even in the majority, Democrats are less interested in governing and just as interested in posturing as they were when they were in opposition. A few days ago, Bruce noted how John Murtha (with the apparent support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi) is attempting to use surreptitious means to block the president’s policies in Iraq while pretending to do something else. Now, some Democrats appear to be more upfront about their goals, “drafting legislation that would effectively revoke the broad authority granted to the president in the days Saddam Hussein was in power, and leave U.S. troops with a limited mission as they prepare to withdraw.”
Yet, even as Democrats posture to please their base — and even as the war appears unpopular, recent polls indicate that Americans remain opposed to “(a) surrender, (b) losing, (c) defeat and (d) compelling the troops do any of them same.” Well over half of the voters surveyed in one poll “stand behind the President in Iraq because we are at war.”
With their proposed legislation, Democrats seem eager to undermine the president’s authority. They seem more interested in damaging him politically than in promoting the national interest. As the president said last month about his critics (and I noted in this post), “They have an obligation and a serious responsibility therefore to put up their own plan as to what would work.”
Instead of their relentless posturing with non-binding resolutions and legislation that the president is sure to veto, Democrats need to make clear that they stand for something besides opposing him. If they want to retain their majority status, they need to put forward policies which show their commitment not to pleasing the angry elements of their base, but to moving the nation forward.
Only two months into their Congressional majority, Democrats are resembling the GOP after more than a decade in power, not working on substantive legislation, but instead offering meaningless bills to please that base. If the Republicans can capitalize on the Democrats failure by returning to the party’s principles and articulating those principles in responsible legislative proposals (and that’s still and open question), they could well return to the majority in next fall’s election.
But, until I see more signs of a congressional GOP commitment to principle, I will continue to despair at the state of our national legislative politics, with representatives and Senators more eager to score partisan points than to present ideas and author legislation which promote the national interest.
UPDATE: Jules Crittenden thinks that the Democrats’ move to limit the mission of US troops may well serve as a “is a shot in the foot that will drive Americans farther from” the left. (Via Instapundit” He’s got lots more good news — and some bad news, so as Glenn would say, just read the whole thing“!