This morning on Meet The Press, Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden walks in lockstep with right-wing talking points on Iraq funding. When asked by host Tim Russert if he would vote to cut off funding for Iraq if President Bush refuses to accept a withdrawal date, Biden moves directly to the “cutting off funding means you don’t support the troops” mentality pulled straight from the pages of the RNC playbook. Instead of speaking the truth, that it means appropriating funds to begin a safe and smart withdrawal from the country, not abandoning our troops, Biden instead says he won’t vote to cut off funding and chooses to chastise Democrats who support it.
I'm puzzled. No... scratch that. I've long since passed "puzzled" and have moved into some sort of dazed hysterical disbelief. The 2006 elections should have made one thing clear, if nothing else. The Iraq war is framed, in the minds of Americans, as a strictly Republican problem. Bush started this war all by himself, and until it became politically poisonous to be associated with him, the GOP members of Congress were its primary cheerleaders. Voters stood up across the nation to declare that they were done with this and it was time to find a way out of this mess.
And yet, not one of the leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination is willing to stand up and say that they will actually walk the walk and do something about it. Do they somehow fear that America was unclear in its wishes? There isn't one sane person who wants to strand our troops in the middle of a combat zone without the support they need. But they do want our resources and strategy geared toward a prompt, safe, withdrawal from the mess we find ourselves in today.
It's still fourteen months until the election and I'm already finding myself more disgusted (if that's even possible) than I was with the choices I was given in 2004. If you ripped every vertebrae out of Clinton, Obama, Biden and the rest of them you couldn't build one solid spine. And we're obviously not seeing anything better coming from the ranks of the Republicans.
This past week I was watching a new game show on CBS called The Power of Ten. (Hosted by the always hilarious Drew Carey.) One of the survey questions they asked was, "What percentage of Americans feel that the United States will still exist as a country in 100 years?" I'll confess that I was shocked to see that the survey results indicated an answer of less than 75%.
But I'm beginning to see where such fears are coming from.