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They ain't doing jack

While Congress has been debating its "non-binding resolution" condemning President Bush's latest move in Iraq, I've been thinking about it. It seems we have a huge fight going on over whether or not Congress will actually vote on the matter. Once that is settled, there will be a huge fight over how they vote on it. And after it passes, it will be utterly meaningless and worthless and a complete and utter waste of time.

I had pretty much concluded that it was the single greatest act of political Onanism since... well, what has Robert Byrd named after himself lately?

But I have to reconsider. I have found another example of pure, pointless political self-gratification that takes what Congress is doing and builds it into something even more profoundly silly.

The Boston City Council is fiercely debating whether or not it should endorse the non-binding resolution.

I'm so glad that Beantown doesn't have problems with the budget, crime, violence, the schools, taxes, unemployment, and all the other hosts of problems cities have, that they can spend so much time on something so utterly pointless and irrelevant.

On the other hand, there is a certain advantage to this sort of self-gratification. It's keeping the politicians from doing other things. And as Mark Twain once famously observed, "no man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session."


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference They ain't doing jack:

» The Thunder Run linked with Web Reconnaissance for 02/16/2007

» Unpartisan.com Political News and Blog Aggregator linked with House Rebukes Bush On Iraq

» Big Dogs Weblog linked with They aint doing jack

Comments (21)

What a bunch of tools. I su... (Below threshold)

What a bunch of tools. I sure "Mookie" and Al Qaeda appreciate the support, but they're a little busy right now, having their assea handed to them by the surge.

As I stated previously - we... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:

As I stated previously - we elect them to make decisions. A non-binding resolution isn't a decision. How much do they get paid to spend a week debating a non-statement? This is your tax dollars at work folks. Keep this in mind during the next elections and lets get some fresh blood: Dems vote for more blue dogs and Reps ... well vote for anyone under 65.

Not just in Boston. Democr... (Below threshold)

Not just in Boston. Democrats in various state legislatures are passing non-binding resolutions. That's what you do when you're a political party that doesn't have moral, ethical, and legal standards. You send tens of thousands of young men and women to fight in a war that you believe cannot be won while you're cheerleading the people who are trying to kill them: maximum casualties equals maximum gains in the 2008 elections.

Prior to the 2006 elections, the war is all on the Bush Administration. Now that the Democrats have the power to stop it, they share the responsibility. But they won't. They'll let it drag on through the 2008 elections, and the GOP will get killed. What happens after that is anyone's guess. The Democrats have all this power now, and they don't know what to do with it.

Coming soon: endless Congressional hearings about every detail of the Bush administration. Democrats have no ideas and no agenda beyond the first 100 hours, but griping about Republicans is a core competency.

I disagree a bit here. I'd... (Below threshold)

I disagree a bit here. I'd be tickled pink if Congress spent all its time doing ineffectual things. There are few fewer times I can recall where Congress (of either majority) did something that didn't end up being detrimental to me somehow.

I say we should keep throwing them in committee meetings to debate whether or not they want to vote on something that isn't binding all the time.

The Boston City Council ... (Below threshold)

The Boston City Council is fiercely debating whether or not it should endorse the non-binding resolution.

The Congress is in the midst of a great debate over doing something totally meaningless- why not Boston?

Obviously the circle jerk has not vanished from the Northeast culture.

For the record- my last pos... (Below threshold)

For the record- my last post was non-binding.

"The days of the do-nothing... (Below threshold)

"The days of the do-nothing Congress are over!" - Senator Reid.

The debate makes for some e... (Below threshold)

The debate makes for some entertaining sound bytes.

Rep. Goode is telling us that if we don't back the surge, in the future we will have "In Muhammad We Trust" on our money.

Gee, I wonder if that will happen in time for the issuing of the GWB dollar coin.


Jay Tea: "Once that is sett... (Below threshold)

Jay Tea: "Once that is settled, there will be a huge fight over how they vote on it. And after it passes, it will be utterly meaningless and worthless and a complete and utter waste of time."...Divide and Conquer is Pelosi's game. Not only is she forcing the GOP members to choose between Bush and the polls, but between their ostensible former support for the president's policies and their rejection of those policies now. The opposition platform bypasses the surge argument by stressing reform generally. Pelosi named 6 specific items, and despite being non-binding, if it passes, Republican support will give future legislation of those reforms a marque of legitimacy. And will have established a BI-PARTISAN front against W's conduct of the war...As for the Boston whatever: I skipped that part.

bryanD:RE: "Divide... (Below threshold)


RE: "Divide and Conquer is Pelosi's game."
No, this is "Blood for votes."

The Democrats WANT the war to drag on through the 2008 elections. If they can do that, they will win big. They do not want to end the war, even though they have the power to do it. They are prefectly willing to leave those men and women in Iraq to die as long as they can blame the Republicans.

I'm so glad that Beantow... (Below threshold)

I'm so glad that Beantown doesn't have problems with the budget, crime, violence, the schools, taxes, unemployment, and all the other hosts of problems cities have, that they can spend so much time on something so utterly pointless and irrelevant.

They're just following their role model, I guess.

Of the 383 pieces of legislation that were signed into law during the two-year 109th Congress, more than one-quarter dealt with naming or renaming federal buildings and structures -- primarily post offices
Exactly! And by getting som... (Below threshold)

Exactly! And by getting some Republicans to assent to the anti-surge resolution, it becomes THE congress vs the Prez, and less, Dems vs thePrez or dems vs reps. The effect is to give Pelosi cover, because , though congress could help starve the war, if congress "lets" the president continue the war, he gets the blame. And, you're right: that's the gameplan. Cynical, yes. But Bush's former defacto executive branch conduct of the war by decree gives plausiblity to the idea that Bush won't listen (to congress, the people, etc). This is chess in the opening moves phase: PLAY the MIDDLE SQUARES!

bryanD:RE: "This i... (Below threshold)


RE: "This is chess in the opening moves phase: PLAY the MIDDLE SQUARES!"

Even if you sacrifice a few pawns -- like our soldiers.

kevino: Bush made the first... (Below threshold)

kevino: Bush made the first move in Iraq with the advantages that entails. He apparently did worse than sacrifice a pawn. He took a pawn (invasion), passed his own pawn(no follow-up), and subsequently traded queens(forfeited control by firing all Baathists, from mandarins to janitors, with a stake in maintaining order under the American occupation).

bryanD:RE: Bush ma... (Below threshold)


RE: Bush made the first move ...

Here's the difference, Bryan.

President Bush made the decision to go to war, knowing that he would get young men and women killed because he thought that the cause was worth fighting for. We had a debate in this country, and his side won.
The Democrats, having bitched for years that the war is a failure, isn't worth fighting, cannot be won, or is making things worse, now has the ability to put an end to it. They won't. They are asking young men and women to die for nothing (or, if you believe that they are making things worse, less than nothing). And they get to cash in in 2008.

You counter argument is that it is OK that Bush went to war, but he mishandled it. If so, I challenge you to say what you would do differently. And I would point out that that is NOT the position of the Democratic party. The majority position is that the war is a waste, it cannot be won, and our troops are making things worse.

Bush asked for a sacrifice to make the world a better place.
The Democrats aren't asking -- they're telling -- our troops to sacrifice to make the 2008 election good for them.

kevino: 1)I'm against the w... (Below threshold)

kevino: 1)I'm against the war in Iraq. Conflating it with the GWOT: "imminent nuclear holocaust"; the whole thing (PNAC)was ginned up by Likudniks in America and Israel and fed to gullible charismatic Christians who misidentify Nation Israel with People Israel, and immature "patriots"/ arm chair war buffs. And hereditary Republicans. 2) As for political wranglings on the Hill: like I said, it's non-binding, so Pelosi has issued 6 points laying groundwork for the NEXT, binding legislation meanwhile using Bush's weak and unpopular surge position against his own party. I.e.: The Nay Republicans are useful in the next round as well as this vote, because this vote sets the PRECEDENT for the next: Bipartisan opposition to Bush's war policies. In sum, it shows us that Bush is a lame duck. I'll ignore your "world a better place" bit. You wouldn't like my answer to that. Besides, I'm tired of pecking. (10 min+ to type the above ;P)

bryanD:Your reason... (Below threshold)


Your reasons for being against the War in Iraq betray a terrible lack of understanding about current events. For example, your "imminent nuclear holocaust" is ludicrous. No sane person ever suggested that.

I suggest that you need to calm down and re-read the Senate resolution authorizing the use of force. Then you will understand some of the real reasons why we went to war.

RE: Political wranglings:
RE: Bush's weak and unpopular surge position against his own party.

Yes, the "surge" is unpopular, so a nonbinding resolution is not only unnecessary, it could be dangerous by giving the GOP to rally support.

In terms of using this against his own party, that's a laugh. In case you didn't notice, the GOP is in the MINORITY. Their positions don't mean ANYTHING. The Democrats have the position that counts.

RE: "In sum, it shows us that Bush is a lame duck."

Why? Isn't that crystal clear to everyone by now? Why do Democrats feel that they have to prove the obvious?

BOTTOM LINE: Democrats are playing a political game while young men and women die for something that Democrats don't support, don't believe in, don't think will ever succeed, and is making things worse.

Even more hysterical: since... (Below threshold)
John S:

Even more hysterical: since the "surge" will likely work, the Dems have screwed themselves by declaring that they are the party of surrender and defeat.

kevino: 2002: "Rice acknowl... (Below threshold)

kevino: 2002: "Rice acknowledged that "there will always be some uncertainty" in determining how close Iraq may be to obtaining a nuclear weapon but said, "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."...slightly more than a subliminal threat to do it the neocon way, or wake up dead some morning when you least expect it. Cheney made a similar statement. The neocons wanted war very, very badly, and they've run it the same way.

since the "surge" will l... (Below threshold)

since the "surge" will likely work

Really? Well, you ought to tell the generals and Republicans that.

bryanD:RE: 2002: "... (Below threshold)


RE: 2002: "Rice acknowledged that "there will always be some uncertainty ..."

You are miles away from defending your "imminent nuclear holocaust" statement, so my previous statement to the contrary still stands.

Once again, I urge you to read the joint resolution authorizing the use of force.

Whereas Iraq, in direct and flagrant violation of the cease-fire, attempted to thwart the efforts of weapons inspectors to identify and destroy Iraq's weapons of mass destruction stockpiles and development capabilities, which finally resulted in the withdrawal of inspectors from Iraq on October 31, 1998.
Whereas in Public Law 105-235 (August 14, 1998), Congress concluded that Iraq's continuing weapons of mass destruction programs threatened vital United States interests and international peace and security, declared Iraq to be in `material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations' and urged the President `to take appropriate action, in accordance with the Constitution and relevant laws of the United States, to bring Iraq into compliance with its international obligations';

NOTE: WMD includes chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons.
NOTE: Iraq was in trouble for violating agreements concerning its WMD programs, not for having stockpiles of weapons.

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late.

President Bush, SOTU 2003, rejecting the need for "imminent threat".

In any case, it is not relevant. You cannot defend the actions of the Democrats so you fixate on irrelevant issues from the past. The simple fact is that we are at war in Iraq. What now? The Democratic response is to let this drag on until the 2008 elections to win votes.






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