Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Demonstrating Against Vermont's Congressional Delegation:
Noise for the Sake of Making Noise?

Last week, a group of protesters staged a sit-in of Peter Welch’s office to protest his lack of willingness to end the Iraq war right this minute.

Yesterday a group of protesters did the same at Bernie Sanders’ office.

The demonstrators, irate that Sanders wasn't present and didn't join the telephone call, said they didn't understand why a war opponent would vote for funding. "The funding has got to stop," said Bunny Daubner, 75, of Bristol. "How can you say you're against a war and still give money to it?"

I understand the frustration; I share it, but good grief, what a USELESS way to focus one’s energy.

“I believe it would be counterproductive to take the position that some are advocating, namely to vote against anything that doesn't include an immediate or nearly immediate withdrawal from Iraq," Sanders said. "That would mean voting with the Bush administration and congressional Republicans and handing a victory to those who want to continue and perhaps expand the war into neighboring countries."-Burlington Free Press

Despite the ages of the protesters, it strikes me as immature grandstanding; I can’t help but think that they are secretly more than a little gratified to have gotten their names in the paper.

In fact, it’s worse than useless…

For one thing, in case these protesters have forgotten: many of us still have friends and relatives in Iraq. George W. Bush has made it quite clear that he is going to keep them there, and he has made it quite clear that he’s not all that concerned that they have the protection they need (body armor, for example) to be as safe as possible.

Would these protesters be willing to sacrifice the life of a young American Solider just to score a political point against Bush?

Also, by focusing their anger on strong potential allies like Peter Welch and Bernie Sanders, the protesters actually help to turn in the energy of the center-left coalition in on itself.

As George W. Bush has proved time and time again, he doesn’t NEED to maintain a majority to retain his hold on power; he simply needs to KEEP the majority divided against itself.

I am proud of the way Vermont’s Congressional Delegation is working to do the long, difficult and painstaking work necessary to knit the majority back together in order to accomplish the goals supposedly cherished by these protesters.

Between the growing scandals at Department of Justice, the recent revelations about Political Abuses at the GSA, and the growing dissatisfaction with the War held by the American public, this work is actually going faster than I would have dared to hope.

Given that, I think it is ironic that some have chosen to thank our delegation by trying to paint them as the enemy.

No comments: