too many folks have been lulled to sleep with the usual noise about how it's what the president thinks, does, etc, and forgets that there are things like Congress, the Supreme Court, and STATE and LOCAL governements. The worst part in all of this has been those of us in the GOP who did not take the growing threat of the NeoCons seriously as they moved slowly and steadily through the 80's and 90's building from the grass roots upward. But this is no time to cry over spilled milk. If anything it is a time to start asking those old fashion hard nosed questions that have been the hallmark of traditional republican values. Simple questions like,
How ARE we going to pay for this?
Why exactly IS this a Federal Issue to begin with?
I can appreciate that there are still many in america who are still not sure how exactly they are suppose to 'act' during a 'so called time of war'. Since all they ever grew up with was the mythology of "The Greatest Generation EVER!" who served in Mr. Roosevelt's War. This of course got bogged down a bit ideologically when the issue was 'that vietnam experience' and what exactly folks were suppose to do when there was a draft on selecting some to serve, and exempting others. There was that little problem that it had been Mr. Johnson's war until Richard Nixon revealed his secret plan was to pull the american troops out, and to call it a process of vietnamization. Mythologically the transition to that 'all volunteer military' was suppose to simplify the process. Since, well, gosh, it would impede the central government from wandering off into mind numbing protracted wars in obscure places with no clear connection between the expense of an unfunded war, never mind that it would be an undeclared war.
Remember, I'm a Republican, having undeclared wars is not really that problematic an issue, it's a part of the escalatory process from the low end of the low intensity warfare scenario right on through to those "yee ha" watch slim picken's ride the nuke, "oopsie" moments. What worries me are the unfunded warfare like operations. Those have detremental side effects on the american economy, like, gosh, all the rest of the unfunded mandates. But worst of all, it gives the pro-war, but sitting on their face, crowd the chance to pretend some piety of patriotism, because 'we are at war', but without any real obligation on their part to get up off their face and into the project.
So now, finally, I hope, americans are starting to wonder why exactly are we play acting about being 'more at war' simply because the President is afraid that if he were to actually be held accountable, well, golly gosh, he might be room mating with Pinochete. Hopefully this time around we can get past the folly of play acting patriotism and perchance get some real live explanations about why exactly we need to keep on randomly bombing 'suspected terrorist strong holds' hoping that this will 'keep americans safe'. Or gosh, maybe that funny little problem about why exactly should the 'fly paper theory' be such a great idea to begin with, if at the same time we are whining that Syria and Iran are not doing their part to prevent the terrorists from coming into the kill zone where our advanced weapon systems will be able to kill more of them.
Perchance americans will finally ask which is it? Are we in Iraq to have the kill zone overseas? Baited, as these things are, with american troops, so that the blood being spilt is from 'those types' - you know, the type of folks not like the really patriotic types, the ones who are so proud that we are not going to loose this one, but, well, their type do not serve in the Military.
Or are we in Iraq to restore that nation to some level of pre-invasion national sovereignty, hence we want to secure the borders, so that the terrorists will not be able to get into Iraq. Which would mean that we are preventing the terrorists from coming into the Kill Zone....
At which point we can defer all of that play acting at patriotism and get back to the fuggly question about
what exactly IS the 'noble cause' that we want to ship americans into the kill zone for?
Why then we can move along and start getting serious about fiscal responsibility. What levels of security CAN we afford.
First at a simple economic level, and then at that more complex level, that part where we as americans are suppose to give up which liberties to the government so that they can play act as IF they cared about the average citizen.
Some are old enough to remember that once Congress recinded the Gulf Of Tonkien Resolution, that was no longer the pre-text for 'as good as a declaration', and the combat went on. But when Congress finally told Nixon that they were not going to pay for his weapons testing programme in south east asia, Nixon decided to stop the bombing. Perchance there is a lesson in this that some may wish to take with them into the 2006 election cycle.
What type of america do we really want?
One run by the great leader on the white horse?
One where it IS a matter of patronage, where the federal government really is about getting jobs for old college buds, because the private sector can not find any good use for them. Where the fiscal responsibilities are swept under the rug in the hope that someone else will get left holding the bag.
Or would we like to return to that good old fashion 'nation of law and order'. Where there were real laws binding on all citizens the same. Where the order came as a part of one's actual civic pride, and civic engagement, and not merely because there were Troops In The Streets.
Maybe it is time for americans to wonder whether the Republic is really worth keeping.
Stepping away from the 4 year cycle of elections for the presidency and back into the 2 year cycle for representatives and 6 years for senators might oblige congress to stop playing the dancing puppet for the administration, and remember that it was suppose to be a seperate branch of government and an active part of the checks and balances.