Even though the numbers say the Democrats have the majority, most of the time they don’t because of no-shows and illness. This past year of Democratic control has been a comedy of errors, absence, and lack of backbone for the party that promised change to get elected. Senator Tim Johnson missed 100% of the votes through August, Barack Obama has missed 80% of the votes since Labor Day and 34% of the votes since the democrats took power. In the middle of a banking crisis, Banking Chairman Chris Dodd has missed 84 percent of the votes since October and Dodd’s banking panel Web site lists no hearing touching the subject since last spring. The committee has not even held a business meeting since Oct. 17. Throw in Joe Biden and his 36% absentee rate and a definite pattern appears.
Now let’s look at some promises made to get elected.
We all remember that Democratic message about Iraq, you know that thing about bringing our troops home and not approving funding that didn’t include a timetable for withdrawal. How’s that going?
The war money would not be tied to troop withdrawals, as Democrats want. But it would let Democrats wrap up their long-unfinished budget work and go on vacation before Christmas. It also would spare them from criticism during the holiday recess by President George W. Bush for leaving work without providing money for the troops
Surely wouldn’t want to cut in to your vacation time would we? How about fighting against torture? Nancy Pelosi has condemned Water Boarding but just 5 years ago she was briefed on the “procedure” by the CIA and for some reason didn’t object.
In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.
Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.
“The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,” said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.
Congressional leaders from both parties would later seize on waterboarding as a symbol of the worst excesses of the Bush administration’s counterterrorism effort. The CIA last week admitted that videotape of an interrogation of one of the waterboarded detainees was destroyed in 2005 against the advice of Justice Department and White House officials, provoking allegations that its actions were illegal and the destruction was a coverup.
Yet long before “waterboarding” entered the public discourse, the CIA gave key legislative overseers about 30 private briefings, some of which included descriptions of that technique and other harsh interrogation methods, according to interviews with multiple U.S. officials with firsthand knowledge.
So Nancy what exactly has changed between 2002 when you were first told and now? Could it be that now your constituents are aware and outraged over this and you are now flip flopping to pander to those that elected you? Unfortunately Nancy that ship has sailed.
We’ve had a year for the Democrats to stand up to the President on issues that they were elected to change and in that time it has been business as usual, Bush asks for something, the democrats protest, and then they concede giving him exactly what he wants. Maybe a backbone should be a requirement along with citizenship before someone can be elected to Congress…