Afghan war vote
by Jerome Armstrong, Thu Mar 11, 2010 at 11:55:09 AM EST
The Dennis Kucinich-sponsored bill to exit Afghanistan came up yesterday in the House. The bill was defeated 356 to 65. There were 5 Republicans and 60 Democrats who voted to get out of Afghanistan.
WaPost:"The military escalation cements the path of the United States down the road of previous occupiers that earned Afghanistan its nickname as the 'graveyard of empires," said Kucinich.Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), one of the most prominent anti-war Republicans, shouted in his speech on the House floor "are we going to do this for 10 more years? How long are we going to stay?" In another fiery speech, Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) criticized the administration's policy and also slammed the press for largely ignoring the debate on Afghanistan, but "talking about Eric Massa 24/7 on the TV."
Yep, got that right.
Some Democrats voted against the bill, even though they don't believe in the strategy. “History suggests we will not be successful in stabilizing Afghanistan with military force,” said Representative Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Oregon.
In May of 2009, there was a vote on funding of the conflict, and the House voted 368 to 60 for the funding. So, about a year later, and in terms of real progress, there's not much traction. Cindy Sheehan is gearing up with activism again, and The Hill has a profile of it:
Her new coalition, Peace of the Action, is launching the Camp OUT NOW! tent city at the base of the Washington Monument next week in an effort to get President Barack Obama to pull troops out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan immediately.
It's tough to see how Sheehan's, or Kucinich's, efforts are going to amount to much change in the continuation of a US-led war in the ME. But, what this ramping up of effort does signal, is that a pretty vocal part of the Democratic Party is starting to lay it on the line over the War, and that's part of the reason why, along with HCR not being progressive enough and the bank bailouts, there is lackluster activism on behalf of Democrats up for 2010, in terms of voter enthusiasm. As long as Democrats are in control though, and Republicans remain lockstep in line with enduring war in the ME, this lackluster of widespread opposition to the Afghan war within the Demcratic Party (despite the majority of Democratic voters being oppossed) looks to be the status quo. It's a dissonance within the Democratic Party that probalby has a year or three until it explodes (and maybe only after the Democrats lose part of their power in DC).
UPDATE from desmoinesdem: Here's the House roll call.